Sts. John Jones and John Wall (c.1530-1598; 1620-1679)
for July 12
John Jones was born during the murderous reign of Queen Elizabeth, who despised Catholics and sought to remove all remnants of Catholicism from England. As a young man, Saint John traveled to France to take his vows as a Franciscan. He then traveled to Rome and, with the blessing of Pope Clement VII, went on a secret mission to England and began ministering to Catholics. He was eventually discovered, tortured, imprisoned, and, after refusing to recant, hanged. He was dismembered and his body parts were placed around the nation as a warning to other Catholics. Saint John Wall was also born in England, and after being ordained a priest in 1645 he spent many years ministering to the remaining Catholics in England. After 22 years of ministry, he was arrested and accused of conspiring against the king, and eventually executed.
Although our society does not violently persecute Catholics, Saints John Jones and John Wall are examples to us of the long tradition of Catholics who were willing to sacrifice their lives for their faith. If you were in a society like that of Saints John Jones and John Wall, would you be willing to practice your Catholic faith even if you knew it might be dangerous? Many Catholics around the world are still targeted and victimized for their faith.
Pray for the Christians and Catholics throughout the world who are being treated poorly and sometimes violently attacked for their faith. Ask God to help others love them and treat them with compassion.