Friday, August 7, 2020

Saint Oliver Plunkett – Saint of the Day – July 1

Saint Oliver Plunkett Biography

Saint Oliver Plunkett Profile. Born: September 30 1629 in United Kingdom, Europe. Worked in Armagh, Ireland. Died: July 1 1681 in Tyburn, England. Feast Day is celebrated on July 1.

The Memorial of Saint Oliver Plunkett – Saint of the Day


Saint Oliver Plunkett Biography, Feast Day, Date of Birth, Country of Birth, Profession, Place of Work, Date of Death, Place of Death, Beatification Date, Canonization Date

Date of Birth September 30, 1629
Country of Birth United Kingdom of Europe
Matrimony/Holy Orders Saints who were Bishops
Profession Archbishop
Place of Work Armagh, Ireland.
Date of Death July 1, 1681
Place of Death Tyburn, England
Feast Day July 1
Beatification Beatified by Pope Benedict XV at Rome, Italy
Canonization Canonized by Pope Paul VI at Rome, Italy
Patron Saint of Peace and reconciliation Ireland

Saint Oliver Plunkett Biography

Saint Oliver Plunkett was born into an Irish noble family. Growing up he was greatly influenced by his Cistercian monk Uncle Patrick, who later became bishop of the Irish dioceses of Ardagh and Meath. Oliver studied at the newly established Irish college in Rome, Italy starting 1647. He was later ordained as a priest in Rome in 1654.

Saint Oliver Early Life

St. Oliver was, part of a family who supported King Charles I in the fight for Ireland’s freedom from England. As from 1647, St. Oliver joined the newly established Irish College in Rome, Italy. It was an institute run by the Jesuits.St. Oliver was ordained as a priest in Rome in 1654. Since he loved Rome he stayed there to serve as a professor in theology at the Propaganda Fide College. This was from 1654 to 1669. As a part-time job, he served as an agent in Rome for the bishops of Ireland. In 1669 Father Oliver was elected as the Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. This made him the primary Church official, of Ireland.


Bishop Oliver’s return to Ireland was tough. There was no discipline among the priests. Many of the clergy and laity were so territorial that they were against a man from the County Meath becoming a bishop in Armagh. St. Oliver strived to bring the faithful back to the faith and to gain his diocese support. He founded the Jesuits in Drogheda. There they ran a school for boys, also a college for theology students. He instituted clerical discipline and strived to send students to colleges in Rome. Also, he expanded his ministry to Gaelic speaking Catholics in the highlands, also in the isles off the coast of Ireland. However, due to an increase in the prosecution of Catholics, he had to conduct most of his ministry secretly.


In 1679, St. Oliver was arrested at Dundalk, Ireland.  He was charged with conspiracy against the state. This was part of  “Titus Oates” plan to overthrow King Charles II. He was first kept at Dublin Castle. There he delivered final absolution to Archbishop Peter Talbot of Dublin. St. Oliver allegedly of taxed the clergy to pay for 70,000 men, 20,000 of whom were French soldiers. They believed that he would bring them into the country in an effort to overthrow the government.


However, the English authorities knew that Saint Oliver would never get convicted in Ireland. They had him transferred to Newgate prison in London, England. St. Olivers first trial ended in an acquittal, although not released, a second trial got scheduled. But ended up being a complete kangaroo court. Lord Campbell, wrote of the judge, Sir Francis Pemberton, calling it a disgrace to himself and his country. St. Oliver was found guilty of high treason “for promoting the Catholic faith.” He was condemned to a painful death. St. Oliver was the last Catholic to die for his faith on the gallows at Tyburn in London. He was also the first of the Irish Martyr beatified.


Saint Oliver Plunkett
Saint Oliver Plunkett

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