Saint John Fisher

(Feast Day: June 22)

Saint John Fisher was a 16th-century English Catholic bishop, cardinal, and theologian. He was born in 1469 in Beverley, Yorkshire, England, and attended the University of Cambridge.

Fisher became a priest and was appointed Bishop of Rochester in 1504. He was a staunch opponent of the Lutheran Reformation. Fisher was also close to King Henry VIII, who valued his brilliance and assigned him as teacher to his son, Prince Henry.

Fisher, however, became an outspoken opponent of Henry VIII when he attempted to have his marriage to Catherine of Aragon divorced so that he may marry Anne Boleyn. He opposed the dissolution of marriage as well as the king's claim to be the head of the Church of England. Fisher was a fervent supporter of the Catholic Church and its beliefs, and he refused to acknowledge Henry's new title as head of the English Church.

Fisher's criticism of Henry's behavior resulted to his arrest and confinement in the Tower of London. Fisher refused to renounce his ideas despite Henry's efforts, and he was finally charged with treason and beheaded on June 22, 1535.

The Catholic Church canonized Saint John Fisher as a saint in 1935, and his feast day is observed on June 22. He is recognized for his support of the Catholic Church's unity and authority, even in the face of persecution and death.

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