St. Oliver Plunkett was born on November 1st 1625 to parents of Hiberno-Norman heritage. His early education was entrusted to his cousin Patrick Plunkett, Abbot of St. Mary’s, Dublin and brother of Luke Plunkett who was the first Earl of Fingall and who later became successively Bishop of Ardagh and Meath. As an aspirant to the priesthood Oliver Plunkett set out for Rome in 1647, under the care of Father Pierfrancesco Scarampi of Roman Oratory. He was ordained a priest in 1654 and deputed by the Irish bishops to act as their representative in Rome. When he returned to Ireland he tackled drunkenness among the clergy. On the enactment of the Test Acts in 1673, which were a series of English penal laws that served as a religious test and brought that only people taking communion in the established Church of England were eligible for public employment and had severe penalties, St. Oliver did not agree with the acts for doctrinal reasons which led to the college closing and being demolished. Oliver Plunkett went into hiding but was later arrested. He was later found guilty of “promoting the Roman faith”. Oliver Plunkett was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on 1 July 1681. He was the last catholic martyr to die in England. St Oliver Plunkett is the patron saint for peace and reconciliation in Ireland.
Most Holy St Oliver, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, our Church honours your sacrifice and invokes your help in seeking God’s almighty power. St Oliver, inspire our Church and Pope. Guide them in new ways to enlighten and draw the vulnerable, lost and non-believers to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Help all souls in our troubled world to find everlasting faith in the Risen Christ. Assist me St Oliver, in my imminent necessities, as I now humbly place my request in your special care but, may the will of God the Father be done. (Share your request) Lord Jesus Christ, I ask you to look on this, my prayer, with mercy and compassion. Amen.