Blessed John Fenwick and John Gavan

Bl. John Fenwick and Bl. John Gavan (d. 1679) were Englishmen and Jesuit priests who were martyred for their faith in England during the monarchy's persecution of the Catholic Church. John Fenwick's Protestant parents disowned him when he became a Catholic. The two priests, along with three other Jesuits, were falsely accused of involvement in the "Popish Plot," a fabricated conspiracy that mounted to anti-Catholic hysteria in England over the course of three years. The men were charged with complicity to assassinate King Charles II and condemned on the charges of High Treason and subversion of the nation's Protestant religion. During their trial, John Gavan acted as the principal spokesman for the group; one historian called him one of the ablest priests of his generation. Both priests were condemned to be hung, drawn, and quartered. It is said that the King, knowing they were innocent yet unwilling to grant them pardon, permitted them to be hanged only. After giving a rousing speech declaring their innocence, Bl. John Fenwick and Bl. John Gavan were martyred together on June 20th, 1679. They share a feast day on June 20th.
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