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Saint Margaret Clitherow honoured with York procession
A SAINT who was martyred in York more than 400 years ago was honoured in a pilgrimage through the city’s streets at the weekend.
On Saturday, Saint Margaret Clitherow, known as the Pearl of York, was remembered in a Latin mass in the presence of the Bishop of Middlesbrough, the Rt Rev Terence Drainey, in St Wilfrid’s Catholic Church and a procession then passed her shrine in Shambles and crossed Ouse Bridge, the place of her execution.
The procession ended at the Church of the English Martyrs in Dalton Terrace.
St Margaret was executed for her Roman Catholic beliefs on March 25, 1586, in the Tollbooth, which stood on the old Ouse Bridge. She was placed under a door and weights were piled on her until her ribs gave way.
The wife of a York butcher, she was imprisoned at least six times for hiding Catholics and holding Mass at her home in Shambles.
She was tried for harbouring Jesuit and seminary priests and celebrating Mass, but refused to plead guilty to the offences amid fears her close friends and family would then be hunted down.
Although relatives and friends tried to save her by claiming she was pregnant, she was sentenced to death.
She was canonised by Pope Paul VI in 1970.