School Patron & Founder

Founder of Campion

Msgr.Joseph de Rozario (1873 – 1949)

B.A, B.C.L, Bar at law-JP


A major landmark in Tiruchirapalli is the campus of the Campion Higher Secondary School, while another landmark close by is the Church of St.Joseph. These monuments are among those given to the people by the philanthropy of a great self-effacing priest, Msgr.Joseph de Rozario.

He was born of a middle class Anglo Indian family in Quilandy, a small town near Calicut on 9th October 1873. His father was a Junior Judicial officer of the state of Travancore, who rose to be the Municipal Chairman of Calicut. Joseph was the eighth member of a family of 11 children.

From early years, Joseph showed traits of being always helpful, rather retiring and with a high sense of responsibility. He gained the confidence of his father who later made him sole executor of his will.

He had his early education in Cannanore and Calicut and then went to Presidency College, Madras,from where he obtained his B.A.Degree.

Entering the Madras Government as a Clerk, he gradually rose to become a Thasildar. Meanwhile, his father died in 1898, when Joseph was twenty-five.

As he was keen on becoming a lawyer, he went to England in 1907, joined the University of Edinburgh from where he obtained a Degree of, Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) and was called to the Bar in London. After that, in 1912, he returned to India.

He, once again joined the Civil Service of the Government of Madras and became, in due course the Deputy Collector of Trichinopoly and later, of Cochin. He continued to rise till he became the District and Sessions Judge at Bangalore.

Over the years, he had given serious thought to marriage. On one occasion, when he was in England, he got engaged to a girl, Unfortunately, one month before the marriage, she fell ill and died. On another occasion, the girl in question was not of his faith and refused to become a catholic. On the third occasion, the mother of the girl refused permission for marriage.

Being of incorruptible nature, he often came into conflict with dishonesty. As a Judge, he had to face distressing scenes of misconduct. His sensitive nature revolted against what he saw, and he began to take disgust in his career.

He had always been devoted to religion. This devotion grew with the years. He now began to feel the call to the Divine Vocation of Priesthood. The revulsion that he experienced in the Law Courts and the sad outcome of his intention to marry had the effect of him turning away from the world.

In 1922, when Joseph was 49, his mother died. He had looked after her for 24 years from the time of the death of his father. This sad event severed the links that held him to the world.

Thought of joining the priesthood now began to come upon him more forcefully. There were, however hindrances that lay in the way. He did not know Latin and he felt that he was too old to start studying a new language.

To overcome these difficulties, he left India, went first to London, and then joined Beda College in Rome, which is a Seminary meant for late vocations and for those who had difficulties with Latin. He joined the College in 1922, and at the end of four years, on August 8th, 1926; he was ordained a priest in Rome. He continued to stay in Rome for two years to do a course in Canon Law. After that, he returned to India in November 1928 and took up his appointment as Parish Priest of Golden Rock.

Even from the start, he had to face difficulties. Golden Rock had no Catholic Church. He ,therefore had to construct one. There were obstacles in the way but he worked with determination, overcame the obstacles and built this church. It was opened on March 19, 1931, the feast of St.Joseph, to whom the Church was dedicated.

The next major plan on the part of Rozario was to set up a High School for Anglo – Indian boys. For  this purpose he got himself transferred to the Cathedral of Tiruchirapalli as Chaplin of the Anglo-Indian boys. Fr. de Rozario acquired a four-acre piece of land on which was a bungalow. This was to be his School. On the 5th October 1934, the existing middle school was closed down and its students and teachers were moved to the newly acquired building. Thus,His School was founded. He secured the services of Fr. V.G. Lambert, s.j., as the headmaster. The headmaster gave the school a patron, Blessed Edmund Campion, an English Jesuit who was martyred at the time of Queen Elizabeth I. It was recognised as a high school on June 19, 1935. 

On the 2nd of December 1936, Fr. de Rozario, then aged 63, quietly retired and went to Bangalore where he was appointed Spiritual Director of St. Mary’s Minor Seminary. He lived there till his death on June 30th 1949, at the age of 76.

Though away from the school he founded, his heart was with Campion till the end of his days, and he always kept a loving and fatherly watch over his School, which he continued to assist whenever in need.


Patron Saint 

Edmund Campion 


Saint Edmund Campion, S.J. (January 24, 1540 – December 1, 1581) was an English Jesuit priest and martyr.

Early years and education (1540–1569)Born in London on January 24, 1540, Campion received his early education at Christ's Hospital, and, as the best of the London scholars, was chosen in their name to make the complimentary speech when Queen Mary visited the city. He then attended St John's College, Oxford, becoming a fellow in 1557 and taking the Oath of Supremacy on the occasion of his degree in 1564. When Sir Thomas White, the founder of the college, was buried in 1567, the Latin oration fell to the lot of Campion.

Two years later he welcomed Queen Elizabeth to the university, and won her lasting regard. He was chosen amongst the scholars to lead a public debate in front of the queen. By the time the Queen had left Oxford, Campion had earned the patronage of the powerful William Cecil and also the Earl of Leicester, tipped by some to be future husband of the young Queen. People were now talking of Campion in terms of being a future Archbishop of Canterbury, in the newly established Anglican Church.

