Pilgrimage in honour of
ST JOHN PLESSINGTON
Saturday 15th July 2017
2pm: Low Mass
St Francis of Assisi Church,
Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2BN
Followed by Veneration of the relic.
Priest Celebrant: Canon Cyprian Parant ICKSP
Procession through the City of Chester to the place of St John's Martyrdom at Boughton.
Refreshments will be taken in the parish hall
following the veneration and preceding the procession.
John Plessington was born at Dimples Hall, near Garstang, Lancashire, the son of Robert Plessington and Alice Rawstone, into a family at odds with the authorities for both their religious and political beliefs. Educated by Jesuits at Scarisbrick Hall, at Saint Omer’s in France, and then at the College of Saint Alban at Valladolid, Spain, he was ordained in Segovia on 25 March 1662.
He returned to England in 1663 ministering to Catholics in the areas of Holywell and Cheshire, often hiding under the name William Scarisbrick. He was also tutor at Puddington Hall near Chester.
Upon arrest in Chester during the Popish Plot scare caused by Titus Oates, he was imprisoned for two months, and then hanged, drawn and quartered for the crime of being a Catholic priest. His speech from the scaffold at Gallow’s Hill in Boughton, Cheshire was printed and distributed: He said: “I know it will be said that a priest ordayned by authority derived from the See of Rome is, by the Law of the Nation, to die as a Traytor, but if that be so what must become of all the Clergymen of the Church of England, for the first Church of England Bishops had their Ordination from those of the Church of Rome, or not at all, as appears by their own writers so that Ordination comes derivatively from those now living.”
He was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI, and canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs on 25 October 1970 by Pope Paul VI.