Neither of the above videos is absolutely accurate; in the first video the presenter omits the saint’s words when he threw his rosary into the crowd just before he was hanged: “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.” Completely un-ecumenical…
And in the second video, the claim that St John Ogilvie died for religious freedom, for the right to practise whichever religion we choose, is totally false. It is an insult to God who has revealed that He wishes to save us through the Church which Christ founded on earth. Contrary to the statements in the second video, John Ogilvie SJ died for offering Mass when it was against the law of the land: “It was a capital crime to offer Mass in Scotland. So they kept interrogating him, “have you said Mass in the king’s domain?” ‘Of course I have, is that a crime?’ They said, “yes, it is.” ‘Prove it.” Click here to read more… It’s shameful that we have to search to find the true story of John Ogilvie from the pen of an American Jesuit, while the Scot in the above videos feels the need to water it down…
Future Archbishop of Glasgow…
Following the death of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, there has been quite a bit of speculation about who might succeed him in the archdiocese.
Reports reaching us from all over the place are a cause for concern. Apparently, the nuncio is asking for opinions about two current bishops, namely the Bishop of Galloway (William Nolan) and the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan); the nuncio is curious, it seems, to find out whether either of these two bishops would be considered worthy of this office.
Unfortunately, the nuncio did not ask Catholic Truth. We’d have replied: “No! Neither!”
Bishop John Keenan of Paisley, then? Absolutely not! Suffice to say that we’ve been approached – over a period of many months now – by a number of reliable sources seeking publicity for scandals involving Bishop Keenan. More than that I will not say at the present time – nor should anyone else, please and thank you.
St John Ogilvie SJ
The only name which springs to mind in the context of a possible new Archbishop of Glasgow is Bishop Stephen Robson of Dunkeld, but since he’s not in the best of health, that seems unlikely. Like the rest of us, he’s not perfect but he does seem to possess a level of doctrinal, liturgical and moral orthodoxy that is lacking just about everywhere else in Scotland.
If you can think of someone you’d like to see become Archbishop of Glasgow, feel free to share your thoughts, but remember, this is not a gossip shop – we are hoping to be given a sound archbishop, who will preach orthodoxy and take practical steps to restore the traditional faith and liturgy. A good sense of humour would be a bonus 😀 To answer the question in the headline – thatis what Glasgow needs after many years in the spiritual, religious, liturgical and moral wilderness. On this Feast of St John Ogilvie SJ, then, let us pray for this intention, and if you can think of anyone who fits the bill, tell us…
There are lots of stories of miracles associated with the Miraculous Medal (hence the adjective!) but the one which follows is of special interest to me because it involves the well-known American priest, Fr John Hardon SJ, whose account of our Scottish martyr, St John Ogilvie is linked on the homepage of our website
The Ice-Cream Miracle…
Despite the miracles associated with the medal, many people don’t believe it can make such a difference. Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J. was one of those people. Not long after he had been ordained, a Vincentian priest encouraged him and others to promote the Miraculous Medal, because Blessed Mother really does work miracles through it. Although Fr. Hardon ordered a free pamphlet on how to bless the medals and enroll people in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal, he didn’t get one for himself.
But later, in 1948, when the United States priest encountered a ten-year-old boy who was in a coma after a sledding accident, he decided to see if it would help. A sister who worked at the hospital found one and a ribbon the priest could use to hang it around the boy’s neck. Even though the boy had been diagnosed with inoperable permanent brain damage, the priest read the prayer that enrolled the boy in the Confraternity of the Miraculous Medal.
As soon as he finished the prayer, the boy opened his eyes and asked his mother for ice cream. It was the first time he had spoken in nearly two weeks. New x-rays showed the brain damage had disappeared, and the boy was released from the hospital after about three days. Like the boy and his family, the priest’s life and his belief in the medal were forever changed.Source
If you have any experiences of miracles yourself through wearing the medal, please share them with us here.Any related issues, favourite prayers, novenas, hymns etc. are also welcome, to help us mark this beautiful Feast day. And, please, let us all remember to pray especially seriously on this Feast, for great graces for all those involved in political life today; for those imposing totalitarian rule, whether knowingly or unknowingly, in the name of controlling the Coronavirus, and for a miraculous resolution to the election crisis in the USA.
