Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Saint John Ogilvie, S.J.

Today the Church commemorates the only officially recognized Scottish martyr, although the reformation period made many others whose names are known only to God. St. John Ogilvie was the son of the Baron of Drum na Keith and raised a Calvinist. After his conversion he became a Jesuit and a priest.

The most extensive recounting of his life that I've seen online is found here . From that site:

Heir of Drum-na-Keith, who had forsaken his family, his home, and his estate to become a Jesuit and a priest, says to [Archbishop] Spottiswoode and the other reformed clergymen who owed their position and all they possessed to the favor of King James:

"The King cannot forbid me my own country, since I am just as much a natural subject as the King himself. . . . What more do we owe him than our ancestors to his ancestors? If he has all his right to reign from his ancestors, why does he ask for more than they have left him by right of inheritance? They have never had any spiritual jurisdiction, nor have they ever exercised any; nor held any other faith than the Roman Catholic."

The picture at the top of this posting is of Glasgow Cathedral. St. John was buried on the north side in a felon's grave. The exact location of his relics is unknown.

An old collect of St. John Ogilvie:

Almighty everlasting God, who didst make blessed John thy Martyr an invincible defender of the Catholic faith, grant unto us by his intercession : that we may daily increase in faith, hope and charity more and more. Through Christ our Lord.

The Catholic parish church at Keith has a small website here. If you scroll down you'll find pictures of a statue and shrine to St. John. Not Michaelangelo, but good to see nonetheless in a day when so many parish churches have their little shrines smashed beyond recognition by those who should be protecting them.