March 10, 2015 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of Saint John Ogilvie, a Jesuit martyr, and commemorates the 400th anniversary of his death.
Born in Scotland in 1579 and raised as a Protestant, St. Ogilvie was sent abroad for studies and converted to Catholicism. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Vienna in 1599 and was ordained in Paris in 1610.
St. Ogilvie returned to his native Scotland in 1613 and within a year was arrested in Glasgow. He spent many months in prison and was tortured, but he refused to denounce the pope’s supremacy. On March 10, 1615, he was tried for high treason, found guilty and executed. He was beatified in 1929 and canonized in Rome in 1976.
To mark the 400th anniversary of his martyrdom, Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster, as his special envoy to attend two services to commemorate the anniversary. Along with Jesuit Father Dermot Preston, provincial of the Jesuits’ British Province, and Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor celebrated vespers at the Jesuits’ St. Aloysius Church in Glasgow on March 9 and will attend a special Mass at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow this evening.
Archbishop Tartaglia, who is presiding at the anniversary events, said, “The Bishops of Scotland intend to celebrate this anniversary both as an event of great joy for the Catholic community in Scotland and as a moment of new hope for all Christians, for all believers and for all people of good will.”
Prayer to St. John Ogilvie, SJ (from the Jesuits in Britain)
St. John Ogilvie, by your devotion to Christ you held fast to the faith, even unto martyrdom.
With the grace of God, may I have a loving heart in the midst of trials. May I, like you, “be of good cheer” and trust in the love of God. Amen.