Ogilvie, John, St.
OGILVIE, JOHN, ST.
Jesuit martyr; b. Scotland, 1579–80; d. Glasgow Cross, March 10 (N.S.), 1615. In a deposition (Oct. 15, 1614) after his capture, Ogilvie gave his father's name as "Walter Ogilvie of Drum." As a Jesuit novice he described himself as "Strathilensis," "of Strathisla." His family may thus have been associated with Drum-na-Keith, in Strathisla, Banffshire. In the deposition he also noted his absence from Scotland for 22 years, i.e., from 1591–92. One of his name matriculated at Helmstedt on Aug. 19, 1592. Ogilvie was at the Scots College, Louvain (later established at Douai), in 1596; it was there that he, a Calvinist in his youth, became a Catholic. Because of the poverty of the college, he was sent (1598) to Regensburg; he moved to Olmutz while still a lay student. He finally became a Jesuit novice at Brno in 1599. He took his vows at the Jesuit College at Graz, Austria, Dec. 26, 1601. His five years there were later commemorated in a biography [in Undeni Graecenses Academici, by M. Bonbardi, SJ (Graz 1727)]. After an interval of teaching, he began theology at Olmutz. In 1610 he moved to Paris, where he was ordained.
Ogilvie was stationed at Rouen, but kept importuning the superior general to send him to Scotland. At last his request was granted, and in 1613 he began his short missionary career in Scotland, working mostly in Edinburgh, Renfrewshire, and Glasgow. He was betrayed in Glasgow, Oct. 14 (N. S.), 1614, and remained thereafter in captivity. His own account of his imprisonment was smuggled out of prison. He suffered extreme torture, but showed great courage and skill in defending the spiritual supremacy of the pope. He was ultimately sentenced to death, hanged at Glasgow Cross, and buried in the criminals' plot of an unidentified burial ground outside the city.
No relic of his body remains; however, centers of devotion exist at St. Thomas's, Keith, Banffshire; St. Aloysius's, Garnethill, Glasgow; Sacred Heart, Edinburgh; and Craighead House, Bothwell. His cause was introduced under the rules drawn up by urban viii in 1625. The first process opened at Würzburg in May of 1628; the following January a similar process began in Rome. Nearly three centuries later, the Apostolic Process opened in Glasgow, July 12, 1927. The beatification, by pius xi, took place on Dec. 22, 1929, and the canonization, by Paul VI, on Oct. 17, 1976. There are two main portraits: the "Douai" portrait, now at the church of S. Gilles, Pecquincourt, Nord, France; and the "Roman" portrait, now at the Gesù, Rome. An illustration (unrelated to either) is given in Bonbardi's Undeni Graecenses Academici.
Feast: March 10; Oct. 14 (Jesuits).
Bibliography: w. e. brown, John Ogilvie … (London 1925). t. collins, Martyr in Scotland … (London 1955). a. butler, The Lives of the Saints, rev. ed. h. thurston and d. attwater (New York 1956) 1:552–556. l. macfarlane, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiberg 1957–65) 7:1121. g. g. smith, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 1885–1900) 14:912–914. Acta Apostolicae Sedis 69  305–311; L'Osservatore Romano English edition 1976, n. 43, 1–3. m. k. richardson, Father John Ogilvie (London 1976). b. a. moore, John Ogilvie (Melbourne 1977). d. hickey and g. smith, Miracle (London 1978). c. carrell and g. boardman, eds., St. John Ogilvie; An Illustrated History of His Life, Martyrdom, and Canonisation (Glasgow 1979).