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Saint Oliver Plunket

The last Catholic martyr to die at Tyburn, he was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1975

by Ann-Marie Imbornoni

St. Oliver Plunket

(1629–1681)

Born in County Meath, Oliver Plunket went to Rome to be educated by the Jesuits at the newly established Irish College. Ordained in 1654, he remained in Rome teaching theology until he was appointed archbishop of Armagh and primate of all Ireland in 1669. He established the Jesuits in Drogheda, where they conducted a school for boys and a theological college. He also sought to extend his ministry to the Gaelic-speaking Catholics of Scotland.

Then in 1678 an English conspirator, Titus Oates, implicated Plunket in what he claimed was a Jesuit plot to assassinate Charles II. As a result, Plunket was arrested and tried before a kangaroo court in London. Found guilty of treason, Oliver Plunket was hanged at Tyburn, mercifully dying before he could be drawn (disemboweled) and quartered. His remains are now enshrined in part at St. Peter's in Drogheda, Ireland, and in part at Downside Abbey in England.





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