This passed Thursday I went to a discussion by Dr. Miola who is a professor at Loyola. He discussed Shakespeare and the way Jesuits were seen during the time of his plays. Dr. Miola discussed that historians have said that Shakespeare may have been catholic through interpretation of some of his plays, but there is no really solid source to his catholic background. Dr. Miola also discussed how two plays; King Lire and Macbeth shadowed two Jesuits in the plays. The men were William Weston and Henry Garnet who were seen as outcast during the time period.
Dr. Miola discussed the difficulties that Catholic’s had during this time. They were forced to belong to the Church of England. He made a point that Catholics back then were looked at like radical Muslims of today. William Weston and Henry Garnet were two strong Jesuits who suffered for their beliefs and looked upon as exorcists.
William Weston came to England trying to convert people who were unhappy with the Church of England. He performed the sacraments to all who wanted to join the catholic faith. After the Church of England found out about his spreading of Christianity, he was put in jail for many years. Like the Jesuit emphasis on education, William Weston was highly educated and taught his beliefs in Greek and Latin while in jail. He also taught Theology and opened the deeper thought of prayer and meditation to those wanting to follow. He emphasized most of his teaching on the hope of forgiveness and the graces of God. Weston also encouraged the following of the Ten Commandments as a way of becoming closer to God. During the discussion of Weston, Dr. Miola talked about how Weston’s mind set helped those who were possessed by the devil. Weston taught that the devil does not possesses people, and that the people only possesses themselves through there own mines.
Henry Garnet was another Jesuit who fought for his religious beliefs during this struggling time of the Catholic Church. Garnet was an educated Jesuit who taught mathematics’ and lectured in both Hebrew and Latin. He also wrote books on politics and was criticized for negatively talk about the Church of England’s papistry. He was accused of practicing Equification which was understood as someone who says something verbally and consciously does something else. An example of this was those who were forced to go to the Church of England, but prayed in the beliefs of Catholicism. The real belief of Equification was that it was self-preservation for one to lie in order to save the innocent. Studies have shown that this was not a Jesuit tradition and that it came from the Spaniards. Like Weston, Garnet believed that through suffering for God, was has become closer to him.
Both of these man were martyrs in there day. They suffered through death and prison to spread the gospel of God and the beliefs of Catholicism. They were true Jesuit of education and in helping those in need of be saved from the Church of England.