Born to a bookseller father in London, St. Edmond Campion grew up Catholic and attended St. John’s College, Oxford on scholarship. He attracted great attention due to his intelligence and was named a deacon in the Anglican Church of England.
Doubts about his conversion to Protestantism continued through a 1569 trip to Ireland where he returned to Catholicism. When Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth, Edmond Campion fled to Douai, France. He joined the Jesuits. He was ordained in 1578 at the college of Prague where he taught.
Edmond Campion returned to England on a Jesuit mission. He was subject of a massive manhunt, then imprisoned at the Tower of London. Refusing to convert, he was drawn and quartered on a charge of treason. Pope Paul VI canonized him in 1970 naming him one of the 40 Welsh and English martyrs. He is honored with a Dec. 1 feast day.