Saint John Ogilvie

It is good to have the Bishops and the people come together to pray and to celebrate the Sacraments of the Church, and this is what happened this afternoon at Carfin Grotto, the Scottish National Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Thérèse of the Infant Jesus. The day was the Scottish National Pilgrimage in honour of our local Saint, John Ogilvie.

The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Tartaglia, together with Archbishops Conti and Cushley, and Bishops Toal, Keenan, Nolan, Robson and McGee. Many Priests from across Scotland concelebrated with them. The homily was given by Bishop Stephen Robson. He spoke about the speed at which events are reported in the digital age, noting that what is presented as fact needs to be checked and placed in it’s proper context.

He went on to speak about the tribulations affecting the Church at the time of Saint John Ogilvie, and how the saint gave his life for the Faith. John Ogilvie was born in Banffshire, before studying in Europe and then being ordained a Priest of the Jesuit Order in 1610. He returned to Scotland and preached and celebrated Mass in secret – it was the time of the Reformation. Betrayed within a year of returning to Scotland, Ogilvie was hanged and drawn at Glasgow Cross on 10th March 1615. He is presently the only Scottish post-Reformation Saint.

Bishop Nolan said that in the same way the Church was buffeted by the Reformation but survived, so it will be now – the Church may undergo change and transformation, but she will remain active in the world.

A huge crowd of several thousand were present for the Pilgrimage Mass, with many staying later in the day for the Rosary procession around the Grotto, before the day concluded with Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at the Glass Chapel.

In his closing remarks at the end of Mass, Archbishop Tartaglia asked for prayers for the Holy Father, for the Bishops and for the Priests; hopefully, a great many of the faithful will respond to his call to prayer.