Saints John Fisher and Thomas More,
Stained glass window by Andrew Taylor,
Installed in 1993,
Stained glass, lead, installed at St Simon and St Jude Catholic Church, Streatham, London SW2
© Andrew Taylor, all rights reserved

Saints John Fisher and Thomas More,
Stained glass window by Andrew Taylor,
Installed in 1993,
Stained glass, lead, installed at St Simon and St Jude Catholic Church, Streatham, London SW2
© Andrew Taylor, all rights reserved

Gospel of 22 June 2024

Feast of Saints John Fisher, Bishop, and Thomas More, Martyrs

Matthew 24:4-13

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Take care that no one deceives you; because many will come using my name and saying, “I am the Christ,” and they will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumours of wars; do not be alarmed, for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet. For nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes here and there. All this is only the beginning of the birth-pangs.

‘Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name. And then many will fall away; men will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many, and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most men will grow cold; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

Reflection on the stained glass window

Today’s joint feast of Saints John Fisher (1469-1535) and Thomas More (1478-1535) serves as a powerful inspiration to uphold one’s beliefs in the face of persecution. John Fisher, a priest and bishop, was martyred on 22 June 1535, for opposing King Henry VIII's marriage to Anne Boleyn and refusing to acknowledge King Henry VIII as the supreme head of the Church of England. Two weeks later, on 6 July, Thomas More, a husband and father, was martyred in the Tower of London for the same reasons. Both were canonised on 19 May 1935, by Pope Pius XI. Their stories remind all the baptised, both citizens and politicians, that faith cannot remain a private concern but must also influence our public lives with integrity. Saints John Fisher and Thomas More teach us that this can only be achieved through Christians with a courageous conscience. Their legacy continues to inspire and remind the faithful of the importance of standing up for one’s beliefs, regardless of the consequences.

Our stained glass window from 1993 is made by Andrew Taylor,  an elected Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, based in Devizes in Wiltshire. When he was working on this stained glass window depicting our two saints, he arranged an appointment to visit the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery where a curator retrieved the very drawings made by Hans Holbein the Younger of Saints Thomas Moore, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester. He also visited the Tower of London where he visited the cells where Thomas Moore and John Fisher had been held captive before their executions. I think we can get a real sense of the last days of the lives of these men depicted in this window. The background panels of the saints are in fact emulating the brickwork of their cells.

Nothing can come but what God wills.  And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best.”—St. Thomas More (in a letter written from prison to his daughter, Margaret)

Saints John Fisher and Thomas More. Pray for us.

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Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

God of our life,

There are days when the burdens we carry

chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;

when the road seems dreary and endless,

the skies grey and threatening;

when our lives have no music in them,

and our hearts are lonely,

and our souls have lost their courage.

Flood the path with light,

turn our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;

tune our hearts to brave music;

give us the sense of comradeship

with heroes and saints of every age;

and so quicken our spirits

that we may be able to encourage

the souls of all who journey with us

on the road of life,

to your honour and glory.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Prayer of St Thomas.

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Ahhhh … as I read – not scrolling down enough – I was thinking it was ‘original’ ” … Hmmm Good poetry-prayer Chazbo!”.
… I bet you’ve got it in you … no? (grin).

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

I can write prayers Father but not that well!

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I am still waiting for that book you have in you. Every now and then you reveal bits and pieces of your life and I find it incredibly interesting. For your family at least….you should write that book. So then….if you …no, not if, when you write that book, let everyone in ChristianArt know! Its evening there in England, so I hope you get this message!

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago

Matthew 10: 32-33
Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.

In 21st century North America, no one is put to death for being a Roman Catholic.
However, it is not easy to be a practicing Roman Catholic in this day and age.
The academy….politics….media….business…..most of the powerful institutions, etc….often look down
upon Roman Catholics that truly live the Faith.
As one American senator, once said while questioning a Supreme Court judicial nominee:
“the dogma lives loudly within you” !! Implying Catholics cannot be judges.
Outrageous behavior on the Senator who is recently deceased.
To question whether a Supreme Court Judge is fit and capable to be a Judge if they are Roman Catholic is OUTRAGEOUS!
Furthermore, Judges interpret the Constitution as it is written, they do not enact laws……the legislature enacts laws, not the judges!
To question whether a Roman Catholic can be a judge is bigoted beyond belief……..it would
be equivalent to question whether a Jew could serve in the State Department or the CIA or FBI, etc because
they may have dual loyalty and view Israel first rather than serving America First!
(on second thoughts……LOL i’m joking).

