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Saint John Southworth

Saint John Southworth:

John Southworth came from a Lancashire family and he is thought to have been born in 1592. They say he was martyred at Tyburn on the 28th June 1654.  On the 19th June 1654, he was tried at the Old Bailey, where he insisted on pleading guilty to being a member of the priesthood. He was reluctantly condemned to be hanged.

When England and France went to war in 1793 St John Southworth's body was buried in an unmarked grave below the English College in Douai, where it remained hidden until 1927 when the college was demolished to make way for housing.

He was beatified in 1929. In 1930, his major relics - the only complete body of a Reformation martyr - were brought to Westminster Cathedral, where a shrine was prepared for them.

St John Southworth was canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.  St John Southworth's feast day is 27th June.