Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle Guild of St Stephen

Pope St Pius X

The Archbishop of Westminster, Francis Bourne (later Cardinal), was so impressed by the Guild, that on October 1st of that same year, he petitioned the Holy Father, Pope Saint Pius X for his Apostolic Blessing for the infant Confraternity of Saint Stephen. Saint Pius X granted this in his own handwriting on November 5th, 1905. Archbishop Bourne then began a chapter of the Guild at Westminster Cathedral, which subsequently became the Mother Church for the Guild.

On December 4, 1906, and once more upon the request of Archbishop Bourne, Pope Saint Pius X erected the Guild into an “archconfraternity” “prima primara” and gave it the power to affiliate with itself guilds of a similar nature outside of the Archdiocese of Westminister, but within the British Isles (On February 19, 1934, Pope Pius XI extended this same privilege throughout the entire British Empire).

In 1955, the Guild celebrated its golden anniversary by organizing a pilgrimage to Rome. During an audience with Pope Pius XII, it was recommended and urged upon the Guild members by this venerable pope to adopt Saint Pius X (whom Pius XII had canonized shortly before), who had blessed, enriched and expanded the apostolate of the Guild from its beginnings, as a secondary patron.

 Pope St Pius X, Pray for us

St Thomas More

Feastday: June 22

St. Thomas More,  was born at London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in
religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, and when she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book "Utopia". He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defense of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher's execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that "we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation." And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535.

St Thomas More, Pray for us.