EL CAJON, Calif. (BP) — Visitors to London’s Westminster Abbey are transfixed by one tomb containing the remains of two women — sisters who were rivals in life but united in death.
Queen Mary is known to history as “Bloody Mary” because of the repressive persecution and martyrdom of Protestants in England during her reign. When she died, her half-sister Elizabeth I, a Protestant, became queen. Elizabeth was none too friendly with the Catholics during her long reign. Today, more than 400 years later, they are closer in death than they ever were in life, for they are buried together in one grave, which is marked by a Latin inscription reading (in English): “Partners in throne and grave, here we sleep. Elizabeth and Mary, in hope of the Resurrection.”
It was the see-sawing vacillations between religious factions during the 16th and 17th centuries that set the stage for the Pilgrim Fathers to seek out a new world for the exercise of their religious freedom. Those seeking to purify the church (the Puritans) were caught in the middle and opposed by both sides. Continue reading →