By Stephanie Mann
The persecution of Catholics began in 16th century England and tested the Church for over 250 years. Penal laws labeled Catholic believers as traitors and brought fines, imprisonment, and even execution. Prominent persons such as Thomas More, Edmund Campion, and Margaret Clitherow were martyred, while others quietly endured suspicion or harassment to teach and pass on their faith to others, but died peacefully in their beds.
The official persecution slowly subsided as threats to England’s external power waned in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century, intellectual converts such as John Henry Newman and Henry Manning brought the merits of Catholicism a new respect in the eyes of Protestant public opinion. This enabled the unfolding of a wide-ranging apologetic that would fall to 20th century figures such as G.K. Chesterton, Hilaire Belloc, and Ronald Knox.
This book tells the story of the Catholic Church’s survival and restoration in one land. It serves both as a lesson and a warning of the risks to faith and freedom when absolute power is given free reign.