Commemorating East Anglia’s priest of the plague

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Commemorating East Anglia’s priest of the plague

The latest edition of the newsletter of the East Anglian Catholic History Society, Orientale Lumen, contains stories about recent discoveries relating to the history of Catholicism in East Anglia.

“One of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic has been to cause people to look to history for precedents,” writes the editor, and he cites the Interdict on England in the reign of King John when public Masses were cancelled.

He also recalls two of East Anglia’s saints, St Edmund and St Henry Morse, whose intercession has traditionally been sought for protection against plague. St Henry Morse (1595–1645) was actually called the ‘priest of the plague’ because he ministered to victims of the 17th-century’s deadliest infectious disease. He caught the plague himself but recovered. 

The latest edition of the newsletter also carries a story about stained glass expert Martin Harrison, who has recently identified some fragments of stained glass set on the south side of the nave of All Saints’ Church, Brandeston as possible survivors from St Edmunds Abbey.

It carries an advertisement for a new editor for the Catholic Family History Society, and book reviews of British Catholic Merchants in the Commercial Age and Osbern Bokenham: Lives of the Saints. Osbern was an Augustinian friar of Clare.

And in April the National Trust announced that new research revealed the probable Jacobite activities of Sir Henry Arundell Bedingfeld. The newsletter explains the background.

You can read the full latest issue of Orientale Lumen on the website of the East Anglian Catholic History Society here:

Pictured above is St Henry Morse