Saints and Public Figures

On this day in 1535, John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester in England and newly-created Cardinal, was judicially murdered by the government of England.  His offense?  He defended the validity of marriage, and the authority of the Church to determine what marriage means.

Today we celebrate his feast day, on an ominous day for marriage and the liberty of the Church here in New York.

John Fisher defended the marriage of Queen Catherine to the tyrant King Henry VIII, who wished to have that union dissolved by the Church.  When the Church refused, Henry persecuted and murdered all those who stood for the validity of the marriage, and for the authority of the Church.  John Fisher stood alone among the English episcopacy — every single other bishop sided with the King and against the Holy See.  Other prominent Englishmen also took the side of the marriage and the Church, and paid the price — most notably, of course, the great St. Thomas More.  St. Thomas, and many other English martyrs for the meaning of marriage and the liberty of the Church, share this feast day, and we humbly pray for their intercession.

As we recall the memory of these great witnesses for the truth, powerful men are in Albany redefining marriage, and threatening the liberty of the Church.  They sit behind closed doors, making a mockery of democracy with secret political deals, not disclosing to the public the language of the bill they will soon foist upon us.  That bill will certainly threaten the liberty of the Church to fulfill her apostolic mission, even as it redefines the family and the nature of every marriage.

A few people stand in their way.  A few brave legislators have resisted the inducements, threats and pressures, and are defending the truth.  Ordinary people of all faiths have sacrificed to go to Albany to give witness to their belief in the sanctity of authentic marriage, and to their fears of religious persecution.  They were met with derisory anti-religious chants.

St. John Fisher and the other English martyrs gave their lives to testify to the divine institution of marriage, and to defend the freedom of the Church established by Christ Himself.

Perhaps some people in Albany will receive special graces today, thanks to their intercession.

St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More, all you English Martyrs, please pray for them, and for us.

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9 Responses to “Saints and Public Figures”

  1. Robert Florin says:

    I have been praying every day in defense of marriage asking the intersesion of all the Angels and Saints, I also have sent my Guardian Angel to help with waking up the souls of the senators to the truth, we must also ask the souls in purgatory for their intersesion, this is truly a spirtual battle. Say a little prayer, Offer up every day all your works, joys, sufferings to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the Conversion of sinners.
    I have been e-mailing all my friends and people in my pro-life group to pray and call. It is great to hear that people are coming together in defense of marriage, I pray that all our phone calls, e-mails, and faxes are not falling on deaf ears.

  2. Thomas M. Deely says:

    I will, and HAVE been praying for all people, along with Mr. Mechman who are defending marriage

  3. Terry Walsh says:

    You are so right,Robert.

    We are asking our senators to show heroic virtue; we must pray for them to do the right thing even though they may be risking their careers. I believe that when we call them, we ought to encourage them–acknowledging the pressure they are under, stressing the importance of this issue for our chidren, and letting them know we are praying and fasting for them.

    We should emphasize that the truth will make them free.–1) There is no excuse or defence for teaching children a lie–no matter what is gained in exchange for the compromise. I’m going to email this article on St. Thomas More to the undecideds today. 2)Compromise on this issue throws future generations who, like us, are entitled to a mother and a father, under the bus–whether for financial or political reasons

    3) This decision will effectively take away our religious freedoms, a God-given right on which this coutry was founded. Amendments to protect clergy from having to perform these rites should not assuage us; they will never withstand legal challenge in this era of activist judges and a Dept. of Justice which refuses to even defend the bipartisan Congressional Defense of Marriage Act–which is its job!!!

    Have any doubt? Look at abortion–and how it has been forced on hospitals, student doctors, nurses, etc. Every single challenge to the current abortion regs –from parental consent to state regulation of clinics–is challenged by well-funded pressure groups, chief of which is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

    Jesus would not tolerate abuse or contempt towards people with same-sex attraction and neither should we. Domestic partnerships/civil unions seem to me to be a workable solution in a pleuralistic society. But it is no mercy to pretend that it same-sex marriage is true marriage. It’s a lie, a very dangerous one.

  4. Howard M. Aiello says:

    I cant believe that with all the problems the State of NY is having the Gov. is more concerned with gay marriage. This is an abomination. Homosexuality is a sickness. If you go to the Holy Bible in Matthew the 24 chapter, it clearly states that men lying with men will not inherit the Kingdom of God. This shows how our Government is being taken over by the anti God fringe. Look what happened in California with proposition 8 banning Gay marriage. It was passed by a wide majority,yet a gay judge took it upon himself to throw the new law out stated it was unconstitutional.When is it going to end? When gods morals are completely ignored! I believe that because of the country turning away from Gods teaching that we are in the mess we find ourselves in now

  5. Father Andrew Apostoli told us that if we truly needed something to pray the Memore.
    Father Andrew said this not only puts Our Blessed Mother on the spot,but that she will go to her Son and beg His intercession.

    Let us all pray with one heart and one soul:

    Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it know that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
    Inspired by this confidence I fly unto you oh Virgin of Virgins my Mother. To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, Hear and Answer Me. Amen.

  6. Prayer is the greatest weapon we have to combat the evils in this world. Over the next four days our family and friends have pledged to say 122 rosaries (at least one every hour!) ….

    Be encouraged with history remembering the Battle of Lepanto:

    On October 7, 1571, a great victory over the mighty Turkish fleet was won by Catholic naval forces primarily from Spain, Venice, and Genoa under the command of Don Juan of Austria. It was the last battle at sea between “oared” ships, which featured the most powerful navy in the world, a Moslem force with between 12,000 to 15,000 Christian slaves as rowers. The patchwork team of Catholic ships was powered by the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct material disadvantage, the holy pontiff, St. Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. We know today that the victory was decisive, prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe, and evidenced the Hand of God working through Our Lady. At the hour of victory, St. Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: “The Christian fleet is victorious!” and shed tears of thanksgiving to God!

  7. Thank you Ed for that fine article which we printed for this Sunday’s parish bulletin. We will send a copy to our area state senator, Jose Serrano, who also seems confused about what marriage is.

  8. Victress Jenkins says:

    I’m an Arizona who did contact a few of the senators regarding this particular bill. What a trajedy for your state.

    I expressed my feeling to Senaor Greg Ball. The fact that 70% of the citizens of New York State had their concerns/wishes thrown under the bus was callous, to say the least! Since I don’t how he voted, I was diplomatic enough to state that if He did not vote for it, thanks!

  9. Mary says:

    MassResistance was in Albany and has two very excellent reports on what was happening on Friday:

    http://massresistance.org/docs/gen/11b/ny_marriage/mr_lobbying_0623.html
    http://massresistance.org/docs/gen/11b/ny_marriage/analysis.html

    All Catholics should read this. What happened on Friday is 9/11 for the Catholic Church.