Among the many celebrations possible within the Church today is the Feast Day of the Blessed Martyrs of Douai.
The English College, in Douai was founded by William, later Cardinal Allen on Michaelmas Day 29 September 1568. It was intended, originally, as a college in exile for English priests to continue their studies in a way not possible at the time in the English Universities. However, in time it became a college training priests for the mission fields of England. Many of its alumni now wear the crowns of martyrs following persecution and execution for the Faith in England.
The priests who were persecuted were working to bring the light of the Gospel back to the darkness of the times in which the people of England found themselves. I can only wish that today, as the Collect of the Feast says, the Holy Spirit will excite in me, and in my confrères, the love what they cherished and to practise what they taught.
Blessed Martyrs of Douai, pray for us.