I can't let this day pass without marking an important anniversary: today is the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, who died in Glasgow on the 10th March 1615. You can read an account of his life here.
St John was an extraordinary man, one noted for his courage,his ability and his devotion to his people. He was adamant in his defence of the faith and he preferred to die rather than renounce his Catholicism and his loyalty to Rome. His last action was to throw his rosary beads into the crowd, a wonderful bequest - one of prayer, tradition and witness to the Holy Mother of God.
As we mark his anniversary, let us pray for priests. I learned today, sadly, that a priest here in Ireland has declared his support for the same sex marriage referendum - that public declaration causes great scandal since priests, servants of Christ, are meant to publicly uphold Christ's teachings - all of them.
There is no love, no compassion, no excuse for endorsing what is wrong, regardless of what others think or want - we must stay true even if it means we are in the minority, even if it means we are persecuted or branded intolerant fundamentalists. Betraying Christ's teaching in order to be popular will only bring condemnation in the end. When the shepherds fail Christ, the whole flock suffers.
St John Ogilvie, however, remained faithful and for this he continues to be remembered. May he pray for all of us.