Blessed John Bodey

Blessed John Bodey (1549-1583) was born in Wells, England, the son of a wealthy merchant and former mayor. He studied at Oxford and became an Oxford Fellow in 1568 at the age of 19. Later he, along with seven others, was deprived of his fellowship for being a Roman Catholic by the Anglican Bishop of Winchester. Bodey, a married layman and schoolmaster, was arrested in 1580 for continuing to practice the Catholic religion and rejecting England's newly-established heretical Church of England. He was kept in iron shackles for three years, which he called his "school of patience." In 1583 he was tried for treason, both for being a faithful Roman Catholic and for repudiating King Henry VIII's claim of supremacy of the Church in England over against the Holy Father. Bodey wrote that his iron chains were earning him glory in heaven, even kissing the chain halter around his neck. He was executed under Queen Elizabeth on November 2, 1583 by being hanged, drawn, and quartered at Andover. He died with the name of Jesus on his lips. His mother rejoiced that her son persevered to the end and won the crown of martyrdom; she gave a feast in honor of him being numbered among the saints in heaven. John Bodey was beatified in 1929 and is one of the 40 Martyrs of England and Wales. His feast day is November 2nd.

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