I went off on a tangent……well then…about the stained glass window….it is very impressive.
How I wish the Churches built today, would still use this beautiful and wondrous form of art.
I am in awe of beautiful Churches….I love Catholic architecture …in the 1970s, for some
horrible reason, Catholic Churches in many American cities were built to look so drab and so plain. UGH!
When I go to Mass, I want to see beauty………you Europeans are so lucky to have such beautiful Churches….
you are so spoiled you Europeans and in my opinion somewhat ungrateful.
Would love to go to Church that is beautiful………yes yes there are many many awesome Churches
in America, but I am talking about the churches in the ‘suburbs’ .
————–
My favorite scene from “A Man for all Seasons”….

“There is one question I would like to ask the witness.
That’s a chain of office you’re wearing.
May I see it?
The Red Dragon.
What’s this?
Sir Richard is appointed Attorney General for Wales.
For Wales.
Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world.
But for Wales.
————————————

St. Thomas More pray for us.
St. John Fisher pray for us.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jamie Cardinal
Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

Dear Jamie, I am very interested in what you say about the Constitution, judges, elections, conscience, religion, faith and political commitment…. Today I can not continue glued to the computer…. , surely another day ….. ¡good night!

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Good night dear Elvira! But I value more what you say……I am jealous of your intelligence and insight….I use the word “jealous”, but in a good way…in that I wish to be more like you.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

I remember that incident about the appointment of the Supreme Court Judge. A most impressive woman from the south who Donald Trump put up. She was villified by just about everyone but she was so impressive. What was her name – anyway God bless her.

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Amy Coney Barrett! The woman is Amy Coney Barret.
What an amazing individual! In my opinion, she is the most intelligent of all the 9 judges!
I was literally amazed at her intellect and her poise during the nominating process…….she made mincemeat out of the senators! LOL
I can go on and on about her……I was so very impressed.
Many people ….even now….want to condemn her…..
will always remember when the Girl Scouts of America congratulated her and then
were forced by the “donor thugs” to backtrack and take down their congratulations!
A shameful moment. Anyway…..

Will always think of the so-called “feminists” in America and how foolish they understand things.
I consider myself much more to the “left” than the “right” …so it is not like I am prejudiced against the left….
but my views that women are equal comes from the right NOT THE LEFT……I think the Church
and the military and many institutions considered ON THE RIGHT helped women advance much
more than hollywood and other institutions ON THE LEFT!
It was the educated sisters and nuns and women on the right………not the hollywood starlets and celebs from the left….who made me think
women were just as intelligent as any man!
LOL okay I may be showing my age…..but really! I sometimes wonder even now in 2024 why women on the left are not more
appreciative to women on the right, so to speak!

Jane Nuth
Member
Jane Nuth
1 month ago

At the Dominican Convent I attended for 11 years in Brewood, Staffs, , the house names were More & Fisher. I learnt at an early age about these Saints. On a recent visit to All Hallows Church near the Tower, I read with interest that the headless corpses of these 2 great men were taken to the Church after execution and were buried there. May they rest in peace.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago

Although I am sure that your knowledge is greater than mine about Thomas More…, allow me to say something about him… What strikes me most about Thomas More is that there was no fracture between his principles and his daily life. However he lived within «the limits of the culture of his time», I mean his action against heretics (he had many arrested and polemicized almost violently against the Protestants). We must not forget, however, that we should wait for the Second Vatican Council for the Catholic Church to address with new light the doctrine of freedom of conscience… Perhaps this is why historians are very divided about the religious actions Moro performed as chancellor. Although some biographers attribute to him a moderate and even tolerant position in the struggle against Protestantism… Surprising as it may seem, I think he is also considered a saint and a hero within the Christian Church of England, even though it was the founder of this institution, Henry VIII, who had him executed for rightly criticizing his new vision of Christianity.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

By the Christian Church of England, Elvira, I think you mean the Anglican Church. There are many varieties of Christianity in this country and the Anglican Church is the dominant, established one.