The following article, written by Kevin Rowles, one of our English readers, is published here, with permission…
On May 26th 2020, Pope Francis authorized the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to promulgate the Decree concerning the miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God Pauline Maria Jaricot, Foundress of the Societies of the “Council of the Propagation of the Faith” and of the “Living Rosary”, opening the way to her beatification. As we approach the month of the Rosary, I thought readers might like to know a little bit more about the important work of this incredible organisation.
The Living Rosary Association was founded in 1826 by Venerable Pauline Jaricot, then aged 27, at Lyon, France. The Venerable Pauline had already founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith at the age of 20, and was a close friend of the Curé of Ars. The Living Rosary devotion spread like wildfire throughout the world and was formally approved and richly indulgenced by Pope Gregory XVI, and accorded official canonical status on January 27, 1832.
The Living Rosary is a perpetual devotion. That is, once joined, you agree to pray a daily decade of the Rosary faithfully for the remainder of your life. This obligation doesn’t bind under pain of sin, but your effort and desire to remain faithful are crucial. Your decade may be offered at any time of the day or night. ULRA builds a list of 15 names of those who contact them, wishing to join the Living Rosary. Each of the 15 people are then allotted their specific mystery to pray every day and are notified by post which mystery they are to be allotted and when to begin it. The intention of the decade is always the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and in honour of Saint Philomena.
Patti Melvin of Texas, U.S.A began the revival of The Living Rosary Association on December 8, 1986, with 30 members. The apostolate has been richly blessed by Our Lady and under the powerful patronage of St. Philomena, the membership now stands at 8,000,000 and has been planted in every continent of the world. Each member is asked to voluntarily give a monthly donation if possible, as the organisation has no other means of financial support. The donations received are then ploughed straight back into spreading the Living Rosary devotion, maintaining the ULRA centre, and mailing devotional literature and sacramentals such as the Rosary, the Brown Scapular, the Miraculous Medal, St Philomena’s Cord and St Philomena’s Oil to the missions and elsewhere throughout the world. If it isn’t possible to donate financially, ULRA asks that its members pray fervently that its material needs are met. The Living Rosary has ecclesiastical approval and is affiliated to the Shrine of St Philomena at Mugnano, Italy.
One ULRA article states: “In these days of evil, chaos, confusion, division and Modernism, the Living Rosary will be a mighty force in every family, parish, diocese and country. The Holy Rosary is a gift to us from the Queen of Heaven. If the Rosary is prayed faithfully and is strengthened by the unity of association, it will render the attacks of Satan impotent. The Living Rosary is endowed with great power before the throne of God through the union of charity that flows through its members. Immense are the graces and merits obtained daily, by every member, when united and animated by the fire of Divine Love in the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One who prays the Rosary alone receives the grace and merits of a single Rosary, but if he or she is united with EIGHT million members, then all of the graces and merits of the whole are gained.”
A regular newsletter called Dedicated Decades is posted to members. It is a beautiful magazine, full of traditional and inspiring Catholic devotional articles, pictures and prayers. It also contains reports of ULRA’s work and many testimonials from all over the world of spiritual and temporal graces received through the practice of the Living Rosary and the intercession of Our Blessed Lady and St Philomena. Dedicated Decades is a wonderful antidote to the spiritually poisonous literature so prevalent today. All ULRA literature and prayer cards show the Mass represented in the traditional form.
