Franciscan Saints




10th May


Blessed John Wall ( Joachim of St. Anna)

Also known as John Marsh, Francis Johnson, Francis Webb ,and Francis Dromore


Martyr, First Order


Fr John Wall was beatified in 1929 by Pope Pius XI.

On 25th October 1970, Pope Paul VI canonised the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

Among the forty were the two fellow students and friends, St John Wall and St David Lewis.




    The aim of this blog is to spread knowledge of and devotion to the Last Welsh Martyr, St David Lewis. However, St David Lewis did not live in a vacuum or in a bubble! He had family, friends and colleagues. He went places and did things. Events took place and life went on. To convey a sense of his life and times, we have included in previous posts people and places that have touched the life of the martyr. In this post and in future posts, we will continue to do the same.  

St John Wall

St John Wall was born into a wealthy Catholic family in Lancashire in 1620 and, at a young age, was sent to the English College at Douai. Interestingly, he was baptised by the future Jesuit Martyr, Edmund Arrowsmith. He enrolled at the English College in Rome on 5th November 1641 under the alias John Marsh. Later, on the English Mission, he used the names of Francis Johnson, Francis Webb and Francis Dromore. Already studying at the English College was a young Welshman, David Lewis, alias Charles Baker. The two became friends and it is thought that John Wall was present in the Lateran Basilica when, on St Stephen’s Day 1642, the recently ordained Fr Lewis preached a short Latin discourse in the presence of Pope Urban VIII.

 On 3rd December 1645 John Wall was ordained to the sacred priesthood. On 1st January 1651, he received the Franciscan habit at St Bonaventure's Friary, Douai. A year later he was professed and took the name Fr Joachim of St Anne. He soon became vicar of the monastery and then novice master before being sent upon the English Mission in 1656. For twenty-two years he laboured zealously, chiefly in Worcestershire, and won many converts through his preaching and example. For twelve of the twenty-two years, he used Harvington Hall as his base and went under the alias of Webb. It was during the Titus Oates Plot that Fr John Wall was apprehended quite by accident. In December 1678, the Sheriff’s Deputy was searching for a debtor at Rushock Court when he came upon the unfortunate priest, who was immediately taken before the Justice of the Peace. Refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy, the priest was committed to Worcester Gaol. On 25th April 1679, The Franciscan was finally brought to trial before Judge Atkins at Worcester. He was indicted for high treason for being a priest and remaining in the country. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. John bowed low and said “Thanks be to God; God save the King; and I beseech God to bless your lordship, and all this honourable bench.” The prisoner was returned to his cell.

Read on here

Last Welsh Martyr blog spot, Posted 16 November 2009,ST JOHN WALL O F M ,, Accessed 5 April 2012,<>

Prayer of the Church


O God, who didst marvellously create human beings, and still

more marvellously redeem them, grant us that grace that with the

knowledge Thou hast given us, we may resist sinful desires and

deserve to attain eternal bliss.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen



Prayer: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois


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Last edited 13/09/2017 06:37 
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