Edmund Campion was born on January 25, 1540 in London, where his father ran a bookshop. Young Edmund was very talented and did brilliantly, first as a schoolboy, and later on as a student of St. John’s College, Oxford. He was repeatedly chosen to speak in the name of his school and his college on formal public occasions. After obtaining his doctorate he lectured in Oxford with such eloquence that even Queen Elizabeth went to hear him and was taken up so much by his elegance and forceful speech that he became her favorite. Soon he acquired fame as a great educationist and became one of the most sougth-for lecturers of the famous Oxford University.
However, he aimed at higher things and he left for Rome on foot to join the Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola, about the time of his birth. He spent some time working in Bohemia, then returned to London as part of a Jesuit missions, crossing the Channel disguised as a jewel merchant, and worked with Jesuit brother Saint Nicholas Owen. There he wrote a description of his new mission in which he explained that his work was religious, not political; it became known as Campion’s Brag. Widely distributed, it encouraged many Catholics to remain loyal to their faith. It also led to Edmund’s arrest, imprisonment and torture in the Tower of London, and martyrdom.
Fr. Edmund Campion, the celebrated patron of Campion Schools died most gloriously being hanged at Tyburn, London, on December 1, 1581. Our school is dedicated to his name, it is our earnest hope that the students of our institution inspired by his invincible courage and glowing faith will walk in his footsteps and add luster to his name.
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