Monday 4 June 2018

A Book of Martyrs Devotions to the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales - Father John S. Hogan

A Book of Martyrs: 
Devotions to the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales
Fr. John S. Hogan
Catholic Truth Society

ISBN 9781784691219
eISBN 9781784692056

My introduction to the writings of John S. Hogan was Living Fruitfully Generosity Learning from the Saints, which was such a good read, I had picked up this book to read before I even finished that volume. This booklet is a wonderful little read. It is part prayer book, and part brief stories about saints. Over the last 6 months I have read a number of books about Irish saints, mostly by Alice Curtayne, and this book was a great chance of pace from the focus on Irish Saints. Once I started reading this I could not put it down. The Sections in this book are:

Prayer to Jesus, King of Martyrs
Prayer to Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs
Prayer to St Andrew
Prayer to St George

The Pre-Reformation Martyrs
St Alban, The Protomartyr
Ss Julius and Aaron
St Oswald
St Winifred
St Boniface
St Adrian of May
St Magnus of Orkney
St Thomas Becket
St William of Perth

The Reformation Martyrs
Prayers to the Martyrs of England and Wales
Blessed Margaret Pole
St Philip Howard
St Anne Line
St Edmund Campion
St Edmund Arrowsmith
St John Fisher
St Thomas More
St Margaret Ward
Blessed John Roche
St Margaret Clitherow
St John Kemble
Blessed Thomas Sherwood
Blessed George Douglas
St John Ogilvie

The Martyrs of Wales
Invocations to the Martyrs of Wales
Litany of the Welsh Martyrs
Novena of Humility to Blessed Humphrey Pritchard
Prayer for the Young to Blessed Richard Flower
This booklet is worth more than the price for just the small collection of prayers. But when you add in the history and stories of the saints it becomes and incredible value! In the introduction Fr. Hogan states:

"This veneration of martyrs is one of the earliest devotions in the Church. Following the various persecutions, Christians looked upon the martyrs as the great heroes of the faith, those who offered the supreme testimony to Christ and the Gospel by laying down their lives rather than renounce their Christian faith. Conscious that any of them could be asked to embrace a similar sacrifice, Christians fostered profound relationships with these Saints, commending to their intercession the trials and difficulties of life, and seeking strength to imitate these heroes should persecution break out upon them."

And in this day we might need to turn to the martyrs once again to find strength for what the church is facing, and what we as Catholic's are facing in our post-modernist society. Hogan also says:

"Among the many Saints and Blesseds of England, Scotland and Wales are extraordinary figures who have a message for us today. They are as present to us now as they have been since the day they made the supreme sacrifice and took their place in the kingdom of heaven. Some are well known, others not so well known; but yet they all deserve to be acknowledged and venerated. They are already our intercessors and they accompany us on our earthly pilgrimage, praying for our needs."

This book gives many examples of those who gave their life for their faith. Many who returned to England when to be Catholic was against the law. They lived the gospel, and they died for it. They Serve as an example and to give encouragement to us today. My son's favorite prayer from the book is:

Prayer to St George
Martyr Patron of England

 St George, blessed soldier of the Lord,
 who, in imitation of our Saviour,
 overcame the dragon
 by offering your life in testimony
 to the sufferings of Christ
 and to his resurrection from the dead.
 Hear us, great patron,
 and protect those who turn to you.
 May we be vested in holy charity,
 confirmed in faith and hope
 so true peace may reign in our hearts.
 Obtain for us purity of mind and body,
 so we may be made ready for the battles
 that await us on our pilgrim way.
 May Christ's victory shine forth in us
 and his kingdom be made present
 in our poor lives
 and in the lives of all his faithful.

There is a prayer with every saint highlighted in this book. It is true some of the saints in the book I was familiar with, some I knew quite well, and there were a few I had not encountered before. This book will teach you about these martyrs; it will help you establish a devotion to them and serves as an excellent prayer book. This was the second book I read by Father John S. Hogan in the last week, I already have the other two and look forward to reading them. I give this book my highest recommendation.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books in the Living Fruitfully Series:
Self-Control - Fr John S. Hogan
Chastity - Fr John McKeever
Joy - Mgr Paul Grogan
Generosity - Fr John S. Hogan
Patience - Christopher Mc Camley

Other Books by John S. Hogan:
Edmund Arrowsmith (Saints of the Isles)
A Book of Martyrs: Devotions to the Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales

Devotions to St Thomas Becket

Author profile and interview with father John S. Hogan

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