Blessed Are The Merciful

By Rosie Cantrell

Blessed are those who come in small boats seeking shelter
Blessed are those who seek solace and safety abroad
Eternal Father, strong to save,
hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea.

In 1938, a Quaker, Mary Hughes heard a cry
From those in peril from Nazi occupation
Who sought safety abroad.
They were different from the dominant race
And were to blame for all ills.
She set up a Refugee committee in York
As waves of hostility hit Austria, Poland and Czechoslovakia,
they fell,
and the cries became louder.

She persuaded people to take in refugees
Give shelter from the storm.
The work was hard and took long hours
‘It is too much for me I know’ she said
‘– but I’d rather die doing too much than too little’
She secured financial guarantees
by contacting Jews in New York and Leeds.
In Leeds her contact was able to assist.
He expressed his sense of wonder
that Christians should be doing so much.
But she said she felt that there was neither Jew nor Christian in all this
but something above and beyond to which we all belong.
Blessed are the merciful, who give solace and safety.

Rosie Cantrell 2023

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