Chronicles of the Irish Martyrs 4: Trinitarian Martyrs of Adare

“No violence will move us from the principles of Truth.”

1539. Adare, Ireland. The first Trinitarian convent in Ireland (founded in 1230). The Abbot of the convent was Father Robert. The first penal laws to renounce the Pope, the Catholic Church, and to accept the King as head of the Church under penalty or treason and death were passed not too long ago, including the law to suppress and confiscate certain monasteries and convents in Ireland. Officials were already being sent out to put these laws into execution.

Father Robert had read in them in detail, and after having done so to be able to understand them fully, he gathered together his community of Adare, 42 priests and brothers, and declared to them what the laws consisted of what new doctrines the King wanted them to accept. He said clearly that the King was a heretic and he sought to make them share in his crime. All the priests and brothers of the community were in complete agreement and declared that they were ready to lay down their lives in defense of the Catholic Faith and the supremacy of the Pope. They were ready to be martyrs. Knowing that the monastery would soon be plundered they distributed all the food and clothing they had amongst the poorest families and individuals. They also hid away all the sacred vessels, ornaments of the altar, religious objects, etc. so that when the officials came they would not even find a wooden crucifix to profane.

Father Robert was summoned three times before the magistrate, who offered him all types of promises of worldly honor and comforts if he left the Catholic Faith and adhered to the King's criteria. In spite of their offers, he was unmovable in declaring his fidelity to the Catholic Church and the criteria of Christ. He declared before all present in the court that none had ever sought to propagate their religious principles by the sword except the pagan emperors and Muhammad. As for himself and the community they were determined that no violence would move them from the principles of truth. They recognized no head of the Catholic Church save the Vicar of Christ; and as for the King of England, they regarded him not even as a member of the Holy Church, but as the head of the synagogue of Satan.

When Father Robert had finished these words, an officer drew his sword and with one blow, took off the holy man’s head. The entire court then let out their rage upon the remaining members of the community present there. Since the prison was full, members of the community were imprisoned in private houses where many of them died of the injuries and maltreatment they had received. Some also were murdered secretly, while others were publicly hanged in the market place. These martyrs received their glorious crown el 12th and 13th of February, 1539.

May nothing, no comfort, no worldly criteria, no attachment, no ideology, no lie, no seduction, keep us from defending and faithfully following the Truth.  And just like the apostle Thomas, the question might arise within us, “And how will we know the way?” (John 14:5)  We need only listen to the response of God himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”(John 14:6). “Let not your hearts be troubled, believe in God, believe also in me…”(John 14:1).

So be it.


hna kelai

My name is Sister Kelai Maria, I am a Servant Sister of the Home of the Mother since 2007. I was born in Arizona (USA) but have also lived in Oregon, Alaska, Florida, Spain, and I am currently in one of our communites here in Ireland, I am a convert to the Catholic faith and found my vocation shortly after my conversion. Every day I thank Jesus that I am His and that I am a Servant Sister. All of eternity will not be enough to thank Him for saving me and for how much He has loved and loves me!