Saint John Fisher
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By E. E. Reynolds
Of John Fisher, Pope Pius XI said: “Whenever there was question of defending the integrity of faith and morals…he was not afraid to proclaim the truth openly, and to defend by every means in his power the divine teachings of the Church.” In this compleat biography, E. E. Reynolds provides a thorough account of Fisher’s life and works, detailing his youth and education and storied career—chaplain to Lady Margaret Beaufort, grandmother of Henry VIII; proctor of the University of Cambridge at age twenty-five; ordination to the episcopacy at age thirty-five, to mention but a few; his profound piety and devotion to his pastoral duties; his spirited response to Luther and the Protestant revolt; and his staunch defense of Catherine of Aragon and refusal, even unto death, to submit to Henry VIII’s claims of supreme power.
Help me, most loving Father, help me with thy mighty grace. Succour me with thy most gracious favour. Rescue me from these manifold perils that I am in, for unless thou wilt of thy infinite goodness relieve me, I am but as a lost creature. (Saint John Fisher)
When first published in 1955, this Life became the first full-scale biography of John Fisher since that of T. E. Bridgett from 1888. As with his companion volume on Saint Thomas More, Reynolds employs previous scholarship and provides copious primary-source material to great effect. A work of indisputable competence and understanding, Saint John Fisher: His Life and Works still stands as a standard work on “this most holy man [who] laid down his life for God” (Pope Paul III).
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Ernest Edwin Reynolds (1894–1981) was an English–Welsh Catholic author and historian. Specializing in the Tudor period and the Protestant Reformation, he wrote over a dozen books, notable among which are his numerous works on Saint Thomas More, his biographies of Saint John Fisher and Margaret Roper, and his study of John Henry Newman, Nicholas Wiseman, and Henry Edward Manning.