On July 1st we celebrated the feast day of St Oliver Plunkett. This Saint has special significance for our parish and one of our four churches is named after him. Who was he and how significant is he in the modern church.

In 1669 Oliver was appointed by pope Clement IX to be Archbishop of Armagh and primate of all -Ireland. He held this appointment for almost 10 years before his martyrdom. Like Christ, he publicly forgave his false accusers and executioners before his gruesome death by hanging, drawing and quartering. As he was hung and his body mutilated and burnt, eyewitnesses described his demeanor as dignified, humble and heroic. He went to his death praying that Catholics in Ireland would persevere in their faith and good works.

In an article in the NCREGISTER entitled The Blood of St. Oliver Plunkett is the Seed of the Church in Ireland Irish Catholics will increasingly need the courage, wisdom and perseverance of martyrs like St. Oliver Plunkett to spread the faith in a society hostile to the Gospel.

The following video was shared for the Week of Witness in November 2019 to honour the witness he gave and the witness many persecuted Christians give today. Saint Oliver Plunkett, pray for us.

This short film records how the magnificent new statue of St Oliver Plunkett in Armagh Cathedral honours all those persecuted for their faith.