Blessed Hugh Faringdon (Cook), John Eynon and John Rugg Martyrs
m. Reading, United Kingdom, November 15, 1539
The Martyrologium Romanum commemorates today the three Benedictine Blessed Hugh Faringdon (Cook), Abbot of Reading, John Eynon and John Ruggie, Priests. Tenaciously opposed to the claims of King Henry VIII of England within the spiritual domain and therefore were falsely accused of conspiracy. Front of the monastery were then hanged and then horribly gutted. Pope Leo XIII beatified them on May 13, 1895.
Roman Martyrology: At Reading in Britain, Martyrs Hugh Cook Faringdon, Abbot of the Order of St. Benedict, John Eynon and John Ruggie, Priests who were accused of treason for being fiercely opposed to the claims of primacy in the Church of King Henry VIII died hanged and disemboweled with a sword in front of the monastery.
In 1534 the English clergy was called to take an oath of supremacy recognizing the monarch as head of the English Church in the territory of the kingdom. With the exception of Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, the Carthusian monks and Observant Franciscans, a few others immediately objected to this betrayal of the pope. The abbots of Glastonbury, Reading and Colchester all lent oath with their monks, hoping to thereby protect their ancient monasteries from the tyranny of kings, but all three reached a point of no return when it intensified the suppression of monastic orders.
The Abbot of Reading, Hugh Faringdon was commonly called by the name of his county of origin and his nickname was Cook. In this abbey he became Monaco and was elected abbot in 1250, very high office that entitled the holder to a seat in the House of Lords and the Council, as the magistrate of the county. The reporters called him a man hostile to him “completely without culture,” yet the teacher of elementary school in Reading dedicated a book to him even in rhetoric. Hugh also managed to enforce discipline in his monastery excellent.
Strongly opposed the preachers of new doctrines Protestants, whom he described as “heretics and scoundrels, but was on good terms with King Henry VIII, perhaps for convenience, given the proximity between the Abbey and Windsor. They used to exchange visits and gifts. Hugh also tried in vain to help the King to obtain from the Pope the annulment of the marriage to Catherine of Aragon, by signing the letter of request. In 1536, also signed the Act of Supremacy and the following year still enjoyed the sympathy of the king, as he held an important role in the funeral of Queen Jane Seymour.
A few weeks later, a diplomatic incident occurred: Abbot Hugh offended the sovereign, spread the false news of his death. He wuestioned by a committee, but was later released. After he was taken to the suppression of monastic orders, as Hugh does not accept this soppruso summer of 1539 he was imprisoned in the Tower of London, accused of treason. With him were tried John Eynon, a priest of the church of St Giles in Reading, and John Ruggie, the prebend of Chichester, who had retired in the abbey of Reading. The former was accused of having written and distributed a copy of the Pilgrimage of Grace in 1536, while the latter possessed a relic of the hands of Saint Anastasius, while knowing that his majesty had sent inspectors in the said abbey to put an end to the idolatry . However, there is certainty that these two priests were Benedictine monks.
Terms prosecuting coinvoltse all three are unknown, but easily imaginable. Abbot Hugh spoke very clearly on the gallows in his opinion the supremacy of the Holy See in spiritual matters was “the common faith of those who had the right to declare the true teachings of the English Church.” Their execution took place outside the abbey of Reading November 15, 1539.
Hugh Faringdon (Cook), abbot of Reading, John Eynon and John Rugg were Beatified by Pope Leo XIII, May 13, 1895 by confirmation of their cults.
Author: Fabio Arduino
Source: Santi e Beati