Has James II ever been considered for beatification?


#1

James II of England, a monarch who was deposed during the “Glorious Revolution” of William III in the 17th century because he was Catholic and tried to end the British persecution of the Church. When he was betrayed by his closest generals (notably John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough) in favor of the Protestant monarch, he remarked to himself, “I have given up three kingdoms for a Mass.”

Such a tragic figure. Has he ever been considered for beatification?


#2

While his life was indeed a tragic one, James had some serious character flaws, being almost as notorious a womaniser as his brother Charles II for starters. In fact he got his first wife pregnant before marrying her - and her father was so horrified at the idea if his daughter marrying James (even though he was heir to the throne) that he said he would’ve far preferred her to just remain his mistress!

Not exactly a fantastic rolemodel for Catholics, so I wouldn’t expect to see him beatified any time in the foreseeable future.


#3

Oh, excuse me; I didn’t know. Still, much of what I’ve read says that he was in fact a devout Catholic, even if he struggled with this flaw.


#4

Nothing to excuse. :slight_smile:

From what I’ve read of his life he doesn’t seem to have exactly been struggling with it though, more enthusiastically giving in, as many sadly did in Charles II’s court.

It would be a matter of seeing if there’s definite evidence to the contrary before considering him as a candidate.


#5

A better candidate for beatification would be James II’s second wife, Mary of Modena, an Italian princess of the House of Este. A chaste and virtuous young girl of 15 (who had planned on becoming a Visitandine nun) when she married the 40-year-old James, she maintained her (married) chastity and virtue in a court not known for either of those characteristics. Her spiritual director was St. Claude de la Columbière. She was a good stepmother to the two princesses who were not much younger than her (although Mary and Anne were not exactly ideal stepdaughter material) and was a kind and forgiving wife to her womanizing husband. She sorrowed over the deaths of her children in infancy before the birth of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, who would become known either as James III or the Old Pretender (depending on one’s politics). She bore exile bravely and helped with the living expenses of some of the poorer Jacobite emigrés in France, even though it drained her own fortune. Finally, her slow and painful death of breast cancer gave her an opportunity to definitively unite her own sufferings to the Cross, as she had tried to do all her life.

The historical novelist Norah Lofts once wrote that Mary of Modena was one of the least-known queens of England, but in character one of the best.


#6

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