Blessed William Carter

 
Today, January 11th, the universal Church honors a most courageous English martyr, Blessed William Carter.
Blessed William was born in London, England in 1549 and at an early age, entered the printing business.  He served as an apprentice to well-known Catholic printers, one of whom served his sentence in prison for persisting in his Catholicism.  Indeed and in fact, it was a crime of high treason punishable by death to practice the Catholic Faith in Queen Elizabeth I’s realm.  One could imagine, therefore, how dangerous it was for any Catholic printer in such circumstances.  Blessed William himself served prison time for printing what the realm called “lewd” literature, or Catholic literature and for possessing Catholic books upholding Catholicism.
What offended the English officials was that Blessed William continued to publish inspirational works to help Catholics remain in their Faith.  English officials searched his home and found vestments for Mass left with him for safe keeping and other “suspect” books.  These officials went so far as to attempt to obtain information from his distraught wife.  Over the next 18 months, Blessed William remained in prison, learned of his wife’s death and suffered unspeakable torture.
The English court charged Blessed William with printing and publishing the “Treatise of Schisme,” which according to their interpretation, incited violence by Catholics and which was said to have been composed by a traitor and addressed to traitors.
The jury deliberated for 15 minutes, whilst Blessed William trusted Our Lord Jesus Christ as His servant.  Their verdict was guilty.  Blessed William made his final confession to a priest who was also being tried alongside him.  On January 11, 1584 at Tyburn, London, Blessed William was hanged, drawn and quartered.  Frankly, I believe that such a death was one of the cruelest ever invented by humankind.  Clearly, Blessed William carried on the Faith with the same spirit of St. Thomas More, whose last words were, “I am the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
I have always felt the greatest empathy and love for the English martyrs all of my life and throughout all of my studies of the saints.  For some special reason, I have a special kinship with these incredibly brave people.
Several centuries later, on November 10, 1986, Pope John Paul II venerated Blessed William and consequently, on November 22, 1987, Pope John Paul beatified Blessed William.
May we attempt to have the same courage, determination and love that Blessed William had, and may we follow his example to remain tenacious and bold, always trusting in Our Lord Jesus Christ no matter what the consequences. . .
Respectfully,
Joan
Sources:  americancatholic.org; saints.sqpn.com; Wikepedia

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josephbc69
6 years ago

As you, Joan, are a brave person, and have made courage your robe of habit, I doubt you realise what you are asking of the average person. Very few people know beforehand if they can be brave before they are tested; for most of us, our courage will be found and proven in a test of some kind. That was how I found mine. If we are lucky, one or both of our parents will have given us one or more examples of how to stay strong under duress, but I think they are the exceptions that prove the rule.… Read more »

joandarc
joandarc
6 years ago
Reply to  josephbc69

Thank you so much josephbc69 for your very kind thoughts. My parents were wonderful people, and with their examples, and the examples of the saints, all helped me to value and try to live, in a courageous and loving manner, notwithstanding my proclivities to sin and to fail. I also love and admire St. Thomas; I actually knelt (when I was still able to) at the exact place where he was martyred in Canterbury. As for your courage, I have seen it in your comments and thoughts constantly. May you persist in your brave life loving and trusting Our Lord… Read more »

josephbc69
6 years ago
Reply to  joandarc

Jeshua is the best; forget the rest!
My motto since 1963, maybe longer, but for sure from then.

Mike howrightismike
Mike howrightismike
6 years ago

Great post, Joan!

joandarc
joandarc
6 years ago

Thank you Mike!

techdecisions
techdecisions
4 years ago

Dearest Joan, blessed 2016!!! May I most gently suggest that perhaps the image you have chosen for Blessed William Carter is instead St Edmund Arrowsmith, SJ? God bless!!!

Dr. Eowyn
Admin
Dr. Eowyn
4 years ago
Reply to  techdecisions

Thank you, techdecisions, for correcting us. I found that pic for Joan, thinking it was an image of Blessed William Carter when I searched on Google for his image and saw that image attributed to a Wikipedia entry on Carter: https://www.google.com/search?q=Blessed+William+Carter&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8
However, that image is absent from Wiki’s essay on Carter.
You are right: the image is that of St. Edmund Arrowsmith. Accordingly, it is now deleted from this post.
Alas, I tried to find an image of Wm Carter but in vain. If you know of one, please be so kind as to leave a link!

Matthew McCormick
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

Thank you!! I will keep my eyes open, too!

joandarc
joandarc
4 years ago
Reply to  Dr. Eowyn

Thank you Dr. Eowyn for your kindness towards me in helping me to find pictures of the saints. It is my prayer that the saints bless you as you toil tirelessly on the FOTM. I am glad that Matthew pointed this out to us. What a nice man.