Saint John Fisher
was born in Beverley, East Yorkshire, in 1469, the eldest of four children of a local merchant. He first went to school at Beverley Minster, and at the age of 14 was sent to Cambridge in order to become a priest. In 1491 he was ordained but continued to serve in Cambridge, becoming a Master of his college at the age of 28. In 1501 he received his Doctorate and was elected as Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Henry VII recognised his qualities, and in 1504 appointed him as Bishop of Rochester. His connection with Cambridge continued, and he was instrumental in the completion of the famous King’s College Chapel. In 1509, at the age of 40, he preached the funeral sermon of King Henry VII.
With the propagation of Luther’s ideas, he became drawn into the controversy on the side of the established views of the Church. Then, when King Henry VIII sought to divorce Queen Catherine, he took a stand against this proposed action. At a court held in in 1529 in front of Cardinals Wolsey and Campeggio, he publicly declared his opposition. At this stage Henry failed to obtain his divorce, and Fisher was allowed to withdraw to Rochester for a time.
In February 1531, Henry VIII declared himself as Supreme Head and Protector of the English Church and Clergy. Fisher forced an amendment to this decree, “so far as the law of God allows”. The declaration, and Henry’s consequent divorce and marriage to Anne Boleyn, forced the English Church into schism. Following a series of legal actions by Thomas Cromwell, Bishop John Fisher, together with Sir Thomas More, was committed to the Tower of London for failing to acknowledge the King’s supremacy over the Church. Shortly afterwards, Pope Paul III created him a cardinal.
Finally, in 1535, at the age of 66, he was found guilty of “denying the King’s supremacy”. On June 22nd he was taken to Tower Hill, declaring to the crowd, “I am come hither to die for the faith of Christ’s Holy Catholic Church”, and was then beheaded.
He was canonised by Pope Pius XI in 1935. An appropriate epitaph is that from his fellow-prisoner and fellow-martyr, Sir Thomas More. “I reckon in this realm no one man, in wisdom, learning, and long approved virtue together, meet to be matched and compared with him.”
Pastoral Letter from Bishop Marcus
Bishop Marcus has sent us a Pastoral Letter for this Sunday, day of prayer for prisoners and their families. It is aimed to raise awareness about the criminal justice system and explore different approaches to Restorative Justice. Please see our Diocesan news & events page for more information. We can read Bishop Marcus’ letter here and […]
Changes to our church
You will see from these photos the layout of the benches has had to be changed in order to ensure distancing of 2m. • in the lady chapel we have individual seats and these should NOT be moved • if the Mass you want is full, you may be able to choose one of the other […]
Volunteer stewards THANK YOU
Thank you and well done to all the Stewards, Cleaners and Organisers of the Church and its services over the last few weeks. You have been doing a great job keeping our Parishioners as safe and protected as you can. Many of you will be away with your families over the next few weeks. Travel […]
Please remember the people of Tereli in your prayers
On Tuesday 21st April, the village was attacked by as many as 300 well-armed bandits who arrived on motorbikes to loot the village and take all of the cattle. For three hours a few young people tried to hold them off with hunting rifles, while others hid in their houses or fled to the caves […]
If you would like to, and only if your circumstances allow, you can now make a donation to the Parish Offertory, either by this online page: https://donor.secure-operations.com/detailed/donate?charity_id=1086222&type=2&reference=10154&amount= or, to contribute £5, please text CHURCH SSFM to 70500
Leeds Cathedral live-streaming of Mass & devotions
Mass is being live-streamed on Sundays at 11:00am. Weekday Masses Monday to Friday are now live-streamed usually at 12:30pm (12noon on Saturdays) and preceded by the Angelus and Rosary which will be prayed at 11:50am (11:20am on Saturdays). To participate online, please access the Leeds Cathedral Live YouTube channel www.leedscathedrallive.org.uk where the words of Prayers, […]