What a glorious time of rejoicing this is, when loyal Englishmen can enjoy celebrating a Sainted Lady of truly ancient and splendid lineage, and great personal sanctity!
And One who was the mother of the Most Eminent Father in God the last Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury! I refer, of course, to Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, last of the House of Plantagenet, martyred under Henry VIII in 1541. When news of her glorious martyrdom reached Reginald Pole, he rejoiced that he was now the Son of a Martyr.
Today, in dioceses including Clifton and Portsmouth, is her Feast Day.
She was the daughter and heiress of George, Duke of Clarence, Brother of Edward IV. The usurping Welsh house of Tudor naturally regarded her with envious hatred.
And not unnaturally. When the people of Cornwall and Devon rose in rebellion against the imposition of heresy in 1549, they issued Articles ... political demands ... which grew more and more ... definite ... as the months went by. In the Third such set of Articles, they demanded that "because the lord Cardinal Pole is of the Kynges bloode, should not only have hys pardon, but also sent for to Rome and promoted to be of the kinges counsayl."
But, in the Fourth set of Articles, there was more precision. " ... hys free pardon ... to be first or second of the kinges counsayl".
How that gang of heretics, crooks, and murderers round the Council Table must have trembled ...
Beata Margareta, ora pro nobis!!