22 June (Novus Ordo): St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More

In the Church’s traditional calendar St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More have their  feasts on 9 July.  More was martyred on 6 July and Fisher on 22 June.  In the Novus Ordo calendar they are celebrated today, together.

Pope John Paul II in 2000 declared St. Thomas more the patron saint of statesmen and politicians.

More makes you think about our catholic politicians today.   Fisher about our bishops.

Plus ça change…

Let us invoke the intercession of St. Thomas and of St. John for our public figures, secular and spiritual.

Animi caussa…

From the 2005 Martyrologium Romanum.

Sanctorum Ioannis Fisher, episcopi, et Thomae More, martyrum, qui, cum Henrico regi Octavo in controversia de eius matrimonio repudiando et de Romani Pontificis primatu restitissent, in Turrem Londinii in Anglia trusi sunt.  Ioannes Fisher, episcopus Roffensis, vir eruditione et dignitate vitae clarissimus, hac die iussu ipsius regis ante carcerem decollatus est; Thomas More vero paterfamilias vita integerrimus et praeses coetus moderatorum nationis, propter fidelitatem erga Ecclesiam catholicam servatam sexta die iulii cum venerabili antistite martyrio coniunctus est.

Anyone care to take a shot?

Mass texts in the Extraordinary Form for these two saints on 9 July are not easy to find.  I’ll give them to you in advance of July so you can get ready:  HERE

Huge thanks for the texts from my good friend, His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan.  Pray for him.  He recently suffered a stroke.

Tonight… this great classic?


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Geoffrey says:

    “Mass texts in the Extraordinary Form for these two saints on 9 July are not easy to find…”

    I just checked my Baronius Press hand missal and the Mass texts can be found in the “Supplement for the Dioceses of England and Wales”.

    A note is given in the Baronius Press breviary, but no texts are provided, so I assume one would have to use the Common.

    I am surprised that this is only a “local” feast in the Extraordinary Form, though 9 July is a feria, so given the recently issued directives from the Holy See, I am thinking that this feast could be celebrated universally fairly easily.

  2. adriennep says:

    When I lived in London in the 70s, the tour of the Tower of London blithely takes you to the stained spot where Ann Boleyn was beheaded, the narrow tower of the two young princes (with carved graffiti), as well as the stone prison cell of Thomas More. Back then I was ignorant and not Catholic, so the sanctity of More’s place was lost. Now it would be an awesome pilgrimage. I wish there were Martyrs Tours in England today.

  3. GregB says:

    Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher’s situation in many ways does relate to the situation of the Church today. In a manner of speaking King Henry VIII was practicing his own version of synodality. He appears to have had his own interpretation of the marriage tribunal, which is a hot topic today. Today the saints would have probably have been called rigid, and of being insufficiently inclusive. One wonders if something like the China agreement would have been negotiated in today’s Church.

  4. Sol says:

    Of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, who, since they had resisted/opposed (a nifty imperfect from resto – to resist or oppose) the King Henry VIII in the controversy regarding his rejected marriage and the primacy of the pope, were thrust into the Tower of London in England. John Fisher, the bishop of Rochester, a most illustrious man of erudition and dignity, by the order of said King was on this day beheaded in front of the prison.
    Thomas More, truly a father of the family and of unblemished life (that vita integerrimus could have been vitae integerrimus? My Latin is really rusty by now? ) and the president of the council of ministers of the nation was for the sake of remaining faithful (literally “because of his faithfulness towards the Catholic church having been kept”) to the Catholic Church was on the 6th day of July joined with the venerable bishop through martyrdom”.

  5. Simon_GNR says:

    I visited Rochester Cathedral a few years ago and was interested to see the names of past bishops commemorated on the south wall of the choir. Cardinal Fisher was there of course and just a few feet away was the name of Nicholas Ridley. How ironic that two martyrs for their particular types of Christianity were there together on that wall and had occupied the same ecclesiastical position a few years apart.

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