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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

+ Archbishop OLIVER PLUNKET, 1681



OF a noble Irish family, he went to Rome, lived for many years with the priests of San Girolamo della Carita, and was appointed by Clement IX to the see of Armagh. There he found himself obliged to pass censures on certain scandalous livers in his flock, among them priests and religious. In revenge they took advantage of the Oates Plot to denounce the Archbishop as conspiring to raise 70,000 Irish, with the help of French troops, to destroy the Protestant religion. In his defence he said he lived in a little thatched house with one servant on 60 pounds a year and never had thought of such a design. Still with the direct evidence against him he was condemned. In Newgate his life was one of continual prayer; he fasted usually three or four days a week on bread only. His favourite devotion was sentences from Holy Scripture, the Divine Office and the Missal,and he dwelt on these under the Holy Spirit's guidance. Outwardly there appeared no sign of anguish or fear, but a sweet and holy recollection, a gentle courtesy, an unfailing cheerfulness, devoting his fitness for the sacrifice and ripeness for Heaven. His very presence kindled in men's hearts a desire to suffer for Christ.

"The fruits of the Spirit are charity, joy, peace."—GAL. V. 22.

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