Blessed John Kearney priest and martyr
Cashel, Ireland, 1619 – Glenn, Ireland, March 11, 1653
Roman Martyrology: At Clonmel in Ireland, Blessed John Kearney, a priest of the Order of Friars Minor and martyr: Sentenced to death because he crossed from England, he managed to avoid the sentence by escaping, but later, under the government of Oliver Cromwell, a second time accused of having exercised the priesthood in the home, was the condemnation dell’impiccagione.
The martyrdom of this fearless witness of faith is placed in the context of the bloody persecution which occurred in Great Britain and Ireland to those Catholics who refused to sign the Act of Supremacy, namely the recognition of the British sovereign as head of the Anglican Church in opposition to the Roman Pontiff.
John Kearney [Seano O Cearnaigh] was born in Cashel, Ireland, in 1619 to John Kearney and Elizabeth Creagh, who were killed when the cathedral of Cashel was set on fire in 1647. The life of the blessed is fairly well documented. John, wanting to become a Franciscan, joined the Order of Friars Minor Observant in Kilkenny, he studied for several years in Leuven and received his priestly ordination in Brussels in 1642.
In 1644, while he was returning home, began his misadventures: the vessel that was traveling in was identified and John Kearney was arrested, tortured and sentenced to death in London. He managed to escape and get to Ireland via Calais. He exercised his ministry primarily as a teacher and preacher. With the advent to power of Cromwell he had to hide and soon a price was put on his head. In the spring of 1653, he was found and arrested in County Tipperary. During the trial held in Clonmell, the defendant was accused of having exercised his priestly ministry as a Catholic going against law. He was then hung in Glenn on March 11, 1653.
Pope John Paul II beatified John Kearney September 27, 1992 along with sixteen other victims of that persecution.
Author: Fabio Arduino
Source: Santi e Beati