a slow news month (r more appropriately, a NO news month) here in Home Page Country
and while looking around for something interesting for today's page, I came across
a book of hymns titled Then Sings My Soul, compiled by Robert J. Morgan.The
book not only contains many familiar hymns but each hymn is accompanied by an
accounting that includes what I like to call the five Ws, i.e., Who, What,
When, Where and Why. If you ever, or ever again, have occasion to join in the
singing of "Faith of Our Fathers," maybe after reading of its origin,
the words will have a profound....or perhaps a more profound...meaning.
of Our Fathers," 1849, Frederick William Faber (1814- 1863) was raised in
an Anglican parsonage in Calverley. Yorkshire, England; but both his parents died
when he was young. When he moved to Oxford University as a young man, he came
under the influence of the great Roman Catholic, John Henry Newman, author of
"Lead, Kindly Light." Following graduation, Faber entered the Anglican ministry,
but his soul was troubled. He was drawn to the historic, reverent liturgy of the
Catholic faith..On Sunday night, November 16, 1845, he announced to his congregation
that he intended to leave the Church of England and be ordained a Roman Catholic.
For the remainder of his short life -- Faber died at fifty-nine -- he endeavored
to provide a body of hymns for English Catholics to sing. Perhaps his most endearing
is "Faith of Our Fathers."
What most Protestants don't know
is that Faber wrote this song to remind the Catholic Church of its martyrs during
the days of the Protestant King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I. "Good Queen
Bess," for example, used fines, gallows, gibbets (an upright post with a projecting
arm for hanging the bodies of executed criminals as a warning ), racks, and whips
against those who said Mass, honored the pope, or harbored a priest. Often, in
the middle of the night, thugs would burst into Catholic homes and drag the residents
away to be scourged, fined, or seared with glowing irons. The dungeons were choked
Nicholas Owen was such a victim. Probably a
builder by trade, Owen designed countless hiding places for endangered Catholics.
He hid them in secret rooms, between the walls, and under the floors. He hid them
in stone fences and in underground passages. He designed nooks and crannies that
looked like anything but hiding places.
When Nicholas was at
last betrayed, he was dragged to the Tower of London and his arms were fixed to
iron rings. There he hung for hours, his body dangling. Weights added to his feet
increased the suffering. The tortures continued until March 2, 1606, when "his
bowels broke in a terrible way' and he passed to his reward.
was for these Catholic heroes, martyred at the hands of so-called Protestant monarchs,
that "Faith of our Fathers" was originally written. Now, of course, this great
hymn reminds us all of the noble sacrifices made by those in every branch of Christian
family who have passed their faith on to us "...in spite of dungeon, fire and
This day in history
American Civil War: Battle of Mill Springs -- The Confederate States of America
suffers its first significant defeat in the conflict.
The first electric lighting system employing overhead wires, built by Thomas Edison,
begins service at Roselle, New Jersey.
1920: The United
States Senate votes against joining the League of Nations.
1922: Home Page Country: The new Watson and Altimus Garage at Mundy's Corner
will handle "Durant" cars.
1931: Home Page Country:
Gasoline wars in Nanty Glo reduce prices to 15 cents per gallon.
WWII: Japanese forces invade Burma.
Gerald Ford pardons Iva Toguri D' Aquino (a.k.a. "Tokyo Rose").
1983: The Apple Lisa, the first commercial personal computer from Apple Computer,
Inc. To have a graphical interface and a computer mouse, is announced.
The New Horizons probe is launched by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.
I did some searching of the Home Page archives and came
across the joke below. It was sent by Bob Kennedy of Willows, California, and
appeared in the February 10, 2001, Postcard.