“This holy martyr, St. Robert Barnes”

[Today is the recommended day in Treasury of Daily Prayer to remember Robert Barnes, Confessor and Martyr]

Preserve, O Lord, Your honor,/the bold blasphemer smite;/ Convince, convert, enlighten/The souls in error’s night./Reveal Your will, dear Savior,/To all who dwell below,/Great light of all the living,/That all Your name may know. (“Preserve Your Word, O Savior” [LSB 658:2])

Robert Barnes–Englishman, erstwhile royal chaplain to Henry VIII–was one of the first martyrs for the Lutheran confession of the Faith.  Luther wrote,

This Dr. Robert Barnes we certainly knew, and it is a particular joy for me to hear that our good, pious dinner guest and houseguest has been so graciously called by God to pour out his blood and to become a holy martyr for the sake of His dear Son.  Thanks, praise, and glory be to the Father of our dear Lord Jesus Christ, who again, as in the beginning, has granted us to see the time in which His Christians, before our eyes and from our eyes and from beside us, are carried off to become martyrs (that is, carried off to heaven) and become saints. …

Let us praise and thank God!  This is a blessed time for the elect saints of Christ and an unfortunate, grievous time for the devil, for blasphemers, and enemies, and it is going to get even worse.  Amen. (Treasury of Daily Prayer, 574-575)



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