Tuesday 2 April 2019

Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon - CTS Saints of the Isles Series

Edmund Campion
CTS Saints of the Isles Series
Alexander Haydon
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860822162
eISBN 9781784694142
CTS Booklet B675

This is the fourth book in the Saints of the Isles series from the Catholic Truth Society that I have read. And I have read over 60 books and booklets from the Catholic Truth Society in the last year. Many have been great reads, and numerous excellent series. I love this series that focuses on the Saints of the Isles. It has been inspiring, challenging, and encouraging to read about the Saints and Martyrs of the British Isles. 

First a bit about the series. There have been 13 titles in this series to date. Three of the 13 are available as physical books and are still in print, and I believe 7 are available as eBooks. The more I read about the saints, martyrs and faithful Catholics from the Isles, the more I appreciate my own spiritual heritage. And the more I want to read about thee saints. 

I had come across the name Edmund Campion in my church history courses, and in earlier research I had done on the Jesuits. But this little volume is the first biography I have read dedicated to this saint, but it will not be the last. Edmund Campion is one of the Forty Martyrs that were canonised in 1970. He died in the year 1581 and he was 41 years of age at his execution. He was a scholar at Oxford, a writer, and a deacon in the protestant Church. But then he converted to Catholicism and was ordained a priest in 1578. He was a Jesuit, and one of the first Jesuit missionaries to Elizabethan England. Campion was arrested for his work Rationes Decem (Ten Reasons) his primary work against heresy.  

The sections in the booklet are:
Edmund Campion
Birth and background
Death, Trial and Capture
Trial: ‘Nothing to swear by’
The Tower: Imprisonment and torture
Campion in context
Henry VIII: Official schism
Edward VI and Mary Tudor: Protestant and Catholic interludes
Elizabeth I: The Established Church
Dublin: Still within the Pale?
Betrayal: Lyford Grange
Rome: The English Mission is Conceived
Rome: The Mission sets out
The Mission comes to England: Campion’s ‘Brag’
England: The Mission visits Catholics: Life in the saddle
England: The Mission: The secret presses
‘Ten Reasons’: Campion ‘Declares War’ on the Heretics
England: The conferences in the Tower: Unquiet audiences
England: Westminster Hall: The Arraignment: ‘Totally to subvert and destroy the state’
Disputation: Campion’s ‘Proofs innumerable’
The English Mission: Campion’s Charisma: What fruit did it bear?
Further reading

Edmund Campion serves as a model for us today. To use reason and logic to defend the catholic faith and tradition. Reading this book was eye opening. It is an excellently written biography. But this is a book that will leave you wanting more. Fortunately, there is a great selection of suggested further readings at the conclusion of the book. I recommend this book and the whole series.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:

Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan 
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer 
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley

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