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Queen Elizabeth, daughter of King Henry VIII of England (1558-1603), had Mary Stuart, her relative, who was a Catholic and Queen of Scots, arrested and after a trial that was nothing but an unworthy charade she had her condemned to death. (Mary Stuart was slandered as having caused the death of her husband and then married his murderer. Schiller sings the glory of the noble martyr, but he also believes her to be an adulteress and a murderer of her husband, which is not true according to recent research). When Mary Stuart received the death warrant, she remained quite calm, asking for no other grace than to see her confessor imprisoned like her for a few moments. But what is not refused to the greatest criminal, Elizabeth refused it to this unfortunate queen by hatred of religion. Instead, she sent her an apostate priest, who had become a Protestant, to try to make her deny her faith and make her last moments painful. Mary Stuart, full of holy indignation, sent this Judas away and soon afterwards she was beheaded.
One of the greatest concerns of pious Catholic parents is to preserve the faith in their children. A touching example of this maternal care is given to us by the Grand Duchess Marguerite-Sophie, wife of Duke Albert of Wurtemberg. She was about to become queen when God called her to Himself in the prime of life at the age of 32 (1906). Six children were crying at the bedside of their dying mother; one of them was Prince Philip Albert, the heir apparent to the throne of Württemberg, whose population is predominantly Protestant. After embracing her dear children one last time, the dying mother pleaded with her firstborn and said, “Darling! remain Catholic!” Then she gently fell asleep repeating, “Lord, I have hoped in Thee, I shall not be confounded for eternity.”
Those who faithfully keep the Catholic faith will be able to repeat these consoling words on their deathbed. Outside the Church there is no salvation; that is, whoever is outside the Church through his fault cannot be saved.
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.
My Jesus, forgiveness and mercy!
By the merits of Thy holy Wounds and the sorrows of Thy Mother.