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Mary Ward (1585-1645): 'A Briefe Relation', with Autobiographical Fragments and a Selection of Letters (Catholic Record Society: Records Series)
by:Christina Kenworthy-Browne CJ
Mary Ward, one of the most interesting and attractive figures in early modern history, was born in Yorkshire during a period of relentless persecution for English Catholics. At a time when strict enclosure was prescribed for religious orders of women, she felt called by God to found a new congregation, modelled on the Society of Jesus: self-governing,...
Mary Ward, one of the most interesting and attractive figures in early modern history, was born in Yorkshire during a period of relentless persecution for English Catholics. At a time when strict enclosure was prescribed for religious orders of women, she felt called by God to found a new congregation, modelled on the Society of Jesus: self-governing, unenclosed, and available for apostolic work worldwide, including the support of priests on the dangerous English Mission. Whether engaged in travel by sea and long, mountainous journeys, or planning with supportive Catholic princes for the education of girls, or pleading her cause in person before popes and cardinals, Mary remained courageous and light-hearted, a woman of deep faith. But she was in advance of her time; her congregation was harshly suppressed by Papal Bull, while she herself suffered imprisonment as a heretic by the Inquisition, and remained under its perpetual surveillance. This book, published in preparation for the four-hundred year jubilee of the foundation of Mary Ward's congregation in 1609, contains the earliest biography (c.1650) of Mary Ward and other source texts, hitherto available only in manuscripts kept in private archives. Introductions and notes have been added to set the texts in context.
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