Sunday, May 23, 2010

Is Henry VIII in Hell?

Some reflections on the power of a martyr's prayer from a highly unusual source. To quote:
If Henry VIII is saved (an open question perhaps) it will be at the prayers of John Houghton. If any persecutor is saved it is at the prayers of their victim. If humanity is saved, it is by the grace of the cross of Jesus Christ and all those martyrs who have followed in his path. 
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11 comments:

Diamantina da Brescia said...

One hopes and prays that Henry VIII is on the way to Heaven, if not already there.

Considering that his first wife, Catherine of Aragon, was a devout Catholic who loved him very much despite years of his infidelity and his attempts to annul the marriage*, I would think that her prayers, as well as the prayers of those he had killed, may also help to keep Henry VIII from Hell.

* I think that if Henry VIII's case had gone before a modern tribunal, he probably would have gotten an annulment for psychological reasons (lack of emotional maturity at the time of marriage): he married Catherine of Aragon when he was not yet 18, after all.

elena maria vidal said...

Hi, Diamantia. Interesting point about the annulment. One of the reasons that the annulment did not come through right away is that Katherine challenged it, which she had a right to do and which people are allowed to do even now. Psychologically,I wonder if Henry was emotionally mature enough to marry anyone, since when he married Anne Boleyn he was certainly old enough to know his mind, and yet how quickly he presided over her destruction.

tubbs said...

Could someone help this old Yank and clue me in to the correct pronunciation of Saint John's last name? (a British reader, perhaps).
Is it 'haw-ton', or 'huff-ton'? He has been a great hero of mine for decades, yet I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know how to say Houghton.

Matterhorn said...

Well, I hope he was saved. I'm no fan of Henry, but I don't like to think of anyone in Hell.

elena maria vidal said...

Tubbs, I think it's "Haw-ton." At least that is how I was taught to pronounce it.

Matterhorn, I don't like to think of anyone there either, which is why I say the Fatima prayer several times a day. "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those who are in most need of Thy mercy."

tubbs said...

Now there's where I could get very Prod; only the very Blood of Christ is able to save that foul beast! Think of the countless millions of souls in heresy and schism because of him. And his cruelty!?! - Non-English speaking historians refer to him as the English Nero.

Gareth Russell said...

Elena Maria is absolutely right about the pronounciation of Houghton!

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Gareth.

Julygirl said...

How far does God's forgiveness reach? I would like to think that considering his deeds he will burn in hell into eternity.

Stephanie A. Mann said...

I thought the Archbishop's language about salvation was a little confusing too, tubbs. "If humanity is saved"? Although it may be true that we don't know that Henry VIII is in Hell, don't we know that humanity has been redeemed? What does Williams mean?I also thought his citation of Robert Aske's suffering from Prescott's Man on a Donkey perplexing as his hallucinations go far beyond the apophatic.

elena maria vidal said...

I was surprised that he still believes in hell.