This inspiring book unveils the incomparable history of the Catholics of Ireland, who clung valiantly to the Faith for hundreds of years through some of the worst persecutions ever inflicted on a people. Their unrelenting love of the Most Blessed Sacrament is a clarion call for us in these times when attendance at Holy Mass has waned and the desacralization of the liturgy advances.
From the golden hour in which St. Patrick, as bishop, said his first Mass on Irish soil down to the coming of the Normans, love of the Blessed Eucharist was one of the dominant characteristics of the Irish race. Even during the Protestant Reformation, with its monastery closures, confiscation of Church treasures, and universally hostile treatment of Catholics, King Henry VIII nevertheless left one thing untouched — the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. But the attacks would soon begin.
You will be astonished by the assaults on the Mass during Queen Elizabeth’s “reign of terror,” which resulted in the martyrdom of more than two hundred Irish Catholics — many killed in the sanctuary! James I continued the rule of terror, which was brought to new depths of cruelty by the ruthless Oliver Cromwell.
In these pages, Fr. Augustine Hayden reveals a myriad of shocking details that are highly relevant to our time, including:
What the Council of Regency did to Protestantize the Mass (Has history repeated itself?)
How the Irish faithful responded when it became unlawful to celebrate Mass (Take note!)
Why the English government sought to cancel the Mass and the sacraments (Surprise, surprise!)
What the English planned following the suppression of the Catholic Mass (And how it backfired)
The Saul-like terrorization and banishment of bishops and priests, and their indomitable courage
The heroic martyrdom of lay Catholics, who bravely hid priests and guarded the Holy Eucharist
“The Mass was the focus of the enemy’s hatred,” wrote Fr. Augustine, “and it was also the magnet of the people’s devotion. Masses infinite in churches, Masses in houses, Masses in every corner — these were the ‘crimes’ with which the people of this country were charged.”
You will see why the heroic Catholics of Ireland believed that the Holy Mass and the Real Presence of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament are worth cherishing — even unto death. Amid war, starvation, and relentless cruelty, our Eucharistic King gave the Irish the graces they needed to remain steadfast and become a bastion of devotion for the world.