Rejecting Anglicanism

Religious difficulties now arose; but at the persuasion of Richard Cheyney, Bishop of Gloucester, although holding Catholic doctrines, he received deacon's orders in the Anglican Church. Inwardly "he took a remorse of conscience and detestation of mind." Rumours of his opinions began to spread and he left Oxford in 1569 and went to Ireland to take part in a proposed establishment of the University of Dublin.

Ireland (1569–1571)

Campion was appointed tutor to Richard Stanihurst, son of the Speaker of the Irish parliament, and attended the first session of the House of Commons, which included the prorogation. Campion was transferred by Stanihurst's arrangement to the house of Patrick Barnewall at Turvey in the Pale, which he acknowledged saved him from arrest and torture by the Protestant party in Dublin. For some three months he eluded his pursuers, going by the name Mr. Patrick and occupying himself by writing a history of Ireland.

Douai (1571–1573)

In 1571, Campion left Ireland in secret and escaped to Douai in the Low Countries (now France) where he was reconciled to the Catholic Church and received the Eucharist that he had denied himself for the last 12 years. He entered the English College founded by William Allen, another Oxford religious refugee. The College's intake grew dramatically and a little after Campion's arrival a papal subsidy was granted.

The object of the college was primarily to supply priests for the Catholic population in England, as all of the bishops were now either dead, exiled or under detention and thus impeded from ordaining new priests. The Queen's principal secretary, Sir William Cecil, expected that in a few years time the 'Marian Priests', ordained during the reign of Queen Mary I would begin to die out.It was also a centre of intellectual excellence. Here the famous Douai Bible was produced, in advance of the King James Version. Campion found himself reunited with many of his old Oxford friends. He was to teach rhetoric while there and finish studying for the degree of Bachelor of Divinity, granted him by the University of Douai on January 21, 1573.

However Douai was more than just a seminary, and became a rallying point for exiled English Catholics. Important political visitors were reported to come to see Cardinal Allen under cover of darkness. As a result, the Crown reputedly sent spies to the institution, some of whom feigned conversion to Catholicism, and even became priests.[citation needed]Having obtained his degree, Campion decided to answer a growing call within him and left for Rome, travelling on foot and alone in the guise of a poor pilgrim. In that same year he entered a novitiate with the Jesuits, and spent some years in Vienna and Prague.

Mission to England (1580–1581)

In 1580, the Jesuit mission to England began. Campion accompanied Robert Persons who, as superior, was intended to counterbalance his own fervour and impetuousness. He had been reluctant to follow the father general's order to take part in the mission, the members of which were instructed to avoid the company of boys and women, and to avoid giving the impression of being legacy hunters. Before embarking, the members of the mission were embarrassed to receive news of a landing by papal sponsored forces in the Irish province of Munster in support of the Irish rebel James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald. They also learned that a letter detailing their party and mission had been intercepted and that they were expected in England.

Campion finally entered England in the guise of a jewel merchant. He arrived in London on June 24, 1580, and at once began to preach. His presence became known to the authorities, and the diffusion of the challenge he threw down in the form of a declaration, known as the "Challenge to the Privy Council" to his allies and as "Campion's Brag" to his enemies, made his position more difficult. He led a hunted life, preaching and ministering to Catholics in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, and Lancashire.

During this time he was writing his Decem Rationes ("Ten Reasons"), a rhetorical display of reasons against the Anglican Church. The book was printed in a clandestine press at Stonor Park, Henley, and 400 copies were found on the benches of St Mary's, Oxford, at the Commencement, on June 27, 1581. It caused great sensation, and the hunt for Campion was stepped up. On his way to Norfolk, he stopped at Lyford, then in Berkshire, where he preached on July 14 and the following day, by popular request. Here, he was captured by a spy and taken to London with his arms pinioned and bearing on his hat a paper with the inscription, "Campion, the Seditious Jesuit".

Trial and execution

Committed to the Tower of London, he was questioned in the presence of Elizabeth, who asked him if he acknowledged her to be the true Queen of England. He replied in the affirmative, and she offered him wealth and dignities, but on condition of rejecting his Catholic faith, which he refused to accept. He was kept a long time in prison, twice racked (by order of the Council but certainly with Elizabeth's consent), and every effort was made to shake his defiance. Despite the effect of a false rumour of retraction and a forged confession, his adversaries summoned him to four public conferences (September 1 18, 23 and 27 1581). Although still suffering from his ill treatment, and allowed neither time nor books for preparation, he reportedly conducted himself so easily and readily that he won the admiration of most of the audience. Tortured again on October 31, he was indicted at Westminster on a charge of having conspired, along with others, in Rome and Reims to raise a sedition in the realm and dethrone the Queen.

Campion was sentenced to death as a traitor. He answered "In condemning us, you condemn all your own ancestors, all our ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England -- the island of saints, and the most devoted child of the See of Peter". He received the death sentence with the Te Deum laudamus. After spending his last days in prayer he was led with two companions to Tyburn and hanged, drawn and quartered on December 1, 1581, aged 41.

The ropes used in his execution are now kept in glass display tubes at Stonyhurst College in Lancashire; each year they are placed on the altar of St Peter's Church for mass to celebrate Campion's feast day.