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Feast Day of Sts. Thomas More & John Fisher, Martyrs from England

June 22

June 22 , 2021

Memorial of Thomas More, English martyr

Roman Catholic Church of the English Martyrs, Tower Hill, London, UK




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 <em>Sir Thomas More</em> | Hans Holbein the YoungerImage: Sir Thomas More | Hans Holbein the Younger

Saint Thomas More

Saint of the Day for June 22

(February 7, 1478 – July 6, 1535 )

The Martyrdom of St. John Fisher – 22 June 1535 (By Michael Davies) [Catholic Caucus]
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St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
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Saint John Fisher

Fr. Don Miller, OFM

 from a book entitled <em>The life and death of Cardinal Wolsey</em> | Authors: George Cavendish, Hans Holbein, and Bruce RogersImage: from a book entitled The life and death of Cardinal Wolsey | Authors: George Cavendish, Hans Holbein, and Bruce Rogers

Saint John Fisher

Saint of the Day for June 23

(1469June 22, 1535)


Saint John Fisher’s Story

John Fisher is usually associated with Erasmus, Thomas More, and other Renaissance humanists. His life therefore, did not have the external simplicity found in the lives of some saints. Rather, he was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day. He was interested in the contemporary culture and eventually became chancellor at Cambridge. He had been made a bishop at 35, and one of his interests was raising the standard of preaching in England. Fisher himself was an accomplished preacher and writer. His sermons on the penitential psalms were reprinted seven times before his death. With the coming of Lutheranism, he was drawn into controversy. His eight books against heresy gave him a leading position among European theologians.

In 1521, Fisher was asked to study the question of King Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon, his brother’s widow. He incurred Henry’s anger by defending the validity of the king’s marriage with Catherine, and later by rejecting Henry’s claim to be the supreme head of the Church of England.

In an attempt to be rid of him, Henry first had Fisher accused of not reporting all the “revelations” of the nun of Kent, Elizabeth Barton. In feeble health, Fisher was summoned to take the oath to the new Act of Succession. He and Thomas More refused to do so because the Act presumed the legality of Henry’s divorce and his claim to be head of the English Church. They were sent to the Tower of London, where Fisher remained 14 months without trial. Finally both men were sentenced to life imprisonment and loss of goods.

When the two were called to further interrogations, they remained silent. On the supposition that he was speaking privately as a priest, Fisher was tricked into declaring again that the king was not supreme head of the church in England. The king, further angered that the pope had made John Fisher a cardinal, had him brought to trial on the charge of high treason. He was condemned and executed, his body left to lie all day on the scaffold and his head hung on London Bridge. More was executed two weeks later.


Today many questions are raised about Christians’ and priests’ active involvement in social issues. John Fisher remained faithful to his calling as a priest and bishop. He strongly upheld the teachings of the Church; the very cause of his martyrdom was his loyalty to Rome. He was involved in the cultural enrichment circles as well as in the political struggles of his time. This involvement caused him to question the moral conduct of the leadership of his country.

“The Church has the right, indeed the duty, to proclaim justice on the social, national and international level, and to denounce instances of injustice, when the fundamental rights of man and his very salvation demand it” (Justice in the World, 1971 Synod of Bishops).

The Liturgical Feast of Saint John Fisher is June 22.

The Martyrdom of St. John Fisher – 22 June 1535 (By Michael Davies) [Catholic Caucus]
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St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
St John Fisher, 1460-1535[Bishop and Martyr]
St.John Fisher

Information: St. Etheldreda of Ely

Feast Day: June 23

Born: 630

Died: 23 June, 679

Patron of: neck ailments, throat ailments, widows

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St. Joseph Cafasso


Feast Day: June 23

Joseph Cafasso was born into a wealthy family at Castelnuovo d’Asti in northern Italy, near the city of Turin. Four years later, one of his most famous students St. John Bosco (feast day – March 31) was born in the same town. Joseph was born with a deformed spine which crippled him for life. But he had loving parents who were willing to make big sacrifices so Joseph could study in Turin to become a priest.

Joseph met John Bosco and talked to him at the church in 1827 when John was twelve. At that time Joseph was studying at the seminary to become a priest. After they talked, the excited John ran all the way home. “Mom, Mom,” John called, “I met him, I met him!” “Who?” his mother asked. “Joseph Cafasso, mother. He’s a saint, I tell you.” Mrs. Bosco smiled and nodded gently.

In 1833, Joseph was ordained a priest. He began his priestly work and went to an excellent school of theology (religious studies) for priests. When Father Cafasso graduated, he became a theology professor at the college in Turin. He taught many young priests over the years. They could tell that he really loved them.

Father Cafasso was known as the priest who believed in the gentle and loving mercy of God. His kindness gave people courage and hope. He guided many priests, religious and lay people. He helped John Bosco begin his great priestly work with boys and guided him in starting his religious order known as the Salesians. Father Cafasso directed other founders, too.

There were many social needs in Father Cafasso’s time. One of the most urgent was the prison system. Prison conditions were disgusting and he worked hard to improve them. But what most moved Father Cafasso was the custom of hanging in public, prisoners sentenced to death.

Father Cafasso went to them and heard their confessions. He stayed with them, telling them of God’s love and mercy until they died. He helped over sixty prisoners who repented and died in the peace of Jesus. Father Cafasso called them his “hanged saints.”

Father Cafasso also became the pastor of St. Francis Church in 1848. He was a wonderful example for people to follow promoting devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. He also did some great works in the Church. Father Cafasso died on June 23, 1860. His faithful friend, St. John Bosco, preached the homily at his funeral.

Reflection: The life of this saint was marked by kindness and understanding of the people of his time. How do I treat my brothers and sisters?



Friday, June 23

Liturgical Color: Green

St. Joseph Cafasso died on this
day in 1860. He was a priest
known for his ascetic lifestyle,
one of strict self-denial. He was
much sought after as a
confessor, helping many to
repent and live more holy lives.


June 22
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Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
10 St. Francis Way
Passaic, NJ 07055 United States
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