Posted by: fvbcdm | June 22, 2015

Feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More (22 June 2015)

Today we come to the commemoration of the two most prominent figures of the English persecutions of Catholics under Henry VIII and his successors as monarchs of England.  They were Cardinal Saint John Fisher, and Saint Thomas More, who was the Lord Chancellor of England up to the time that he opposed King Henry VIII’s claim to be the head of the Church in England.

It is interestng that to this day, one of the titles used by the monarchs of England is “Defender of the Faith.”  That title was conferred upon the young Henry VIII by the Pope in gratitude for the king’s having written an explanation of the Sacraments.  But within a few years of that event, the religious history of England underwent a tragic revolution set into motion by the selfish and lecherous king who separated the Church in England from the Holy See and launched an attempt to eradicate every element of Catholicism, and of course all those who clung to the Catholic Church, from the kingdom of England.  He almost succeeded, but these two men whom we honor today were stirring examples of those who did not succumb to the threats of the king or to the confusion as to what was true and what false, what right and what wrong in the spiritual life of Great Britain in those tumultuous days.

Now, we have the duty to do what we can to bring about the reconciliation of the two bodies: the Church of Rome and that of England, and whose intercession can we better seek for that purpose than Saints John Fisher and Thomas More?  They loved God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Church which he founded as well as his vicar on earth the Pope enough to give their lives rather than deny any of these.  Now we ask them to do what they can to cement by their prayers this holy union of Canterbury and Rome, meaning the two religious bodies which were never meant to be separated, but to be one flock headed by one shepherd.  Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago.

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