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John Forrest (friar)

From Academic Kids

Blessed John Forrest (1471 - 22 May 1538) was an English martyr and friar.

Born in the Oxford area, John Forrest became a Franciscan Friar Minor of the Regular Observance in 1491. He went on to study theology at the University of Oxford, later becoming confessor to Queen Catherine of Aragon, first wife to King Henry VIII. From 1531 the Friars Minor had gained the enmity of the King by opposing his divorce and his movements toward Protestantism.

On 8 April 1538, Forrest was brought before Henry's Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to renounce his rejection of King Henry's assumed title of head of the Church of England. Refusing to accept the King as head of the church, Forrest was condemned to death by burning. On 22 May, he was burnt to death at Smithfield, London, bound to a famous religious statue, brought from a church in Wales for the purpose. Hugh Latimer officiated at the execution.

Father Forest, together with fifty-three other English martyrs, was declared Blessed by Pope Leo XIII, on 9 December, 1886.

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