Monday, December 1, 2008

Feast of St. Edmund Campion

Today is the feast of one of my all time favorite saints, St. Edmund Campion. Oxford scholar, English Jesuit and recusant martyr, he captured my imagination when I read Evelyn Waugh's biography over twenty years ago.

The book was so riveting that when I finished it at some late hour of the night (or early morning depending on one's perspective), I looked up to find that my father had fallen asleep on the couch across the room and a section of the newspaper lay on the floor next to my footstool. I gathered that he had tried three times to get my attention and finally tossed the paper folded with an article he thought I would find interesting. His comment was, "That must be some book you were reading."

It was. I had not known that Campion had been in Ireland for a time and written a history--that I still would like to read. His story reads like a terrific adventure complete with disguises and chase scenes and a passionate commitment to his religion. I wanted, at one point to write a screenplay but that will have to be taken up by someone who is younger.

If you would like to read more, I commend Waugh's biography and this article on New Advent from the Catholic Encyclopedia, I am grateful for his life and for his feast.

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