Funnily enough the Roman Catholic Church is now the biggest church in England in terms of attendance although this has to be seen in terms of strong decline in all denominations.

Janey M
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Janey M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Hello, my understanding is that the Church of England is part of the worldwide community of Anglican churches. I don’t know whether you were giving the impression there is no Church of England. C of E is the established church in England only, not so the other nations of the UK. The Anglican Churches of Wales, Scotland and N Ireland are separate not subordinate to the Church of England.

It was a significant moment when Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Wales) became Archbishop of Canterbury as he was the first from the wider Anglican community. I would argue that there is need for the primate of the Anglican community to come from further afield, I would welcome the next Archbishop of Canterbury to be from Africa or N America, although I can already hear the cries of disbelief and horror from England.

Last edited 1 month ago by Janey M
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Janey M

I would not think that there would be cries of disbelief at an African or American Archbishop of Canterbury. If that’s where the faithful are, why not the Primate?

We have had a Polish Pope, a German Pope and an Argentinian Pope in modern times. God is not an Englishman!! Lol!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Janey M

Agree Janey. In terms of the CofE’s adherents, I should think African nations outweigh all, although a leader from that continent would be far more conservative, of course.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago

Patricia, do you mean it would be more conservative if he came from Africa? Why? In what aspects of his ministry?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Not surprisingly, Spaniards and indeed many Europeans, know little about the English church. It is curious in that it still retains some aspects of Catholicism. It has become very liberal in recent decades although there are some Evangelical elements that are the opposite.

Patricia is right in saying that many African Anglicans are much more conservative in doctrinal matters than the bishops running the Church of England in England. Complicated isn’t it!?

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

One example would be the area of same-sex marriages which are permitted here. The African churches oppose this completely and in Uganda, they have just passed a law making homosexuality a crime.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

All the anger – there is so much about. All the emotion, no reasoning.
I’m looking forward to Mass tomorrow where I can empty it out… Must read the lesson as well as I can.

Jeanne M
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Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Some Africans don’t tolerate women priests, and many abhor homosexuality, tolerance for which is gradually becoming the norm in some churches.

Will Howard
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Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

“Take care that no one deceives you; because many will come using my name”

…And the polemics of St. Theresa of Avila – no less than a venerable Doctor of the church – against Protestantism are by no means the less scathing.

Thank You again for your deep ranging ‘IN’-sights Alvira. And I use here ‘IN’ as a Eucharistic term of the Believers fusion with-IN the – ‘indivisible’ – Body of Christ.

It’s 3 Am, some issues have me up … not the least of which it is the feast day, ‘of one of my favorite films’: Man for all Seasons with Paul Scofield. I’m not sure how many times I watched the film as a ‘nondenominational Protestant’, but I certainly have watched it a number of times as a Catholic; once with my beloved mother when she was still Protestant – having been the wife of a Anglican Priest. As third generation Canadian, the film tweaks deep in my English heritage somehow – not least of which citing the Saint’s relationship with “Will” Roper.

… eventually my one sister became Catholic (before my Mother) … my other sister remains a refined mix of Protestant-Orthodoxy afforded by schismatic persuasion. (deeply) Lamentably, for all intensive purpose, the faith is apparently ending in our bloodline with their progeny, who are decisively a part of a generation of dissipated church-lessness and illegitimacy. (capital F Faith is another matter – no one but God can know).

There comes with ‘protest’ a kind of insidious root, that ultimately can only intend to sicken and divide the tree – the like of which I believe reared its head scarce 300 years after Christ.

