Inside and outside of the church

St. John Ogilvie

St. John Ogilvie (1579-1615)

Holy spirit, You gave St. John Ogilvie light to sow Your truth, wisdom to defend it, and cour-age to die for it. Through his light and example bring our country into the unity and peace of Christ’s kingdom.

St. John Ogilvie was born in 1579 to a noble family on the North-East coast of Scotland. While his mother was Catholic, his father was Presbyterian and he was thus brought up as a Calvinist. While studying at the Scots College he became interested in the theological debates between the Presbyterians and Catholics. John was inspired by the martyrs in the Catholic Church and its openness to all people, which led him to convert to Catholicism. He then attended many Catholic education institutions until he eventually decided on a Jesuit College in Paris, where he was ordained a priest in 1610. At his ordination John met two priests who had just returned from Scotland after being imprisoned for trying to share the faith. As it was his homeland, John felt passionately about becoming a missionary to Scotland in order to share Catholicism with his people. He secretly entered Scotland but was quickly disheartened by the difficulty of the work. He made his way back to Paris but was ordered to return, for he hadn’t completed his task. With dedication and perseverance, John was able to secretly convert many Scottish to Ca-tholicism, but unfortunately he was soon betrayed and arrested. He under-went three different trials but refused to reveal the names of Catholics he knew. He was sentenced to death but news of his courage and martyrdom spread throughout Scotland. His feast day is March 10th.

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