Today in Catholic History – The Trial of Father Henry Garnet, SJ

On 28 March 1606, Jesuit Father Henry Garnet was tried for eleven hours for alleged participation in the Gunpowder Plot to assassinate James I of England/VI of Scotland by blowing up the House of Lords. Though Garnett professed his innocence and claimed that anything he knew of the plot was protected by the seal of the confession, he was found guilty and sentenced to death. Father Garnet, SJ was executed on May 3, 1606 by hanging.

After his death, a head of straw with the blood of the Jesuit priest was taken as a relic. Later, the blood was said to have congealed into a likeness of the face of Father Garnet. This straw was later taken to the Jesuits at Liège but disappeared during the French Revolution.

The book, “A True And Perfect Relation Of The Whole Proceedings Against The Late Most Barbarous Traitors, Garnet A Jesuit And His Confederates” also dating from this same period is said to be bound in the skin of the Jesuit father and his face is said to appear on its cover.

For more on the Gunpowder Plot see this earlier episode of Catholic:Under The Hood


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