Please allow me to tamper [ ] a little with the script:
More: “Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the [church] to get after the Devil?”
Roper: “I’d cut down every law in England to do that!”
More: (roused and excited) Oh? (Advances on Roper.) And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you where would you hide Roper, the [church] all being flat? (Leaves him.) This country’s planted thick with [church] from coast to coast – Man’s [ church], not God’s [ capital C indivisible Church] —and if you cut [it] down – and you’re just the man to do it – d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? (Quietly.) Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of [church], for [it … and} my own safety’s sake”.

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

“Cuídense de que nadie los engañe; porque muchos vendrán usando mi nombre”

…Y las polémicas de Santa Teresa de Ávila –nada menos que una venerable Doctora de la Iglesia– contra el protestantismo no son de ninguna manera menos mordaces.

Gracias de nuevo por tus miras ‘IN’ de gran alcance, Alvira. Y uso aquí “EN” como un término eucarístico de la fusión de los Creyentes con-EN el – “indivisible” – Cuerpo de Cristo.

Son las 3 de la madrugada, algunas cosas me tienen despierto… y una de ellas es el día festivo, “de una de mis películas favoritas”: Man for all Seasons con Paul Scofield. No estoy seguro de cuántas veces vi la película como “protestante no confesional”, pero ciertamente la he visto varias veces como católico; una vez con mi amada madre cuando ella todavía era protestante, habiendo sido esposa de un sacerdote anglicano. Como canadiense de tercera generación, la película de alguna manera toca profundamente mi herencia inglesa, entre ellas la relación del Santo con “Will” Roper.

… eventualmente mi única hermana se hizo católica (antes que mi madre) … mi otra hermana sigue siendo una mezcla refinada de protestante-ortodoxia proporcionada por la persuasión cismática. (profundamente) Lamentablemente, para todos los propósitos intensivos, la fe aparentemente está terminando en nuestro linaje con su progenie, quienes son decisivamente parte de una generación de falta de iglesia e ilegitimidad disipadas. (F mayúscula La fe es otra cuestión; nadie más que Dios puede saberlo).

Con la “protesta” surge una especie de raíz insidiosa, que en última instancia sólo puede intentar enfermar y dividir el árbol, que creo que levantó su cabeza apenas 300 años después de Cristo.

Permítanme alterar un poco [ ] el script:
Más: “Sí. ¿Qué harías? ¿Cortar un gran camino a través de la [iglesia] para perseguir al Diablo?”
Roper: “¡Para hacer eso, eliminaría todas las leyes de Inglaterra!”
Más: (despertado y emocionado) ¿Oh? (Avanzando hacia Roper.) Y cuando la última ley cayera y el Diablo se volviera contra ti, ¿dónde esconderías a Roper, siendo la [iglesia] toda plana? (Lo deja.) Este país está lleno de [iglesias] de costa a costa – [iglesia] del hombre, no de Dios [Iglesia indivisible con mayúscula C] —y si [la] cortas, eres el hombre indicado para hacerlo eso – ¿realmente crees que podrías mantenerte erguido en los vientos que soplarían entonces? (En voz baja.) Sí, le daría al Diablo el beneficio de [la iglesia], por [ella… y] por mi propia seguridad”.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

Oh dear Father. The Faith is indeed dying. Of all my eight children, nephews and neices only my daughter has faith and she doesn’t think it necessary to go to church except very occasionally.

I refer you to my quote yesterday from the Lantern Bearers by Rosemary Sutcliff. We must hope in the future.

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

… I’ve checked for your quote yesterday …. ??
But indeed, “Hope” IS the future in Christ.

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I now disagree…..the Faith is not dying in the West…….It is being pruned……I believe it was Pope Benedict XVI who used that term.
Trees need to be pruned every so often so that the Tree can thrive and remain Truthful.

Ah…..I just thought of a useful saying……we must value QUALITY not quantity!
People will come back if and only if they see Truth.

