Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Men For All Seasons

Today the Roman Church (reformed calendar) commemorates the martyrdom in 1535, and later the raising to the altar as saints, of both Sir Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher. More was Lord Chancellor under the English King Henry VIII, who refused to choose loyalty to him, and his authority over the church of England, over that of the Pope of Rome. In this first clip, the 1966 epic film A Man For All Seasons, is summarized in less than three minutes. Along with some semblance of a plot, it features the best lines, groans, and grunts, from the epic (yes, we said it twice) film that won an Academy Award for Best Picture that same year.

While More was awarded the crown of martyrdom on July 6 (the date when he and Fisher are remembered, ironically, as "saints and heroes of the Christian church" in the Anglican Communion), it was todayin 1535 that Fisher entered eternal life, as the only Catholic bishop in England to remain Catholic, while the others fell into line with the crown. This scene is from the Showtime miniseries The Tudors. Would that all of us should meet our deaths with such humility and heroism.

Doesn't look easy, though, does it?

[NOTA BENE: In some local dioceses, likely in the UK, More is commemorated on July 6, the date of his martyrdom. In the traditional Roman Calendar, More is commemorated on July 9. Don't ask me why.]

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