The holiday that we don’t celebrate


“Remember, remember! The fifth of November…”

Oops! The date slipped by without my noticing, although I did post a video by Paul Flynn about the protest groups known as “Anonymous” and their use of the “V for Vendetta” Guy Fawkes mask. 

Here is the poem from which the line above was taken:

English Folk Verse (c.1870)

The Fifth of November

Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Guy Fawkes and his companions
Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament
All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below,
To prove old England’s overthrow.
But, by God’s providence, him they catch,
With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
A stick and a stake
For King James’s sake!
If you won’t give me one,
I’ll take two,
The better for me,
And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
A penn’orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,
And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

I found this posted in the article “Australia notes: Guy Fawkes Dayat Gene Veith’s blog, Cranach | The Blog of Veith | Christianity, Culture, Vocation

In the U.S. evangelicals mostly ignore this history, even though one of the persons involved is extremely well-known to us, King James I of England. And we try not to talk like this poem talks – praise God! – about burning and choking enemies, including the Pope – still a real enemy of the truth – and his Jesuits. God forbid us to! But still, we need to remember history, the real things, and not live isolated from the facts.

May we pray for peace in our nation – and other lands – and obediently preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, He who was made to appear like the criminal that Guy Fawkes truly was, in order to be executed in our place.

Isaiah 1:18


“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the Lord,
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool.

2 Corinthians 5:21

21 For He [the Father] made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.




19 thoughts on “The holiday that we don’t celebrate

  1. Thanks, Maria. I read that New Englanders celebrated the day as Pope’s Day. Things could get a little uncomfortable for any Catholic citizenry. Not nice. On the other hand, persecution of Protestants in Catholic-controlled countries was also a reality.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Did a little reading, Tom. Thank you again. The celebration became raucous and even deadly in a few instances.

        The NY Times answered an email query about Pope’s Day in this way:

        “Q. Didn’t there used to be a festival in November called Pope’s Day?

        “A. Pope’s Day was a common name in Colonial America for Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated on Nov. 5 in Britain. It commemorated the failed “gunpowder plot” in 1605 to blow up the Houses of Parliament, Guy Fawkes being the chief plotter. It was brought to the North American colonies by British settlers, and was widely observed, especially in New England and, to some degree, in New York. Bonfires were lit and children would go begging for pennies.

        “In the American colonies, it evolved into a largely anti-Catholic ritual, especially in Boston and New York, where public practice of the religion was banned during most of the Colonial period. (Guy Fawkes, a Catholic, had hoped to rid England of Protestant rule.) Men and boys would hang effigies of the pope, the devil or the political opponent of the moment. Rowdy mobs would occasionally get out of hand, and there was at least one death in Boston during Pope’s Day revelry.

        “The person probably most responsible for the decline of Pope’s Day was George Washington. On taking command of the Continental forces besieging Boston in 1775, he was appalled at the scurrilous anti-Catholic songs being sung by some of his troops (above, a 1768 document). The general was hoping to win the support of French Catholics in Quebec, which American rebels had invaded. Washington gave strict orders to end the celebrations.

        “In an interesting twist, one of the commanders of the Continental forces in the failed Canadian invasion was Benedict Arnold, whose bravery was highly praised by Washington. And after the Revolution, Fifth of November celebrations lived on, but in some communities the event was renamed Benedict Arnold Day. It died out as Halloween grew popular.”

        Truly amazing! I hope you feel that I dealt with this holiday in a way that honors Jesus.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks, Maria. Yes I had also read that Washington suppressed Pope’s Day but I hadn’t put 2 and 2 together – he didn’t want to offend the French allies during the Rev. War. Yes, some Protestants used violence against Catholics in the same way Catholics persecuted Protestants. I’m not a historian but from what I’ve read I believe Catholic monarchs and heads of state in collaboration with the church did much more persecuting of Protestants than vice versa. Some of the anti-Catholic intolerance in the US was certainly a reaction to Catholicism’s history of persecution (which continued right up into the 20th century in Europe and South America). We know better than to demand injury for injury. In some cases the Reformers and later Protestants copied the intolerances of their oppressor. Unfortunate. Back to Guy Fawkes, I recently said to someone that I would be interested in reading more about the English Reformation with all the skullduggery and political machinations that took place. It would be hard to find the Gospel amidst all of that. Were Jesuits involved in the Gunpowder Plot? The article below from a Catholic source admits Jesuits were at least connected to the plot.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Tom, I read the article you linked to – instructive but is it correct? It portrays a mostly innocent and fearful English Catholic population, some of whom, particularly Jesuits, literally saved the day. What is the view of a reputable Christian historian? As a lover of truth – I believe we both are – what do we do? The author says that England hated all things Catholic, even rosary beads. As lovers of truth, shouldn’t we? I’m not speaking about vitriol, but frankness.

            Liked by 1 person

              • Okay, Tom! My understanding was that the author stated that the Jesuits were directly involved in foiling the plot, that they were kind of harmless in England. I will read up on this further. Thanks again, brother!
                I was prevented from answering sooner by having company, a young friend of ours and her pet rabbit Nutmeg.

                Liked by 1 person

              • Thanks, Maria. I was focused on the fact that the author of the article admitted the Jesuits at least had some knowledge of the plot. I’m sure one of the main goals of the Jesuits was to cloak their involvement in any subversive activities. Hope you had a pleasant visit!

                Liked by 1 person

              • Tom, please forgive me for misunderstanding!! Yes, the “Society of Jesus” is adept at disguising things they want to hide. You are correct too in maintaining that Chick Publications injured the truth with their treatment of Jesuitism, something I didn’t know. So sad!
                We had fun last evening. Greta our dog met Nutmeg the rabbit . Our young friend wanted them to meet. :0)

                Liked by 1 person

              • Maria, My apologies to you for not making making my intention more clear! 🙂 It’s often difficult to communicate precisely what we mean via the keypad. Yes, most regrettable about Chick. He thought he was doing good, but he went too far and presented rumor as fact. The focus on conspiracy theories diverted energy away from presenting the Gospel and brought discredit by association to others who were trying to reach Catholics. That’s not to say Jesuits weren’t involved in plots and skullduggery – more of that went on than we’ll ever know – but Chick’s presentation of wild speculation as fact was very damaging in the long run. There are a few bloggers at WordPress who continue to shovel out Chick’s misinformation

                Glad you had a good visit! Our labradoodle, Gracie, is very shy around other dogs initially but I’m sure she’d enjoy some play time with a bunny.

                Liked by 1 person

Please share your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.