June 2001, Volume 6, Issue 11   
The Priesthood
Rev. Mark Connolly
Thought for the Month
The Bodies of Christ
Rev. Raymond K. Petrucci
Let Go
Saint of the Month
Catholic Corner
Only A Dad
Thomas MoreJohn Fisher and Thomas More
June 22

John Fisher, made Bishop of Rochester in 1504, was a man of great distinction.

He had been a friend of the famous humanist Erasmus, a Catholic of high ideals, a learned Cambridge teacher, and Chancellor of the University. When King Henry VII died in 1509, Fisher preached his funeral sermon

He met his death because he resolutely refused to accept Henry VIII's claim to be head of the church. 'I do not condemn any other men's consciences,' he declared. 'Their conscience may save them, and mine must save me.'

A subtler man than John Fisher, Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, declared that no-one matched the Bishop of Rochester 'in wisdom, learning and long approved virtue.' Thomas More did not wish to die. 'I am not so holy that I dare rush upon death,' he declared; 'were I so presumptuous, God might suffer me to fall.' But he could not accept that Henry VIII was supreme head of the church. He resigned rather than be seen to support the king's divorce.

The saint spent fifteen months imprisoned in the Tower of London. Nine days after John Fisher's death, Thomas More was declared guilty of treason and condemned to death. He died, he said, 'the King's good servant, but God's first.'

From A Calendar of Saints,
The Lives of the Principal Saints of the Christian Year

Prayer of St. Thomas More

grant me a holy heart
that sees always what is fine and pure
and is not frightened
at the sight of sin,
but creates order
wherever it goes.
Grant me
a heart that know nothing
of boredom, weeping, and sighing.
Let me not be too concerned
with the bothersome thing
I call "myself."
give m a sense of humor
and I will find
happiness in life
and profit for others.

back to top


copyright 2001 Clemons Productions Inc. and the Diocese of Bridgeport
home authors Spirituality's Home Page