In 17th-century England, Catholics suffered many bloody persecutions. In a document from the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, we read how Father John Ogilvie was tried in Glasgow, Scotland, on October 15, 1614.
In the minutes of the trial where he was sentenced to death we read: “This Scottish priest was ordained in Paris. He lived for 32 years in Germany and Louvain. He returned to Scotland this last May. He says that in the spiritual realm the Pope is above the King and that he is ready to die to testify to it.”
This Jesuit loved to laugh. His jokes brightened the dark days of his captivity during which his captors tried to “brainwash” him. “For eight days and nine nights, they kept me awake by using pins, needles and whips.” Eventually he was executed on March 10, 1615.
On the scaffold, he declared that he was dying for his loyalty to the Pope. Then he threw his Rosary into the crowd. The Rosary struck the nobleman Johann von Echesdoff, a Hungarian Calvinist just passing through Glasgow, on the chest. He later converted to Catholicism. John Ogilvie was canonized by His Holiness Pope Paul VI in mid-October 1976.