Blessed John Forest

stained glass window of Blessed John Forest; swiped with permission from the flickr account of Father Lawrence Lew, OPAlso known as

  • John Forrest



Joined the Friars Minor of the Regular Observance at Greenwich, England while in his late teens. Studied theology at the Franciscan College at Oxford, England; he was known thereafter as “Doctor”, though records of his degree have not survived. Priest and royal chaplain. Provincial of the Franciscans by 1525 when he threatened excommunication to those brothers who opposed Cardinal Thomas Wosley’s legatine powers. Confessor to Queen Catherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII.

Father John thought he had convinced King Henry in 1529 not to suppress his Order in response to their opposition to his divorce, but when Henry did not get his way, he suppressed the Order and arrested John. Records show him preaching in November 1532 against the state pulling down churches, and of the authorities keeping a close watch on him. Arrested in 1534, he established a correspondence from Newgate prison to Queen Catherine and Blessed Thomas Abel. Wrote a treatise against King Henry‘s usurpation of power over things spiritual.

Sentenced to death on 8 April 1538 for refusing the oath acknowledging Henry‘s primacy in spiritual matters. Martyr.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed John Forest“. CatholicSaints.Info. 14 June 2020. Web. 19 October 2021. <>