Today’s the memorial of St. Paulinus of Nola, a Father of the Church. Every year on this date I find that I can’t shake the melody of “Nola,” perhaps history’s most famous whistling song. I suppose it could be worse. I could hear the Kinks singing “Nola, n-n-n-n-Nola…” St. Paulinus, pray for me.
It’s also the memorial of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, the English martyrs. So I’m issuing a rerun of More on the Fathers, taken from The Life of Sir Thomas More by his son-in-law William Roper:
He said, “To be plain with your Grace, neither my Lord of Durham, nor my Lord of Bath, though I know them both to be wise, virtuous, and learned, and honourable prelates, nor myself with the rest of your Council, being all your Grace’s own servants, for your manifold benefits daily bestowed on us, so most bounden unto you, be in my judgment meet counsellors for your Grace herein; but if your Grace minds to understand the truth, such counsellors may you have devised, as neither for respect of their own worldly commodity, nor for fear of your princely authority, will be inclined to deceive you.”
To whom he named St. Jerome, St. Augustine, and divers other holy doctors, both Greeks and Latins: and moreover showed him what authority he had gathered out of them, which although the King did not very well like of (as disagreeable to his Grace’s desire), yet were they by Sir Thomas More (who in all his communication with the King in that matter had always most wisely behaved himself) so wisely tempered, that he both presently took them in good part, and oftentimes had thereof conference with him again.