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Ambrose Saint-John





Oratorian; b. 1815; d. at Edgbaston, Birmingham, 24 May, 1875; son of Henry St. John, descended from the Barons St. John of Bletsoe. He was educated at Westminster School, and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated M. A. and where he formed his lifelong, intimate friendship with Newman. In 1841 he became curate to Henry Wilberforce, first at Walmer, subsequently at East Farleigh. He then joined Newman at Littlemore which he left, to be received into the Church about a month before Newman's conversion in October, 1845. After a short time spent with Newman at Maryvale he accompanied him to Rome where they were ordained priests. Having become Oratorians they began mission work in Birmingham (1847), removing to the suburb of Edgbaston in 1852. There he devoted himself entirely to zealous missionary labours, taking a leading part in the work of the Oratory and its famous school. He was an excellent classical scholar and a remarkable linguist both in Oriental and European tongues. His death was caused by overwork in translating Fessler's book on infallibility when Newman's discussion with Gladstone was pending. He was a man of marked individuality and Newman's tribute to him in the "Apologia" will never be forgotten.

Except the biographical sketch prefixed to the new edition of the Raccolta, which work he originally compiled, there is no connected sketch of his life, but references to him will be found in GASQUET, Lord Acton and his Circle (London, 1906). The information given above has been kindly supplied by the Rev. F. Bacchus, Cong. Orat. See also GORMAN, Converts to Rome (London, 1910).

EDWIN BURTON








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