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August 22

Saint-John-Kemble August 22

Saint John Kemble

Priest, Martyr

(1599 – 1679)

When you read the sacred Scriptures, or any other book, never think how you read, but what you read.

Saint John Kemble

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

In 1599, John was born in Saint Weonard’s, Herefordshire, England, to Catholic parents. He went to Douai to study for the priesthood and was ordained there in 1625.

Sent on English Mission

John was sent on the English mission and worked in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire for 53 years. He became a victim of the Titus Oates plot hysteria.


John was arrested in 1678 at Pembridge Castle, his brother’s house, which he used as his headquarters.

Quilty of Being a Catholic Priest

John was charged with complicity in the fraudulent plot to assassinate King Charles II. When no evidence could be found of his involvement, he was examined by the Privy Council in London and found guilty of being a Catholic priest.

His Martyrdom

The 80-year-old Father Kemble was so respected that he was allowed to die upon the gallows before the other grisly rituals of the drawing and quartering were carried out. Thus, he was thus spared much of the agonies that others suffered. One of his hands was cut off and is kept as a relic in the Catholic Church in Monmouth. John was canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.  (Benedictines, Delaney). 

Beatified:            December 15, 1925 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized:         October 25, 1970 by Pope Paul VI

Feast Day:          August 22

Patron Saint:     None



St. John is a wonderful saint for old people; that in memory of his horrific suffering, that as we age we may pray to him that our ailments of old age are alleviated and we may continue to serve the Lord.

As you get older, have you thought about how you will continue to serve the Lord? May you pray for God’s grace, wisdom and strength to serve others in need amid your own ailments.


Saint John Kemble, you worked tirelessly and fearlessly for the Lord for 53 years on your English Mission. At the age of 80, you were found quilty of being a Catholic priest. May you intercede for as we try to follow your example and serve the Lord no matter what our age is. On our last day, may we each be judged guilty of being a Catholic by our daily actions seen by others around us.

Saint John Kemble, pray for us. Amen

Here are some words from the hymn “Sun of My Soul, Thou Savior Dear” written by John Keble which make a beautiful night prayer.

Sun of my soul, thou Savior Dear,
It is not night if thou be near;
O may no earth-born cloud arise
To hide thee from thy servant’s eyes.
When the soft dews of kindly sleep
My wearied eyelids gently steep,
Be my last thought, how sweet to rest
Forever on my Savior’s breast.

Source: Karen Barber at Prayer Ideas
A Night Prayer by John Keble – Prayer Ideas

Saint Links 

Aleteia – 40 English martyrs you may not know

All Saints & Martyrs – Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Anastpaul – Saint of the Day – 22 August – St John Kemble (1599 – 1679) Martyr

Catholic Fire – Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Catholic Ireland – Oct 25 – The Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

Catholic Online – St. John Kemble – St. John Kemble

Herefordshire Past – Saint John Kemble – Martyr

New Advent – Ven. John Kemble From the Catholic Encyclopedia

uCatholic – The Martyrs of Douai

Wikipedia -St John Kemble

Video Link

St. John Kemble – YouTube (marysdowry)