- The Pope’s Champion
- 1 December
- 25 October as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales
- 29 October as one of the Martyrs of Douai
- 1 December as one of the Martyrs of Oxford University
Son of a Catholic bookseller named Edmund whose family converted to Anglicanism. The boy planned to enter his father‘s trade, but earned a scholarship to Saint John’s College, Oxford under the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I‘s court favorite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Sought after speaker. Queen Elizabeth offered him a deaconate in the Church of England. He declined the offer, fled to the continent, and joined the Jesuits. Ordained in 1578.
He spent some time working in Bohemia, then returned to London,England as part of a Jesuit mission, crossing the Channel disguised as a jewel merchant. Edmund worked with Jesuit brother Saint Nicholas Owen. In London he wrote a description of his new mission in which he explained his work was religious, not political; it became known as Campion’s Brag. Widely distributed, it encouraged many Catholics to remain loyal to their faith. It also led to Edmund’s arrest, imprisonment and torture in the Tower of London, and martyrdom.
- hanged, drawn, and quartered on 1 December 1581 at Tyburn, London, England
- parts of his body were displayed at each of the four city gates as a warning to other Catholics
- relics at Rome, Prague, London, Oxford, Stonyhurst, and Roehampton
And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league – all the Jesuits in the world – cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted; so it must be restored. – Saint Edmund Campion, from
As to the treasons which have been laid to my charge, and for which I come here to suffer, I desire you all to bear witness with me that I am thereto altogether innocent. I am a Catholic man and a priest; in that Faith I have lived, and in that Faith do I intend to die. If you esteem my Religion treason, then I am guilty; as for the other treason, I never committed any, God is my judge. – Saint Edmund Campion
- “Saint Edmund Campion“. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 December 2016. Web. 24 January 2017. <>