John, a widower, was ordained in 1581 and traveled to England with Blessed Edmund Sykes that same year. He successfully ministered for seven or eight years before being arrested. Robert, who had formerly been a Protestant minister, was arrested as he landed in England in 1588. The two priests were tried and condemned together.
Showing great joy and a spirit of prayerful resignation at their execution, Blessed John Amias and Robert Dalby were hanged, drawn, and quartered on March 16, 1589, and beatified in 1929.
In today’s First Reading we hear about the faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, young men who refused to worship a false God set up by King Nebuchadnezzar. The king’s golden calf was a symbol of his own authority and by forcing the enslaved Jewish community to worship this idol, he was undermining their identity as God’s Chosen People. Blesseds Robert and John were faced with the same choice and challenge as those three young men: fall on their knees before secular power and deny who they were as men of faith.
|A contemporary icon of Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego |
by Father Richard Cannuli, O.S.A.
Pray today for our nation as we continue to look toward the coming elections. Ask Blessed Robert and Blessed John help you to discern how to discern the best way to express your faith within the public sphere, working toward the common good.
Grant a joyful outcome to our prayers, O Lord,
so that we, who each year devoutly honor the day
of the passion of the holy Martyrs John and Richard,
may also imitate the constancy of their faith.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)
This post was originally written for Aletiea.org and posted on their site on March 16, 2016.