St. Edmund Campion

St. Edmund Campion

On January 25, 1540, Edmund Campion was born in London. He was raised as a Catholic and possessed such a powerful and bright intellect that, at the age of 17, he was appointed as a junior fellow at Oxford University's Saint John's College.

Queen Elizabeth I, along with a few of her nobles, were so impressed by Edmund's intelligence during their visit to the university that they encouraged him to request anything he wanted. Many people's praise and admiration of him fueled his conceit and ultimately drove him from the Catholic faith. Adopting the Oath of Supremacy, he recognized the Queen as the head of the church. In 1564, he was ordained as an Anglican deacon.

Nevertheless, he could not remain at peace with Anglicanism for very long because of his sharp mind and conscience. He returned to England and resumed his Catholic faith after a spell of time spent in Dublin. He was being accused of being overly Catholic at this point, and he was shaken to see a soon-to-be martyr go on trial. It led him to the conclusion that serving the persecuted Catholic faithful in England was his calling in life. He sensed a mission to convert Protestants as well.

Barefoot, he left for Rome and joined the Society of Jesus in 1573. Following his ordination in 1578, he experienced a vision in which the Virgin Mary predicted he would be a martyr. Upon his return to England, he left a lasting impression and gained a large following of converts.

He was put in prison on July 17, 1581, after being betrayed by a trustworthy person who knew his location. He turned down the queen's offers of wealth in exchange for abandoning his allegiance to the Pope.

He had been imprisoned in the Tower of London for a while before being given a death by hanging, drawing, and quartering sentence. A surge of Catholic conversions was initiated by his execution in Tyburn on December 1, 1581. In 1970, Pope Paul VI canonized him and declared him to be one of the forty Martyrs from England and Wales. His feast day is December 1.

Other Saints of the Day
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Saint Grwst
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Saint Agericus

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