Priest and Martyr: 1637-1669
+ John was born in Dimples Hall, Lancashire, England, to a Catholic family that had suffered persecution for their loyalty to the Catholic Faith.
+ Educated by the Jesuits at the Royal College of St. Alban in Valladolid, Spain, he then studied at the English seminary in St. Omer, France. Following his ordination in 1662, he returned to England to serve the underground Catholic community.
+ Using the title “John Scarisbrick,” he worked as a tutor at Puddington Old Hall near Chester.
+ Father Plessington was arrested and imprisoned after the so-called “Popish Plot” was contrived by Titus Oates and he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered for the crime of being a Catholic priest.
+ Saint John Plessington was martyred on July 19, 1669, and was canonized with other martyrs of England and Wales in 1970.
A collection of human remains, long stored in a trunk, was discovered in Wales more than a century ago. Some historians believe that these could be the remains of Saint John Plessington. To learn more, visit: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11939535/The-priest-in-the-pub-could-mystery-bones-be-relics-of-saint.html
“May the blood of these Martyrs be able to heal the great wound inflicted upon God’s Church by reason of the separation of the Anglican Church from the Catholic Church. Is it not one-these Martyrs say to us-the Church founded by Christ?”—Blessed Pope Paul VI at the canonization of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed John to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.