Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Anthony the Great
- XX -
A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, "If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your naked body with it and come here like that." The brother did so, and the dogs and birds tore at his flesh. When he came back the old man asked him whether he had followed his advice. He showed him his wounded body, and Abba Anthony said, "Those who renounce the world but want to keep something for themselves are torn in this way by the demons who make war on them."
- From 'The Sayings of the Desert Fathers', Benedicta Ward, SLG (trans). Cistercian Publications, 1984.
Sunday, March 29, 2015
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Pope Francis: Japan's "hidden Christians" a model for Church
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
1579 - March 10, 1615
John Ogilvie was a Scottish Catholic martyr.
The son of a wealthy laird, he was born into a respected Calvinist family near Keith in Banffshire, Scotland and was educated in mainland Europe.
He attended a number of Catholic educational establishments, under the Benedictines at Regensburg in Germany and with the Jesuits at Olomouc and Brno in the present day Czech Republic. In the midst of the religious controversies and turmoil that engulfed the Europe of that era he decided to become a Catholic. In 1596, aged seventeen, he was received into the church at Leuven, Belgium. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1608 and was ordained a priest in Paris in 1610. After ordination he made repeated entreaties to be sent back to Scotland to minister to the few remaining Catholics in the Glasgow area (after the Scottish Reformation in 1560 it had become illegal to preach, proselytise for, or otherwise endorse Catholicism).
He returned to Scotland in November 1613 disguised as a soldier, and began to preach in secret, celebrating mass clandestinely in private homes. However, his ministry was to last less than a year. In 1614, he was betrayed and arrested in Glasgow and taken to jail in Paisley.
Martyrdom and Death
He suffered terrible tortures, including being kept awake for eight days and nine nights, in an attempt to make him divulge the identities of other Catholics. Nonetheless, Ogilvie did not relent; consequently, after a biased trial, he was convicted of high treason for refusing to accept the King's spiritual jurisdiction.
On 10th March 1615, aged 36 years, John Ogilvie was paraded through the streets of Glasgow and hanged at Glasgow Cross.
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 concealed rosary beads out into the crowd. The tale is told that one of his enemies caught them and subsequently became a lifelong devout Catholic. After his execution Ogilvie's followers were rounded up and put in jail. They suffered heavy fines, but none was to receive the death penalty.
As a martyr of the Counter-Reformation he was beatified in 1929 and canonised in 1976. He is the only post-Reformation saint from Scotland.
National Shrine to Saint John Ogilvie, S.JThe church also contains the National Shrine to Saint John Ogilvie, S.J., a Scottish Jesuit, who was canonised on 17th October, 1976 by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, having suffered martyrdom in Glasgow in 1615 during the Scottish Reformation.