Saint Bruno said: “While the world changes, the cross stands firm.”
St. Bruno pray for us!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

Wow, what a great personal story you have, Fr Will. Respect due 😁

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

How interesting….I never knew about your background……a convert….the son of an Anglican priest….amazing.
Well, Father Will….you make me want to watch the film again……I’m going to look for that scene you mentioned.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

Dear Father Will, I like that you mention Saint Teresa. Teresa of Jesus wrote down her criticism of the Lutherans from her Catholic mentality…but also a proposal for peaceful coexistence at a time when the “wars of religion” did not achieve the defeat of heretics, but ended in a forced peace between the warring states, and thus the authorities of each region imposed their own religion. Somehow the existence of “Lutheran” heretics motivated the moral and spiritual qualification of the Reformation of the Carmel order initiated by Mother Teresa. The knowledge of heresy and its unstoppable expansion influenced his reform project by giving it a greater evangelical demand.
P. D. What you tell and share about your life is really interesting….. I am always surprised …. There is a saying …”reality overcomes fiction”… God has accompanied you throughout your life…

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

THANKS SO Elvira
Especially re: your reference to “peaceful coexistence”!; …something my older Orthodox sister and I ‘have’ and are in the midst of negotiating this very hour – I beg your prayers -esp. for Susan.

Indeed, I agree: the Carmelite Reformation / ‘ Decalcification’ of the epic corruption of the Order, as paralleled with Rome, was seemingly intertwined with Luther’s intentions … if only in reaction to the ‘perniciousness of perennial heretical purging of the church’. ( There needs to be a nice handy acronym PPHPC -grin).

But two thoughts:
In high contrast to Luther’s reformation, St. Theresa’s confident and mystical Carmelite Brother in reformation, St John of the Cross, ‘fought’ his battle by accepting, persecution, imprisonment and floggings (losing digits to frostbite!) and finally, cauterization to death, by his ‘protestant’ Carmelite brothers.
And … if the Lord had arranged that Luther was to make a journey down to visit and enter into the confidence of Theresa and John – two Spaniards and a German !!! – what a triad of reform there might have been for Holy Mother Church: Petrine and Carmel !!!!!!
… the horrors of Britten’s schism the lesser a nightmare???

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

MUCHAS GRACIAS Elvira
Especialmente en relación con: ¡su referencia a la “coexistencia pacífica”!; …algo que mi hermana ortodoxa mayor y yo “tenemos” y estamos en medio de la negociación en esta misma hora – les ruego sus oraciones -esp. para Susana.

De hecho, estoy de acuerdo: la Reforma Carmelita/’Descalcificación’ de la corrupción épica de la Orden, en paralelo con Roma, aparentemente estuvo entrelazada con las intenciones de Lutero… aunque sólo fuera como reacción a la ‘perniciosidad de la perenne purga herética de la Iglesia’. (Es necesario que haya un acrónimo práctico y agradable PPHPC -grin).

Pero dos pensamientos:
En alto contraste con la reforma de Lutero, el confiado y místico hermano carmelita en reforma de Santa Teresa, San Juan de la Cruz, “luchó” su batalla aceptando, persecución, encarcelamiento y azotes (¡perdiendo dedos por congelación!) y, finalmente, cauterización hasta la muerte. , por sus hermanos carmelitas ‘protestantes’.
Y… si el Señor hubiera dispuesto que Lutero hiciera un viaje para visitar y entrar en la confianza de Teresa y Juan – ¡¡¡dos españoles y un alemán!!! – ¡¡¡Qué tríada de reforma podría haber habido para la Santa Madre Iglesia: Petrina y Carmelo!!!!!!
… los horrores del cisma de Britten son menos pesadilla???

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

The Protestant Reformation gave birth to the Catholic Reformation ie the Counter Reformation, Council of Trent etc. This regalvanised the Catholic Church and led it on to bigger and better things…

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

That’s very true, Chazbo, just at huge cost.

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Our Henry VIII was “a feather to each wind that blows”, the ultimate turncoat, spoiled, indulged and absolutely desperate for an heir, for the presumed security another Tudor king would bring, the term megolamaniac is appropriate.
His father had, after all, united a country riven by civil war. For an insight into the time of the break from Rome, Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall trilogy is a truly absorbing account, available in Spanish, from an American publisher, I believe.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanne M

I would like to read the books you propose…. You have quoted several to Mantel and I must admit that I do not know who she is…. Henry VIII always comes out badly in films and novels…poor our Catherine!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Poor Catherine! Terribly mistreated. Every year people put pomegranates (her symbol) by her burial place in Peterborough Cathedral on 29th January – the day she died.

