Posted in IGNATIAN/JESUIT - Reflections, Jesuit Saints and more, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 1 December

Saint of the Day – 1 December – St Edmund Campion SJ – (1540-1581 aged 41) Religious, Priest, MARTYR

Edmund Campion was born in 1540, the son of a bookseller in Paternoster row, just behind St Paul’s Cathedral in London.   He grew up amid the religious upheavals of the sixteenth century following the break between Henry VIII and Rome.

Campion went to the local grammar school and then, age 12, to the new Christ’s Hospital school for orphans and the poor. in August 1553, he was chosen to make a ceremonial address to Queen Mary as she passed through London. Campion was able academically and went to St John’s College, Oxford, at the age of 15 (which was not unusual in those days). He was awarded his degree in 1564 and became a Fellow of the University. In 1566, he was again chosen to make a formal speech of welcome before the new Queen, Elizabeth I, when she visited Oxford. Much impressed with Campion, Elizabeth ensured he had friends and patrons at Court.

Campion was ordained a deacon in the Anglican Church.

Increasingly Campion came to believe that the Protestant church was not the true continuation of the Christian faith and that only in the Catholic church would he find a home. He resigned his position at Oxford..

Campion went to Dublin in 1570 and was involved in the establishment of a university there.

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With the excommunication of Elizabeth I by Pope Pius V in 1570, everything became much more difficult for Catholics and people like Campion who were unsure of their religious allegiance.

Campion became a Catholic and went to the new seinary for English Catholics founded at Douai in France. He was ordained subdeacon and then walked, barefoot, to Rome to become a Jesuit in April 1573. Campion pursued his studies as a Jesuit and taught in the Jesuit College in Prague. He was ordained priest in 1578.

Campion was pusuaded, against his better judgement, to join the new mission to England. On 16th June 1580, Fr Robert Persons SJ landed at Dover, the Superior of the new mission. On 24th June, Campion followed, disguised as a jewel merchant. Campion moved between the houses of Catholics (the Recusants) who practised their religion in secret. At one such house, Lyford Grange in Oxfordshire, he was betrayed and arrested on 17th July 1581, barely a year after he had set foot in England.

He was imprisoned and tortured in the Tower of London and tried at Westminster Hall in November 1581. Condemned for treason, he was dragged on a hurdle to Tyburn where he was martyred with Fr Alexander Briant SJ and Fr Ralph Sherwin. He was hanged and then, before he was dead, his genitals cut off, his entrails ripped out and burned before him, his head hacked off and his body quartered.

The Feast Day of St Edmund Campion is celebrated on 1st December. With him are celebrated his fellow martyr St Alexander Briant SJ, and St Robert Southwell SJ who was martyred on 21st February 1595. All were made saints by Pope Paul VI in 1970 along with 37 others (the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales).

Campion’s Bragge – FOLLOW LINK TO READ
The full text of the Bragge – the document prepared by Campion setting out his faith and the reasons for his presence and work in England. Campion wrote this document to be found in the event of his capture. In fact it was published (putting Campion’s and others’ lives in greater danger) by an overenthusiastic supporter.

Campion’s Bragge – Short Version – FOLLOW LINK TO READ
A shortened text of Campion’s Bragge for assembly or classroom use or for reading at Mass on Campion Day (reading time 2-minutes).

Br Thomas Pounde’s contemporary poem on the martyrdom of Edmund Campion – READ HERE

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Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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