Edmund Arrowsmith SJ
Edmund Arrowsmith SJ (1585-1628)

Edmund Arrowsmith SJ

Edmund Arrowsmith was born in Lancashire in 1585.  His mother was a member of the Gerard family – prominent recusants who included Fr John Gerard and Bl Miles Gerard.  His parents were imprisoned for adherence to the faith and he and his siblings were taken in by neighbours.

In 1605 he enrolled at the English College, Douai.  He was ordained at Arras in December 1612, returning to Lancashire the following year to carry out priestly ministry in secret.  Stonyhurst College still holds the small trunk of vestments and equipment which he carried from house to house.  He was arrested in 1622, but released the following year on an amnesty from King James. He joined the Jesuits in 1624.

In 1628 Edmund was betrayed to the authorities and was convicted of being a Roman Catholic priest.  He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Lancaster on 28th August, now his feast day.

Edmund was beatified in 1929 and canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs by Pope Paul VI in1970. His hand was preserved by his family and it now rests in the Church of St Oswald and St Edmund Arrowsmith, Ashton-in-Makerfield.  

The Catholic Truth Society ahs published a short biography of St Edmund Arrowsmith by Fr John Hogan.  It can be ordered here.