ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA’S DAY
Historic Christianity rose into a high and strange coup de théâtre of morality— things that are to virtue what the crimes of Nero are to vice. The spirits of indignation and of charity took terrible and attractive forms, ranging from that monkish fierceness that scourged like a dog the first and greatest of the Plantagenets, to the sublime pity of St. Catherine, who, in the official shambles, kissed the bloody head of the criminal. Our ethical teachers write reasonably for prison reform; but we are not likely to see Mr. Cadbury, or any eminent philanthropist, go into Reading Jail to embrace the strangled corpse before it is cast into the quicklime. Our ethical teachers write wildly against the power of millionaires, but we are not likely to see Mr. Rockefeller, or any modern tyrant, publicly whipped in Westminster Abbey.
Chesterton, G. K.. The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books] (Kindle Locations 44045-44052). Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.