BY MICHAEL DAVIES
The Neumann Press [$20.95]
Part 23: Canonization
On 19 May 1935, the Church ratified the common judgment of Christendom, and raised the Martyred bishop to her altars as Saint John of Rochester. Sir Thomas More was canonized on the same day. The two Saints share the same Feast Day, 9 July. There could be no more fitting tribute to John Fisher than that with which Mgr. R. L. Smith concluded his short life of the Saint:
There was never a truer priest than this Yorkshireman, taken from among men and ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he might offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins. His devotion to the service of all who were committed to his care, his straightness of vision and of speech, his love of his country and his unswerving loyalty to God, all built up a character whose fineness appealed to the men of his day and has maintained its appeal down the centuries.
"A scholar without a vestige of intellectual pride, a bishop who knew how to rule, yet without arrogance, a councillor of kings who always gave honest advice, he was these things and much besides because he loved God with all the powers of his soul, and loved his neighbour for God's sake. Since his motives were unselfish, his sight was keen, and in the glory of that vision he walked unhesitatingly the narrow path of truth. "Blessed are the clean of heart for they shall see God." 86
86. Smith, op. cit., p. 16.
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