The Martyr’s Cause: John Foxe and Our Gospel Embassy

On Easter 1555, the zealous English evangelical[I] William Flower burst into a rage in St. Margaret’s Church, Westminster, when he noticed a priest administering the Mass – a rite that Flower saw as the epitome of Roman Catholic idolatry. Immediately, he struck the offending priest with his woodknife, cutting him on the head, arm and hand. Blood from the priest’s wounds, according to the martyrologist John Foxe,[ii] sprinkled onto the consecrated host of the sacrament, which the priest was carrying in a chalice. Immediately, Flower was arrested and, after his trial, was burned at the stake as a heretic.

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