Zeffi
Member
Zeffi
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Hilary Mantel wrote a number of novels, but the three referred to in this context are the trilogy consisting of “Wolf Hall”, “Bring Up The Bodies”, and “The Mirror and the Light”.

She was born into a Catholic family and educated at Catholic schools, but became disillusioned with the church in her early teens.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Zeffi

Where have you been Zeffi? We miss your pithiness!

Zeffi
Member
Zeffi
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Good evening, Chazbo., thank you for your kind words. I’ve been looking in every day, sometimes others have already, earlier, said what I would have said. At other times I have nothing to say, so I say it, but when I have something to say, then I write.

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Just lost my post to you!! Will give you just the Spanish titles of her trilogy, Wolf Hall. She won the Nobel Prize for two of the books in the sequence.
En la corte del lobo
Una reina en el estrado
El trueno en el reino
In English they are, respectively:
Wolf Hall
Bring up the bodies
The mirror and the light.
……….Happy reading!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanne M

Booker Prize I think Noelle. It’s actually quite interesting seeing the winners of the Nobel Prize for literature. Some very obscure writers and many great writers who haven’t. Graham Greene for one.

The awarding is very subjective. How a few Swedish academics can decide who are the world’s greatest writers??

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Oh my goodness, you’re right! Whoops -thanks for the correction, wishful thinking perhaps…

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago

By the way, More’s hair shirt is preserved at Buckfast Abbey, in Devon – he had thought of becoming a monk. Can’t see any modern chancellor doing the same….

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanne M

🤔…Do you know anyone who actually uses a hair shirt?

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

No, Elvira, I don’t but there are those who do, I’m sure. Do you?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeanne M

I do. Some people I know in Opus Dei utilise it as well as the garter on the leg which causes mild to moderate pain.

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

¡Madre mía! ¡¡No me lo puedo creer!! I remember it from the years of school…. but already so many years ago!

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

And is quite dangerous…

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

That awful organisation 😒 does a disservice to our Holy mother the Church which we can do without…and that canonisation was one of the most dubious.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago

These two men are the giants of English Roman Catholicism and we were taught so much about them, (More especially), at school.

More was a great family man, he was not a model husband by all accounts but he loved his children dearly and had a very forward looking relationship with his daughter. He reminds me of my dad in this, and so I have a great fondness for this intellectual and very human saint. Truly a man for all seasons.

John Fisher, a Yorkshireman greatly revered in these parts, sometimes plays second fiddle to More, but this is because he was a saintly man all his life. He only appears from the mist when Henry insisted on having the prelates sign the oath.

They are now, and rightly so, paired together as eternal witnesses to the authority of the Roman Catholic church.
I pray for them to help this country under so much threat from all sorts of forces at the moment.

The window pays right tribute to them. Today the Tower (here with a gentle light appearing above it), is, to many, just another tourist attraction to take selfies in. But if you visit the rooms in which these two men and many others, awaited their fate; allow yourself to stay and soak up the messages both literal and spiritual emerging from the walls and you will see this Gospel passage played out before your very eyes.

They were not deceived, and neither should we be,

Last edited 1 month ago by spaceforgrace
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Very good SFG. Funnily enough I’m going to meet the PP of this church next week (where the stained glass is).

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Now that you are in general elections in the UK, it seems proverbial the celebration of Saint Thomas More… On October 31, 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him Patron of Rulers and Politicians.His fascinating personality explains why believers and non-believers signed the petition for such a proclamation. In this age when the conscience of politicians often seems hidden, or when some rulers seem to privilege the personal or group interest over the common good, the figure of Moro helps to remember that if to continue exercising power we have to deny consciousness, we have to choose conscience. However, to be positive, it was encouraging that the proposal to look for a model in 2000 arose precisely from people who were engaged in politics.

