Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

March 10 | Preparedness

Saint John Ogilvie

A.D. 1579–1615

We prepare for everything we consider to be important in this life.

That might mean preparing to watch a football game, or take an exam, or host a party. It might mean preparing for a wedding, a job interview, or the arrival of a baby.

Or it might mean preparing for the spiritual battle that every Christian must go through to truly live the Gospel. 

That’s what Saint John Ogilvie prepared for. 

John was raised Calvinist in Scotland, but after studying in mainland Europe, he was drawn to the Catholic faith. After his conversion, he joined the Jesuit order, became a priest, and brought Catholicism back to Scotland, which was, at that time, a thoroughly Protestant country hostile to the Catholic faith.

Before beginning his missionary work, he prepared for the dangers ahead. First, he studied to become skilled in preaching and evangelization. Second, he traveled to Glasgow, Scotland to forge personal connections in the area. Third, anticipating resistance, he disguised himself as a traveling horse trader named John Watson to move about unhindered. Finally, he steeled his will for the possibility of being tortured and commanded to renounce the Catholic faith. 

Then, having prepared his body, mind and spirit, he began his missionary work in Scotland, secretly celebrating Mass in Catholic homes and administering the Sacraments.

Saint John Ogilvie made it about a year before being betrayed and captured. He was brutally tortured, but refused to renounce his beliefs or betray his fellow Catholics. He had prepared for this moment, and now it showed in his utter resolve to remain faithful and go to Heaven.

There are so many times in life when we find ourselves unprepared. Though it is worth noting that in most cases, it isn’t because we were incapable of being prepared, but rather that we had chosen to focus on other things, or that our focus on other things prevented us from seeing the need to prepare. 

The Christian virtue of preparedness is a state of readiness, especially for trials, death, judgment, and Heaven. One simple way to prepare for the life you were made for is to ask yourself this: What matters most and what hardly matters at all? And how can I focus my life on the things that truly matter?


I will prepare every day for Heaven.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Feast Day: March 10

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Simplicius

Canonized: October 17, 1976

Canonized By: Pope Paul VI

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