Saturday, 1 December 2018

# Saints

Saint Edmund Campion


The 1st of December is the feast day of Saint Edmund Campion S.J., (24 January 1540 – 1 December 1581).

Saint Edmund Campion lived between 1540 and 1581 and was born in London. He was the son of a bookseller in Paternoster Row. A good student, he became an Oxford Scholar and won the admiration of Queen Elizabeth for his wit and pleasant disposition. Though raised a Catholic he was ordained as an Anglican deacon. Saint Edmund became remorseful for his decision to move away from the Church and returned to the Catholic faith. While disguising himself for protection, he witnessed the martyrdom of a fellow scholar. Saint Edmund then decided his vocation was in the priesthood. Pretending to be a pilgrim, he traveled to Rome on foot in order to become a Jesuit priest. After being ordained St Edmund was assigned to minister in Moravia where he received a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary that predicted his martyrdom. Saint Edmund returned to England, though the Catholics were heavily persecuted after the Pope excommunicated Queen Elizabeth. He came under the guise of a jewel merchant, hoping to win Protestant converts and to strengthen the Catholics. However, St Edmund was caught, and sent to the Tower of London and tortured. There he was found guilty of treason. He said, “In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops, and kings, all that was once the glory of England – the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter.” With two other priests, he was dragged, hanged, drawn and quartered on the 1st of December. He was 41 years old.





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