One letter published by ULRA, dated October 19th 2007, was heart-breaking to read:-
“Cher Madame Patti, Bonjour from Goma in D.R. Congo. We have not written to you for a long time because the situation here in Eastern Congo is the very worst in the world according to U.N. reports. We are so sorry we missed Emma’s visit to us (Emma – Emmanuel is the ULRA African Liaison). We hear now he is in Sudan. God bless him! Oh, the renegade rebel, General Nkunda of Rwandan descent is massacring our people in large numbers! Many teachers and pupils cried to me to give them the Miraculous Medal, so at least when they are shot, they will be dressed in Our Lady’s medal. I told them I had none as when Emma came, we told him not to come to us, as we feared for his life. I am so sorry to say that many of those who cried for medals have since been killed. We had over 320,000 refugees who lived here and now they have been scattered. We have no way to reach Emma. When will he be back in Rwanda so that he can send us the medals? When is he coming out of Sudan? We are in the middle of the biggest war. Rebels invade at night and kill, claiming to be protecting the Tutsi of Rwandan origin. Please save the situation. If only Emma could come, we might at least die wearing Our Lady’s Miraculous Medal. We beg you, let us at least die with Mother Mary. Hear our voice! We cannot pray now, because we are all running and hiding, but at least the precious Medal would be around our neck. Please reply. We have no other hope! Bonnie in Bukavu, Congo is also struck and cut off from us . . .”
A tragedy like this is certainly enough to put our own problems into perspective, and it should also act as a rebuke to those Catholics who display general indifference and sometimes even contempt towards the beautiful sacramentals that Our Lady has given to aid us in our journey towards eternal salvation. It should also act as a prompt to us, to help make such sacramentals available to as many others as possible.
I joined ULRA and was given my decade, the Nativity of Our Lord, to start on Christmas Day 2003. Through good times and bad, it is comforting to know that one is part of a great spiritual family, supporting each other and praying for the most important of intentions – the hastening of Our Blessed Lady’s promise given at Fatima: “In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph”. I urge you to join – you won’t regret it! To join ULRA, or for further details, please contact:- In England: Anne Curran, Universal Living Rosary Association, P.O. Box 9964, Colchester, CO1 9FN. firstname.lastname@example.org . In America: Patti Melvin, Universal Living Rosary Association, P.O. Box 1303, Dickinson, Texas 77539, U.S.A. email@example.com
The light that shone in the Church during eleven years of pontificate was extinguished on August 20, 1914. Pope Pius X fell sick on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady (Aug. 15) and received extreme unction and Holy Viaticum before dying. He was buried August 23, and his tomb immediately became the object of a popular devotion.
Pope Pius X’s reputation of sanctity was immediate. This was undoubtedly due to his qualities as a “miracle-saint” but also on account of the respect he inspired by his supernatural bearing. A number of cardinals, archbishops, bishops, vicars and prefects apostolic, pious societies, groups of Catholic Action, Catholic universities, and many of the faithful quickly wrote expressing their desire to see Pius X proclaimed a saint without delay. Thus in a letter dated September 24, 1916, Msgr. Leo, Bishop of Nicotera and Tropea, speaks of “a great saint and a great pope.”
The flood of pilgrims was such that the Vatican crypt could no longer contain them all. As a result, Cardinal Merry del Val, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, had a small metal cross set into the floor of the basilica so that the faithful might kneel down directly above the tomb. The cross bore the inscription Pius Papa X.
Cardinal Merry del Val, the former Secretary of State of Pope Pius X celebrated Holy Mass near the tomb on the 20th of every month, until February 20, 1930, when he did so for the last time–six days before his own death. Click here to read more…
Do you agree with the Pope’s claim about weak Catholics? Can there be any doubt? Is there anything, in particular, in the above article which provides insights into the greatness of Pius X? Share your thoughts…
I received an email today from a Glasgow reader, enthusing about the story of Ellen Organ, popularly known as “Little Nellie of Holy God”. I was intrigued, and decided to search for a video. The above is the best I could find, not least because others are either far too sentimentalized or a tad too lengthy. Here is a slightly edited version of the email from a reader, which arrived in my inbox this afternoon….
The background to [little Nellie’s] story is wonderful. Just after lockdown, a relative of mine was in Cork for a family wedding and decided to travel to the graveside of Little Nellie. She hadn’t heard about it until I told her about it a few years ago. She also bought the small book I recommended to her about Little Nellie. She loved it and said she wanted to buy it for her grand-daughter’s First Holy Communion. Anyway, while she was in Cork, she went to the grave (miracles have been known to have happened at her graveside). The caretaker said my relative couldn’t get in because there was a strong weed-killer over all the overgrown weeds, as it has not been looked after and it is as if it was abandoned.
