Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Gardener Martyr - April 13th 1642

                                                     Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs

The Venerable John Lockwood was a Yorkshireman who gave up family wealth to become a priest.

In all likelihood, his period of ministry probably is the longest of any during the times of Catholic persecution in England and Wales as he laboured in the vineyard for forty four years before being apprehended at the age of eighty seven.

He was taken at the home of a widow, a Mrs Catenby, (also Gatenby) with whom Fr Lockwood had lodged in his later years.

While tending his small garden he was seized by the authorities and, being too frail to walk or ride, was roughly tied across the horse and taken to York.

He was quickly sentenced to death along with a brother priest, "Mr" Edmund Catherick, both being drawn on hurdles through the streets of York

At the gallows, Father Catherick was due to be hanged first but his nerve failed him at the last.

Seeing this, Fr Lockwood, claiming the privilege of age, and demanded to be executed first.

Too weak to climb the crude gallows ladder, he paid for two bystanders to help him ascend.

As he reached the platform he asked Father Catherick how he was fairing.
Father Catherick responded:

"In good heart, blessed be God; your good example has strengthened me"

Both men won their crown on April 13th 1642

Martyrs of England and Wales - Ora pro nobis

Richard Collins - Linen on the Hedgerow

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Richard, I love the stories of the martyrs. Always young, always new...


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