Celebrating St John Fisher


We celebrate today the feast of one of my favourite saints: St John Fisher. He is, of course, celebrated together with his friend St Thomas More, who naturally receives more attention because of being a married layman and a great statesman. I do agree with Thomas Craughwell at the National Catholic Register that "Fisher needs is his own version of A Man for All Seasons—a big, gorgeously filmed, beautifully written, destined-to-be-a-classic film, with an all-English cast."

I would suggest Mel Gibson, but somebody would have to stop him from reducing it to a piece of anti-English propaganda with gallons of blood spurting from the holy bishop's neck at the crucial point. Perhaps Sir Ridley Scott (Gladiator etc.) could do something, or Peter Weir (Master and Commander.) Now that Russell Crowe is a little old for the action hero role, could he do a gutsy elderly bishop? Or maybe Sean Bean could graduate from his new priestly persona?

To help film directors understand the dramatic potential of such a film, here are some of my previous posts on St John Fisher:

Feast of St John Fisher
Hymn to St John Fisher
St John Fisher's cell
Cardinals' badge of honour
Titular Church of Cardinal Fisher
If St John Fisher and St Thomas More were bloggers
"Alone of thy peers"
St John Fisher's prayer for holy bishops

I note with pleasure that Rorate Caeli have today recalled the detail of St John Fisher's final hours: when he was told that the writ of execution had arrived, he asked the gaoler to let him have another couple of hours' sleep. That's what a clear conscience looks like.

One important lesson from the lives of St John Fisher and St Thomas More is their response to scandal given in high places in the Church. Here's a link to something I wrote on it some time ago: How to respond to scandal in the Church.


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