My relative has read up on Little Nellie, and said that in the past, her body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt. The caretaker said that the adjacent convent has been sold to a business man and she wonders what will happen to the graveyard because although people do visit, it doesn’t look like it is well-known – not that many people visit. My relative thinks that’s a shame and it would be good for Cork to revive the story about Little Nellie. My relative said that maybe if they exhumed the body again it would be incorrupt and she could be made a saint in the future.
She and I said we could write to the Council and alert them to the grave being important and that it could attract visitors and somehow should be looked after. We also discussed that may be some attention should be brought to it somehow. e.g. local parish, Rome, Council. I suggested that I could contact Catholic Truth and see if you can put it on the blog or newsletter just to draw some attention to it. Ends.
I replied to say “happy to oblige” – it’s a beautiful story and it would be wonderful if we could spread the knowledge of this little girl, and, who knows, perhaps even play some small part in a future Cause for Canonization of a new, great – and very young – saint of the Catholic Church…
Panis angelicus Bread of Angels fit panis hominum; Is bread for all mankind; dat panis coelicus that bread of Heaven figuris terminum; ends symbols o res mirabilis! O wonder! Miracle! Manducat Dominum This Body of the Lord will nourish pauper, pauper even the poorest servus et humilis. and most lowly servants pauper, pauper even the poorest servus et humilis. and most lowly servants
Discuss relevant issues, such as the denial of Communion on the tongue to an elderly woman at the Fatima Shrine, reported on 9 June, at Lifesitenews. Then, as always on devotional threads, share your own favourite hymns, prayers, stories and experiences of associated miracles.
A very happy Feast of Corpus Christi to all our readers and bloggers.
Fatima Shrine Closed To Pilgrims – First Time in over a Century…
Denver Newsroom, May 7, 2020 / 03:48 pm (CNA).- For the first time in over a century, the annual May 13 celebrations at the Fatima shrine will take place without the physical presence of pilgrims, the bishop of Fatima confirmed this week.
Cardinal Antonio Marto said in a May 3 statement that the celebrations for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima “will take place as was announced April 6, without the physical presence of pilgrims, in the name of prudence to avoid the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.”
“As planned in conjunction with the civil authorities, the May 12 and 13 celebrations for this year cannot have the physical presence of the pilgrims and will be transmitted by broadcast and digital media,” he continued.
The cardinal explained that hosting “an unpredictable multitude of people” gathering at a time when the coronavirus pandemic is still a serious threat would go against the efforts of health authorities to gradually lift restrictions imposed to slow the spread of the virus.
“We therefore respect, in an attitude of collaboration with the competent civil authorities, the guidelines for these celebrations to be held with a symbolic presence of participants,” Marto said.
The clarification over the Fatima feast day came as the Portuguese government gradually begins to ease restrictions that had been put in place in response to the pandemic, prompting speculation over whether the May 13 celebrations would be able to take place as normal. The annual event typically draws hundreds of thousands from around the world to the shrine. Read more at Source – Catholic World Report
Judging from the above report, it seems that it might have been possible to allow the celebrations to take place as usual – and that would have been very fitting; a return to normality marked by the Fatima celebrations. Interesting that the Cardinal didn’t push for that. Interesting, but not too surprising these days when – in contrast to the Fatima Message – contemporary churchmen are more concerned with the health of the body than the health of the soul.
Still, we take a different view here, so share your knowledge about Fatima, your favourite parts of the Fatima events, hymns and prayers special to you, and your thoughts on the astounding miracle of the sun. Additionally, tell us if you think there is any relationship between the ongoing pandemic and Fatima, and if you have any ideas about when the Consecration of Russia will take place in the manner prescribed by God and revealed through Our Lady, be sure to let us know.
