This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 27 -- Feast of St. Ann Line

This is another story about the Anglican priest-catchers rounding up Catholic clergy to be racked, hanged, drawn, and quartered. I've had several of these so far, so the stories of Blessed Roger Filcock (imagine a priest with a name like that today) and Blessed Mark Barkworth (I'm not making it up) didn't do a lot for me. But Anne's story is just different enough to warrant telling, even at the risk of overstating the horrors of Anglican persecution of Catholics by never mentioning that brief round of reversal under Queen Mary.

Ann was the daughter of a wealthy Calvinist -- hard workers, those Calvinists. But Ann and her brother were disowned when they converted to Catholicism. Hard-hearted parents, those Calvinists. Ann married another convert, Roger Line, but he was was busted for attending Mass and exiled to Belgium. He died in Flanders.

Under the direction of Father Gerard (note that this is not the Feast of Gerard), Ann opened a house for priests. Father Gerard was then busted and sent to the Tower, so Ann moved her refuge. Father Gerard escaped, but drops out of the story.

Father Francis Page, however, was preaching at the house on Candlemas when the priest-catchers raided. He ditched the uniform and blended into the crowd -- obviously a valuable skill for a man in his position and era. You'll also note that this is not the feast of St. Francis Page.

The only one to bust, as always, was the owner of the house. Ann was sent to the Tower on February 2 and then to her Creator twenty-five days later. She was one of only three women among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

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