March 11, 2020 — Today the Society of Jesus celebrates the feast of Saint John Ogilvie, a Jesuit martyred for his faith in Glasgow, Scotland, on March 10, 1615. He is the only canonized martyr of the Scottish Reformation.
Born in Scotland in 1579 and raised as a Protestant, Ogilvie was sent abroad for studies and converted to Catholicism. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in Vienna in 1599 and was ordained to the priesthood in Paris in 1610.
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.
The year after his death, Ogilvie’s “Relatio,” his own account of his arrest, imprisonment and torture that he wrote in prison, was printed in various cities in Europe and circulated secretly in England and Scotland.
He was beatified in 1929 and canonized in Rome in 1976.
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.