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Wednesday 1 September 2021

Poisoned for faithfulness

sancti-juvenalancina

Today we keep the transferred feast of Blessed John Juvenal Ancina of the Roman Oratory. (In York the 30th August is impeded by St Margaret Clitherow.)

Blessed Juvenal, when he heard he was to be a bishop, ran away from Rome and escaped from the Pope's agents for several months, until he gave himself away by preaching. As Bishop of Saluzzo he reformed his diocese in the spirit of the Council of Trent, so that those who did not wish to be reformed became angry. A renegade Franciscan is believed to have poisoned him, though Juvenal forgave him, and had the evidence destroyed while he lay dying. On 30th August, 1604, he cried out as he died, "Sweet Jesus and Mary, give peace to my soul".