Irish judges refused to hear the case against Oliver Plunkett, a priest who was ordained in Rome in 1654. Oliver had been a professor of theology and was archbishop of Armagh, Ireland. Opponents brought absurd charges against Plunkett during an Irish politico-religious upheaval. Authorities arrested him and took him to London for a more objective trial.
He summarized the accusations against him, in a letter from jail: My accusers swore I had 70,000 Irish men to promote the Catholic cause, that I had the harbor of Carlington ready to bring in the French, and that I levied monies upon Irish clergy for their maintenance – such romances as would not be believed by any jury in Ireland. Because there was no evidence against him, the London court dismissed his case. A hastily arranged second trial found him guilty of “propagating the Catholic religion.”
Oliver had no fear of death and wanted to be an encouraging example for others. Christ by his fears and passion merited for me to be without fear. I daily expect to be brought to the place of execution, where my bowels are to be cut out and burned before my face and then my head to be cut off, etc. Which death I embrace willingly. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered on July 1, 1681, at Tyburn, the principal location in London for public executions. (Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
O God, who in your holy Martyrs have wonderfully made known the mystery of the Cross, graciously grant, that drawing strength from this sacrifice, we may cling faithfully to Christ and labor in the Church for salvation for all. Amen.