Friday, 9 November 2007

One bride for seven brothers

This Sunday's Gospel will tell of the conundrum of the woman who, on the death of her husband, married all his brothers, one after another, for such was the command of Moses. (Luke 20:27-38). I wonder if this text ever occurred to the various parties in the sixteenth century debating the validity or nullity of Henry VIIIs marriage to Catherine of Aragon, who had been formerly married to his older brother, Prince Arthur. He cast off Catherine on the pretext that God had forbidden such a marriage. In today's Gospel, we read that, on the contrary, God had commanded it.
Good Queen Catherine is one of my heroines, and I am certain as I can be in my own heart that she is a saint and, God willing, one day will be raised to the altars. Perhaps I'll blog about her soon.

3 comments:

Mac McLernon said...

Yes please!

gemoftheocean said...

IIRC the pope basically told him he wasn't going to dispense with a dispensation. How very different the history of western civilization would be were it not for Henry's ego in the need to produce a male heir. As it was Catherine of Aragon did have two boys. Both died in infancy. Well, certainly Jewish law wanted the widow married to the younger brother - but one had to wonder what the woman felt about it. Maybe the brother was alright - but what if not? How can you be commanded to love someone you don't love? Even more recently in England Queen Mary was originally intended to marry George V's older brother, Prince Eddie. I guess historically it's fortunate this eldest son of Edward VII died - not much good was ever said of him. Died of syphilis I think.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

One of my favourite films 'seven brides for seven brothers' but make that 8 husbands & 2 brides in my family!' lol

Henry Viii...oh i think i'll just go & watch 'A man for all Seasons'...