A Lent challenge: Do I really believe? (From March 2020 edition of Flourish)
I believe in miracles … do you? That’s the powerful question asked by Archbishop Tartaglia this month as Lent begins in earnest. In a powerful interview with Flourish, Glasgow’s Archbishop calls for a new effort at fostering devotion to the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist and a renewed sense of the sacred. Editor: Why’s that, then? Why the need for “a new effort… devotion… Real Presence… sense of the sacred…”? Whatever happened to the “old” devotion and sense of the sacred? Could it be that the “success” of the ecumenical and inter-faith focus of the Church has led to practical indifferentism among the faithful who now believe that one religion / denomination is as good as another, that we’re all going to Heaven, no need to be “dogmatic” about anything? Jesus loves us and we don’t need “organised religion” any more. Just a thought.
The Archbishop spoke after a recent survey in the US showed only 30 per cent of Catholics fully accepted the doctrine of transubstantiation, namely the bread and wine offered at Mass truly become the body and blood of Christ at the moment of consecration. Editor: Which means that 70% do NOT believe in transubstantiation… How did that happen, then?
Archbishop Tartaglia speaks frankly in the interview about the liturgical and catechetical mistakes which followed Vatican II and acknowledges that “the Church has gone through testing times in the post-conciliar period, much of it self-inflicted. There has been bad catechesis and bad theology around the Eucharist, with the result that many people cannot articulate the Church’s faith in the Eucharist even in simple terms.” Editor: well, Glory Hallelujah! That is some admission. Every word a jewel. At long last, Archbishop. Still, a wee apology after the spirit of the age would be good. It’s called “taking responsibility”. And then let’s see some action! Sacking the entire staff at the Scottish Catholic Education Service plus reinstating Thomism in seminaries would be a start: producing theologically literate priests and teachers can only help…
He adds starkly: “Many supportive elements of our practice, like fasting and genuflection and kneeling, and devotional prayers and practices, have been neglected. None of this has helped to nourish the faith of the People of God in the Most Holy Eucharist.” Editor: “genuflection and kneeling” don’t come naturally to those who think of Our Lord as merely their “brother” and who – as the Archbishop now acknowledges – lack belief in His Real Presence. Who, after all, ordered the tabernacles to be placed out of sight (and thus out of mind, as the saying goes), along with the removal of altar rails and kneelers, because it is that person who bears massive responsibility before God for causing and maintaining the apostasy which Pope John Paul II once described as “silent”, but which is now screaming from the rooftops.
But the Archbishop is clear that the answer is not a return to the past or a rejection of the liturgical changes of Vatican II. Editor: WRONG! How on earth does the Archbishop think we got to the stage where the vast majority of Catholics, by his own admission, do not believe in a central dogma of the Faith – the Real Presence – if not as a result of “the liturgical changes of Vatican II”? This has to be a rhetorical question because the answer is so painfully obvious.
He says: “The Novus Ordo, the ‘new’ Mass, is not a defective form of the Mass. Its structure is based soundly on the great liturgical tradition. Its theology is orthodox. Like any other form of the Mass, when celebrated well, it more fully achieves God’s purpose. When celebrated poorly, it obscures God’s purpose.” Editor: So the poor faithful are to be left at the mercy of the priest, hoping he does not “obscure God’s purpose”… What?! The new Mass is definitely defective. Its structure is totally contradictory to “the great liturgical tradition”: for example, never before in the entire history of the Church has the priest faced the congregation at Mass throughout. This is but one, highly distracting, innovation, one departure from Catholic Tradition which totally “obscures God’s purpose” in the Mass and turns it into an entertainment platform, and in some cases, a circus. So seriously did certain Cardinals regard this novel Mass, recognising that it was truly defective, that they wrote to Pope Paul VI, arguing that “…the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent. The “canons” of the rite definitively fixed at that time provided an insurmountable barrier to any heresy directed against the integrity of the Mystery.” To read the entire letter/critique, click here
And he reminds readers that the teaching of the Church has been clear and unchanging in recent decades: “There has been good and faithful catechesis and teaching on the Eucharist during the post-Vatican II era, starting from Pope St Paul VI. His successors Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI taught firmly and beautifully on the Mass and on the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist. Editor: So, how come the majority of Catholics have lost the Faith – a fact which the Archbishop acknowledges?
