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Saint John Fisher
Saint John Fisher

Saint John Fisher

Feast Day
Jun 22, 2012
<p>St. John Fisher was a Bishop and Cardinal, and was from Yorkshire, England.&nbsp; He was born in 1459 and was martyred in 1535.&nbsp; He was educated in his hometown at the Collegiate Church, and later moved to Cambridge to receive his B.A.&nbsp; He was elected and made Vicar of Northallerton, Yorkshire. Later he became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, the Countess of Richmond and Derby, the Mother of King Henry VII.&nbsp; He eventually received his Doctorate and became Vice-Chancellor or Cambridge University. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Under Fisher&rsquo;s guidance, the Lady Margaret founded St. John&rsquo;s and Christ&rsquo;s Colleges at Cambridge.&nbsp; In 1504 Fisher was advanced to Bishop of Rochester, and in the same year was elected Chancellor of Cambridge University.&nbsp; He was so popular; he was elected annually for ten years, and then appointed for life.&nbsp; He also was a tutor to Prince Henry, who later became King Henry VIII, later ordering his death. &nbsp;</p> <p>When the question of Henry&rsquo;s divorce from Queen Catherine arose, Fisher became the Queen&rsquo;s chief supporter and most trusted counselor.&nbsp; He appeared on the Queen&rsquo;s behalf in the courts, where he stated with strong faith, &ldquo;I am ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage&rdquo;.&nbsp; Henry VIII was so enraged by it that he himself composed a long Latin address to the courts in answer to the Bishop&rsquo;s speech.&nbsp; That copy still exists today for all to see. &nbsp;</p> <p>A year later three Bishops were arrested and imprisoned.&nbsp; For 100,000 pounds they could purchase the King&rsquo;s pardon, and state publicly that the King was the authority over the Pope in Rome.&nbsp; Pope Paul III declared St. Fisher a Cardinal and sent the Cardinal&rsquo;s Hat to England.&nbsp; King Henry forbids the Cardinal&rsquo;s Hat to be brought into England, rather declaring he would send St. Fisher&rsquo;s head to Rome!&nbsp; Once St. Fisher did not declare the King as supreme head of the Church, rather than Rome, he was charged with treason and was found guilty.&nbsp; He was beheaded on Tower Hill, as a martyr for his faith.&nbsp; He died with a calm dignified courage, which profoundly impressed all of those present.&nbsp; His body was separated and mutilated. &nbsp; Following the next day, St. Thomas More was beheaded for the same reason &ndash; a close friend of St. Fisher. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: medium;">Practical Take Away</span></strong></p> <p>Again we see another life of a saint who was a martyr for the faith that you and I so freely practice today.&nbsp; Without the heroic defending of the faith of these great saints before us, we would not have our religious freedoms today.&nbsp; St. Fisher was so solid in his conviction of the Catholic faith, that he was willing to be beheaded.&nbsp; He stood for God anyway.&nbsp; How many of us are willing to defend the church and stand with God for the faith that is so many times, tested today?&nbsp; By calling on St. Fisher asking his intercession, we can draw from his the courage needed to defend our faith in these times.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>