This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

9th July, SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

Among the Christian heroes who fought resolutely against heresy and laid down their lives rather than adhere to the schism in England, a place of honour is due to cardinal John Fisher and to the chancellor Thomas More.

John Fisher, born at Beverley in 1469, chancellor of the academy of Cambridge, later for 33 years bishop of Rochester, refuted in many books the protestant errors (Breviary.)

Thomas More, born in London in 1478, a layman, married and the father of a family, learned jurist and scholar, was made High Chancellor of England by Henry VIII.

Both were imprisoned in the Tower of London by order of the king because they were opposed to his illegitimate union with Anna Boleyn and because they refused him the usurpated title of supreme head of the Church of England in matters spiritual as well as temporal.

John Fisher, created cardinal by Pope Paul III, ascended the scaffold on the 22th of June 1535 and was beheaded after reading this sentence of the Gospel: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (Alleluia)

Thomas More was beheaded in his turn on the 6th July 1535 for having resisted, after the example of the great doctor of the law Eleazar (Epistle), all solicitations on the part of his own family and which he deemed contrary to his conscience and to the rights of God, of Christ and the Church (Gospel).

Pius XI solemnly canonized these two saints on the 19th of March 1935.

May the merits and the prayers of these martyrs of the true faith and of the primacy of the Church of Rome obtain that we may be united in Christ by the same profession of faith (Collect).

Astiterunt justi ante Dominurn, et ab invicem non sunt separati: calicem Domini biberunt, et amici Dei sunt.
The just stood before the Lord and were not separated from each other: they drank the chalice of the Lord, and have been called friends of God.
(Antiphon of the Magnificat)

Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Many are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver them. The Lord keepeth all their bones: not one of them shall be broken. * I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:20-21,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatos Martyres tuos Joannem et Thomam, verae fidei et Romanae Ecclesiae principatus propugnatores, inter Anglos suscitasti: eorum meritis ac precibus concede; ut ejusdem fidei professione, unum omnes in Christo efficiamur et simus.
O God, who didst raise up Thy blessed martyrs, John and Thomas, from among the English to be the defenders of the true faith and of the primacy of the holy Roman Church, grant that through their merits and prayers, we may all become and remain one by the profession of the same faith.

Alleluia, alleluia. Haec est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum, et, quem misisti, Jesum Christum. Alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia. This is eternal life : That they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. Alleluia.
(Alleluia verse)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Thomas More:
On St John Fisher:

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