“Pope Francis summed up the Church’s teaching simply and powerfully last year on the feast of Corpus Christi: ‘Whenever we approach the altar to receive the Eucharist, we must truly renew our ‘amen’ to the Body of Christ… It is Jesus, it is Jesus who saved me, it is Jesus who comes to give me the strength to live. It is Jesus alive.’” Editor: is that it? Hardly an explanation, let alone a ringing endorsement, of transubstantiation – but merely a vague pious statement to which any Protestant could subscribe. Protestants who believe that they receive Christ “spiritually” in their bread and wine, could pray those words.
And he ended his interview with a cry of hope … “There is no pastoral plan that can fix this situation without insisting upon a renewed and profound faithfulness to Christ and to his Gospel. The answer will depend on much more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels which will lay out for the faithful the truth, beauty and wonder of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist so that they may receive him in Holy Communion with faith and devotion for the salvation of their souls. Editor: can’t argue with that – but how is this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels…” to be achieved? There’s plenty of piously “hopeful” rhetoric coming from the Archbishop in this interview, but precious little in the way of concrete planning to put right the indiscipline, errors, liturgical and catechetical abuses of the past 50 plus years. And the check list below, really doesn’t offer any of that pious “hope”. Apparently this “more faithful preaching and teaching at all levels” will be achieved as follows:
• It will be expressed in more obedient and authentic liturgy. Editor: that can only mean the traditional Latin Mass, offered in every parish in the archdiocese – a solution rejected by the Archbishop.
• It will be accompanied by a much greater response to Vatican II’s universal call to holiness from all sectors of the Church. Editor: if “Vatican II’s universal call to holiness” is different from the perennial call to holiness of the Church since apostolic times, let’s hear it. It is, in fact, this heresy – that the Church only really began at Vatican II, with the arrival of the Holy Ghost at the Council – that has led to the current decline.
• It will demand a true conversion to the moral and social teaching of the Church. Editor: true. Which will require priests and bishops to openly preach true morals, deny pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion and refuse to permit scandalous funerals, such as the very public funerals of partnered homosexuals which have taken place in Glasgow in recent years. And in terms of the social teaching of the Church – that means priests and bishops preaching that, at the heart of Catholic Social Teaching is the belief that Christ must be at the head of every nation under Heaven. The Church is not an arm of the Social Work Department. She cannot support immoral national laws, in the name of Catholic Social Teaching.
• It will be based on a much more frequent and respectful practice around Mass, the Sacraments and an increased sensitivity to the sphere of the sacred. Editor: that brings us full circle back to the need to restore that which has been lost – the traditional Latin Mass, and, in the meantime, an end to the various liturgical abuses now normalised – such as Communion in the hand, drinking from the Chalice and lay people playing at being priests. We want rid of Extraordinay Ministers of Holy Communion: when do we want it? NOW!
• It will be supported by much more prayer, devotion and penance.
Editor: once the traditional liturgy has been restored, “all these other things will be given to you”, to (kinda) quote the Gospel.
Its source and outcome will be a greater faith, hope and charity. It may well take a miracle of grace and conversion to restore our Eucharistic faith … but thankfully, I believe in miracles.” Editor: yes, it will take a miracle, which is why we, at Catholic Truth, never lose sight of the need for the Pope and all the Bishops of the world to unite in consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as Our Lady requested. Until then, as we can see from the above interview (notwithstanding his honest admission of the dire state of the Church on his watch) Archbishop Tartaglia is still in denial as to the only way to put matters right, which is the restoration of all things in Christ; in other words, he must give us back what modernist churchmen have taken from us in the past half-century – our Catholic heritage. The spiritual blindness which we are witnessing in the post-Vatican II churchmen from the top down, continues to display itself in interviews such as this, where the Archbishop just cannot see that it is only when the Traditional Faith in its theological and liturgical purity is restored, that his “miracle” will be achieved. Source – March 2020 edition of Flourish – official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
John Ogilvie was the eldest son of Walter Ogilvie, a respected Calvinist who owned the estate of Drumnakeith in Banffshire. At the age of twelve he was sent to Europe to be educated. He attended a number of Benedictine establishments and eventually, he decided to become a Catholic.