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Fascinating fact, Elvira, hadn’t heard that. Our politicians need reminding!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

He wasn’t a Moro but an Englishman!!

Western Europe has lost faith in politicians and we are heading for some very worrying elections. People just want to throw the whole government model up into the air.

St Thomas More please look down on us ……

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

😂😂 Dear Chazbo, from early morning I have a question to ask you… , It turns out that your dear Thomas More in Spain we know him as “Tomás Moro”…. and I do not understand why….. ¿anyone can give me an explanation? Here, we say Newman, Chesterton, Green, Shakespeare, Churchill…, but nevertheless…. Moro …and everyone pronounces them as he can or as he wants

Last edited 1 month ago by Elvira
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Elvira

Well that’s funny!!

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Odd, in that it should be pronounced ‘ay’ not ‘o’ – given that in Spanish you can’t leave a vowel unpronounced…

Monica Doyle
Member
Monica Doyle
1 month ago

I would never have made the connection with their prison walls. Thank you! Imagine being incarcerated there and reading today’s Gospel? Both in their turn May have said..”That’s written for me. . “ Their faith must’ ve been So strong. Was it St Thomas Moore or a Beckett who said. “My King, you may be my King but I’m God’s friend first and yours second.” ? ( words to that effect) Thus sealing his fate. A beautiful letter to his daughter. Enjoy the weekend 🌻

Elvira
Member
Elvira
1 month ago
Reply to  Monica Doyle

The Gospel that you proclaim today in your Diocese is chosen for the feast that you celebrate, here in my Diocese it is another… You are right.. is very well chosen!!!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

We were brought up on the story of these two Catholic heroes and how they stood up for their faith in terrible times. Unfortunately more recently Thomas More has been portrayed as some sort of a fanatic by Hilary Mantel and this is now the image held by many people today.

Which is a long way from Paul Scofield’s portrayal of More in ‘A Man for all Seasons.’ This has led to my realisation that the interpretation of history is very often subjective even when the most scholarly academics are at work. When I studied for my history degree at London University ten years ago there was a strong emphasis on studying primary sources for your research. We should read the accounts of people who actually witnessed the events but even these can have a subjective spin on them.

For me, these two will remain heros.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I would gently remind you Chazbo that Mantel wrote fiction. If people can’t differenciate between the two we have no hope…!

My dad took me to see Man for all Seasons at the cinema. I then went on to play Meg Roper his daughter in the school production. Robert Bolt’s screenplay of course showed Moore in a much better light. The truth of his character probably lies somewhere in between, but for me it is in his death we encounter the true saint. He tried everything he could to reconcile his conscience to the tide of public opinion, he never sought a martyrs death, even persuading his close family to swear the oath, whilst remaining true to the faith in their hearts. He knew that choice was not open to him.

You know all this of course.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Excellent explanation SfG.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Hilary Mantel’s work would probably be described as historical fiction, I suppose, as with Rosemary Sutcliff.

We were all taken to see ‘A Man for all Seasons’ at the cinema too and some of us genuflected as we took our seats as we were so used to the chapel!!

Lol 😂

Jeanne M
Member
Jeanne M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

That balance is so important, SgG. He was true to himself and his God, setting us a tough example. As young adults we admired him without reserve, and though we now know he wasn’t quite perfect, he still stands far, far above the wretched king who executed him. He respected women and had a gift for friendship, high achievements in themselves. His friend of 35 years, Erasmus, said of him, “Did nature ever invent anything kinder, sweeter or more harmonious than the character of Thomas More?”
Another candidate for our patron saint?!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I love Mantel’s writing which, as SfG reminds us, is fiction, although the transcript of More’s trial, which she includes, is authentic.
A man of wealth and status, she presents More as being a bit of an idiot in the end, for seemingly ignoring this, rather than expediency, but, some aspects of a personality like More’s can be built upon. She certainly portrayed him as dogged and immovable, which he surely was – otherwise he would not have met a martyr’s death. It is that which makes him a saint, not his life.
“You should be praying not to be put to the test”

Last edited 1 month ago by Patricia O'Brien

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