Reverend Mother (see the two last posts) passed out to us through the Turn the large relic of S Cuthbert Mayne. S Cuthbert was a West Country man (born near Barnstaple) who, in many ways, provides the link between the Catholic Renaissance of Queen Mary's reign, and the Recusant culture that followed the apostasy of Elizabeth Tudor. He got his education in Elizabeth's time at S John's College Oxford, which had been founded as a place of Catholic renewal in the previous reign. Although outwardly conforming to the new regime, S John's, even more than the rest of Oxford, long remained secretly devoted to the old Faith, which was kept alive and vigorously taught there (another son of this college was to be William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, martyred by the Puritans in the 1640s). Mayne learned the Faith at S John's and then went to the new College at Douai for his priestly formation. He returned to England and ministered in the South West; eventually he was captured and after the customary torture hanged, drawn and quartered at Launceston (then the 'capital' of Cornwall) in 1577.
His head was exposed on a pike at Wadebridge, not far from Lanherne, and rescued from there by one of the Arundells. The crown of the skull is kept in the Sisters' choir of the Chapel at Lanherne, a light constantly burning before it. This relic we venerated and were blessed with; and then we passed it back through the Turn! Mother also very graciously sent us Miraculous Medals.
The Tridentine Mass which S Cuthbert brought to England - he was the Protomartyr of the Seminaries - is still celebrated, honoured and loved at Lanherne. I pray that the sundered traditions of English Catholicism may, by his intercession, and by the prayers of the Sisters of the Immaculate at Lanherne, be reunited. This, surely, is what the Ordinariate scheme is all about?