The first part of the 17th century was a turbulent and dangerous time to be a Catholic priest in Scotland because after 1560 (Scottish Reformation), Catholicism was outlawed. Ogilvie returned to Scotland, arriving in Glasgow disguised as a horse trader. He celebrated Masses in secret, and was eventually betrayed to the authorities only a year later.
He was tortured, and paraded through the streets of Glasgow before being hanged for treason at Glasgow Cross. As he mounted the scaffold, an old woman spat on him and shouted, “A curse be on your popish face, Ogilvie!” to which he responded, “And a blessing be upon your bonny face, Madam!”
St John’s place of burial is unknown, but his remains are thought to lie in a pauper’s grave somewhere near the place of execution.
Ogilvie’s last words were “If there be here any hidden Catholics, let them pray for me but the prayers of heretics I will not have.” He then threw his rosary into the crowd.
John Fagan’s Miracle Cure…
The parish of Blessed John Ogilvie in Easterhouse, Glasgow, was home to John Fagan, a worker at the Glasgow docks. In 1967, Fagan developed a large tumour in his stomach and the entire parish prayed to Blessed John for a miracle. The parish priest, Father Thomas Reilly, pinned a medal of Blessed John to Fagan’s pyjamas. Their prayers were indeed answered.
His wife kept vigil at his bedside and he had slipped into a coma. The family doctor visited late at night and told Mary she had to prepare herself, as he expected her husband to die during the night and that he would return in the morning to sign the death certificate. In the early hours of the morning John spoke to Mary, who was shocked when he told her he was hungry and asked for something to eat. He had not eaten for months. She made him an egg and toast which he ate. In the morning, the doctor returned and was so amazed to see John sitting up in bed talking that he collapsed into a chair. The news of these strange events spread all over Glasgow and beyond. Medical examinations did indeed prove that there was no longer any sign of the tumour. The Vatican was informed and the process of investigation began. Father Reilly was named as the Vice Postulator of the cause and all necessary papers were sent to Rome.
Eventually, the miracle was declared and nine years later, on 17 October 1976 Pope Paul VI canonised John Ogilvie. John Fagan had been in the army in Rome in 1944 when the city was liberated from the Nazis. He found himself on the steps of St Peter’s Basilica, looking at the magnificence of the Vatican. Little did he realise that three decades later he would return there to play a major role in the making of a saint. John Fagan and his wife photographed (right) at the canonisation of Saint John Ogilvie SJ.
So, why did John Ogilvie sacrifice his life?
John Ogilvie died for witnessing to his beliefs in a world hostile to the values of Christ, i.e. a Scotland which had rejected the Catholic Faith. Yet, his martyrdom made a deep impression on many who witnessed his execution. The blood of the martyrs is so often the seed of the blossoming Church. Sadly, however, this has not been the case in Scotland, where the martyr’s death is repeatedly downplayed by the Scottish hierarchy in the cause of what is manifestly false ecumenical progress. The last time we checked, for example, the tourist bus informed visitors to the city that Glasgow Cross is famed for the way gossipy women used to be placed in the stocks and pelted with rotten tomatoes. There is no mention of Scotland’s only post-Reformation martyr, canonised as recently as 1976, who was executed on that very spot. The application of so-called “Tolerance and Diversity” has a way to go yet in Scotland, where religious indifferentism is writ large. Priests like John Ogilvie, who sacrificed their lives in defence of the ancient Mass, have been replaced by priests who won’t even offer the new Mass on their day off. So, what went wrong? Ecumenism? Inter-religious dialogue? Vatican II? Paul VI’s new Mass? Lowering of seminary standards for entrance? Ignoring the Church’s criteria for entry into seminary? What then?