Bodey, John, Bl.

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BODEY, JOHN, BL.

Layman, martyr, b. Somersetshire, England, 1550; d. Andover, Nov. 2, 1583. The son of a devout Catholic mother and a wealthy merchant and mayor of Wells, he attended Winchester College and New College, Oxford. He received an M.A. in February 1576; that year he was deprived of his Oxford fellowship by Bishop Horne of Winchester because of his Roman Catholicism. He left Oxford and began the study of civil law at Douai, returning to England in February 1578. He seems to have acted as a schoolmaster until 1580, when he was arrested with John Slade and imprisoned at Winchester. Two of the jailers were converted by them, and tradition says that their edifying behavior won many to Catholicism. For some reason not clear, John Slade and John Bodey were tried twice, once at Winchester and then again at Andover in August 1583. They were sentenced to death for denying that the queen had any supremacy over the Church in England; yet they publicly acknowledged the queen as their lawful sovereign. Bodey was declared venerable by Leo XIII in 1886, and beatified by Pius XI in 1929.

Bibliography: r. challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, ed. j. h. pollen (new ed. London 1924). j. h. pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London 1891).

[b. c. fisher]

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