St. John Ogilvie – March 11

St. John Ogilvie was born in Scotland to parents of nobility during the era of the Protestant Revolt.  John was converted from Calvinism to Catholicism at the age of seventeen.  He traveled throughout Europe to receive his education.  He later joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained a priest in 1610.  His great desire was to return to his homeland of Scotland to share the riches of the Catholic faith.  He was arrested and martyred for the faith at age 35, while living on this earth as a priest for only four years.

St. John Ogilvie was born into Calvinism, which has always been a subject of issue for those who study the Theology of the Body.  Calvinistic thought made its way into the Church by means of the heresy of Jansenism.  Both Calvinism and Jansenism take a very negative view of the human person.  Calvinism teaches the doctrine of “Utter Depravity,” which is to say because of the fall, humanity is utterly and totally depraved and thereby totally corrupt.  A vision of utter depravity does not leave room for the image and likeness of God, which is still born by humanity even after the fall.  Man and woman being the image and likeness of God is at the core of the Theology of the Body.  This does not mean that we don’t need God’s grace!  We still are called to live in the life of grace in Jesus Christ, and it is only through him that we find salvation.

St. John Ogilvie joined the Society of Jesus, otherwise known as the Jesuits.  This time in the society was especially sacred, because so many of the Society’s members became saints.  It was a religious institute oozing with holiness!  Jesuits follow closely to a maxim of St. Ignatius of Loyola, “Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God Our Lord, and by doing so, to save his soul.”  The whole of a Jesuit’s life was directed toward this goal.  As priest, we must take this statement as our own.  Our lives are not directed at ourselves.  We did not become priests for ourselves, but for the glory of God.  And everything we do as priests is meant to praise God, reverence God, and serve God.  We do this especially by serving God’s people, reverencing God in the Word and Sacraments, and praise God in our prayers.

St. John Ogilvie was ordained only four years before giving his life for Our Lord at the hands of political leaders in Scotland.  We should want to be priests for a long time to serve God, but knowing that we ultimately may have to lay down our lives literally.  We can only prepare for such a call by laying our spiritual lives down now.   We don’t know where or when we will be called to give a reason for our faith or when we will be called to the Heavenly Jerusalem, but we begin now.  This life is marriage preparation for the marriage feast of heaven, and while this is true for all the faithful we must show this by the way we live our lives now.

Finally, St. John Ogilvie was dedicated to the Blessed Mother, especially in the Rosary.  St. Padre Pio called the Rosary his “Weapon.”  Although praying the Holy Rosary can be difficult and fully of distractions, it is a good means for a priest to grow closer to his Mother in Heaven.  Mary loves her priests and we should love our Mother.

St. John Ogilvie, Pray for Us!
Blessed Mother Mary, Pray for Us!
St. John Paul II, Pray for Us!


 To Download a PDF Version of this Homily, Click Here: St. John Ogilvie

Father Daniel Good, JCL is parochial vicar at Christ the King in Daphne, AL. He is Defender of the Bond and Promoter of Justice in the Metropolitan Tribunal in Mobile.  He has attended TOB 1 in 2007, TOB 2 in 2011, Love and Responsibility in 2012, and participated in the clergy enrichment program in various ways.  Fr. Good has also been chaplain for TOB 1 and will be chaplain for the upcoming Way of Beauty Course.

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