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Feast of Saint John Ogilvie

(1579 – 1615)

John Ogilvie was born of noble Calvinist parents in 1579 at Drum-na-Keith in Banffshire, Scotland.  As a boy he was sent to the continent to further his education.  With the help of Father Cornelius van den Steen (‘Cornelius a Lapide’) he was received into the Catholic Church.  He entered the Society of Jesus on the 5th November 1599, and was ordained priest at Paris in 1610.

He returned to his native country, but his ministry was cut short by his betrayal and capture in Glasgow.  After extreme suffering he was hanged on the 10th of March 1615.  The principal cause of his martyrdom was his insistence on the primacy of the Pope in spiritual matters, a primacy he affirmed with great constancy to the very end.  His last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”  After he was pushed from the ladder, he threw his hidden Rosary beads out into the crowd.  One of his enemies caught them, and he became a devout Catholic for the rest of his life.

His feast day is March 10th.

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If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.”

Saint John Ogilvie

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude….

The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the acts of the Martyrs. They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood.”

Catechism of the Catholic Church (2473 – 2474)


Saint John Ogilvie, Scottish Martyr for Christ and His Church, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family, pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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