Saint of the Day – 4 July – Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr,

Saint of the Day – 4 July – Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr, English Priest of the Society of Jesus, Missionary. Born in 1557 as John Conor O’Mahony at Bodmin, Lanherne, Cornwall, England on the estate of Sir John Arundell and died by hanging and being hacked to pieces on 4 July 1594 at Dorchester, Oxfordshire, England. Additional Memorials – 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai, 1 December as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University. Also known as – John Mohun and John O’Mahony.

John Corneliu, actually John Conor O’Mahony latinised his middle name. He was born of Irish parents in Bodmin, Cornwall. His father worked for Sir John Arundell who took great interest in young John and it was through him, that John was admitted to Exeter College, Oxford. After his expulsion from Oxford for “popery” i.e. for maintaining Catholic beliefs, John went to the English College in Rheims, France and, a year later, to the English College in Rome. His scholastic achievements were so outstanding, that he delivered the College’s Christmas address before Pope Gregory XIII on the Feast of St Stephen, 26 December 1581. He was Ordained in Rome in 1583 and returned to England the same year.

Fr Cornelius made the home of Sir Arundell in London as his operations centre and was responsible for getting the latter, back to his faith, as well as his own Mother back to the Church. His strong zeal to bring people back to Catholicism and for celebrating Mass, soon made him the prime target for government spies who were out to apprehend him.

All this while Fr Cornelius’ longstanding wish was to become a Jesuit as he came to know them during his student days in Rome and had resolved to enter the Society when time permitted. His years on the English mission only strengthened that desire and he wrote to the Jesuit General in Rome to seek admission. As the custom then was for all English candidates to go to Flanders for their Novitiate, Fr Cornelius’ admission had to be delayed as he couldn’t leave his flock without a Priest. He, nevertheless, kept in contact with Fr Henry Garnet, the Superior of the English Jesuits and placed himself under his direction.

Fr Cornelius was betrayed by William Holmes, a servant of the Arundell’s household whom he had previously reprimanded for annoying one of Lady Arundell’s maids.

When apprehended, the Sheriff said, “I’m glad that I finally have you in my hands.” to which Fr Cornelius replied, “And I, more so, for having been captured.”

Fr Cornelius and three laymen from the Arundell household, were arrested with him and pending trial, he discussed religion with the Trenchard’s household, the arresting Officer and it was reported that he converted Trenchard’s sister-in-law. At the Marshalsea Prison in London, Fr Cornelius was tortured on the rack to reveal the names of Catholic households that had given him hospitality and the names of those who had attended his services but he revealed nothing. Knowing that his time was fast approaching, Fr Cornelius pronounced the vows of the Society before two laymen and a Jesuit and instructed them to make this fact known to Fr Garnet, the Jesuit Superior in England.

Fr Cornelius was sentenced to die for high treason and to be hanged and quartered, because he was a Priest, had celebrated Ma, and had reconciled Protestants to the Catholic Church. His three lay companions were condemned to be hanged for having aided and assisted a Priest and were executed first. The first to ascend the scaffold was John Carey; he kissed the rope, exclaiming “O precious collar,” made a solemn profession of faith and died a valiant death . Before his execution, Patrick Salmon exhorted the spectators to embrace the Catholic faith, for which he and his companions were giving their lives. Then followed Thomas Bosgrave, who delivered a stirring address on the truth of his belief. When it was Fr Cornelius’ turn, he approached the gallows and knelt at the foot of the ladder, prayed, then kissed the ground and the feet of his three dead companions and turning towards the scaffold said, with the words of St Andrew,“O good cross, so long desired.” Once on the ladder, he prayed for his persecutors and the Queen and though forbidden to speak further, he revealed to the bystanders that he was a Jesuit, just before he was pushed from the ladder. His body was subsequently quartered.

All the bodies were retrieved and given proper burial by Lady Arundell. Fr Cornelius and his three companions, the Martyrs of England, were Beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.


Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul , Nuestra Señora del Refugio / Our Lady of Refuge, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico (1720) and Memorials of the Saints – 4 July

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) +2021

Nuestra Señora del Refugio / Our Lady of Refuge, Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico (1720) – 4 July:

Jesuit Missionary Father Juan José Güica brought a painting of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners from Italy to Mexico in 1720. In a dream, the Virgin told Padre Güica to ask the Franciscans of Zacatecas to use and promote the image; – they distributed over 150 copies, making this one of the most widespread Marian devotions in Mexico.

In 1793 Franciscan Friars came to the new settlement which would become Matamoros, renaming the area “Nuestra Señora del Refugio de los Esteros Hermosos” (Our Lady of the Refuge of the Lovely Marshes).

The Cathedral of Our Lady of Refuge, built in 1832, displays an 1886 painting of her. Her fiesta, celebrated in many Mexican Towns, commemorates the coronation of the original “Refugium Peccatori” in the Jesuit Church of Frascati, Italy, on 4 July 1717.

St Elizabeth of Portugal TOSF (1271-1336) (Optional Memorial) Queen Consort, Franciscan Tertiary, Apostle of Charity and Peace, political negotiator and mediator.

Bl Agatha Yun Jeom-Hye
St Albert Quadrelli
St Andrew of Crete
St Anthony Daniel
St Aurelian of Lyons
St Bertha of Blangy
St Carileffo of Anille
Bl Catherine Jarrige
St Cesidio Giacomantonio
Bl Damiano Grassi of Rivoli
St Donatus of Libya
St Edward Fulthrop
St Elias of Jerusalem
St Finbar of Wexford
St Fiorenzo of Cahors
St Flavian of Antioch
St Giocondiano
Bl Giovanni of Vespignano
St Haggai the Prophet
Bl Hatto of Ottobeuren
Bl Henry Abbot
St Henry of Albano
St Hosea the Prophet
St Innocent of Sirmium
Bl John Carey
Blessed John Cornelius SJ (1557– 1594) Martyr, English Priest of the Society of Jesus, Missionary.
Bl Jozef Kowalski
St Jucundian
St Laurian of Seville
St Lauriano of Vistin
Bl Maria Crocifissa Curcio
St Namphanion the Archmartyr
Bl Natalia of Toulouse
St Odo the Good
Bl Odolric of Lyon
Bl Patrick Salmon
Bl Pedro Romero Espejo

Blessed Petrus Kasui Kibe SJ (c 1587-1639) Priest of the Society of Jesus and Martyr
The first of the 188 Japanese Martyrs
His Life and Death:

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati TOSF (1901-1925) Aged 24 – Incorrupt – “The Man of the Eight Beatitudes.”, Franciscan Tertiary, Apostle of Charity and Love, layman, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist and Eucharist Adoration.
About dear Blessed Pier Giorgio:

St Sebastia of Sirmium
St Theodore of Cyrene
St Theodotus of Libya
Bl Thomas Bosgrave
Bl Thomas Warcop

St Ulric of Augsburg (c 890–973) Bishop of Augsburg, Germany, miracle-worker.
His Life:

St Ulric of Ratzeburg
St Valentine of Langres
St Valentine of Paris
Bl William Andleby
Bl William of Hirsau