Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Michael Davies, R.I.P.

Michael Davies, one of the doyens of the Traditionalist Movement promoting the restoration of the Tridentine Mass, died on Saturday, Sept. 25th. Leo Darroch, Secretary of the International Federation Una Voce, a federation promoting the restoration of the traditional Latin Mass of which Davies himself was president for a number of years, reports:
It is with deep sorrow that I have to inform everyone of the death of Mr. Michael Davies, the President d'Honneur of the International Una Voce Federation. Michael suffered a heart attack at 9:20 p.m. on Saturday 25th September an died instantly.... Michael's family will be keeping me informed and I will send out information as I receive it.
Michael Davies, who was born in 1936, was brought up in Somerset, England, although of Welsh descent, and served as a regular soldier in the Somerset Light Infantry during the Malayan emergency, the Suez Crisis, and the EOKA campaign in Cyprus. He then taught in Catholic schools for thirty years until retiring in 1992 to take up writing full time. He has contributed articles to Catholic journals throughout the English-speaking world, and is the author of seventeen full length books and several dozen pamphlets relating to the Catholic Faith, some of them have been translated into a number of languages. His recent biographies of St. John Fisher and Cardinal Newman have been widely praised throughout the English-speaking world. Cranmer's Godly Order, his account of the Reformation in England is now in its sixth edition. He made regular visits to Rome for discussions with members of the Curia, including a number of prominent cardinals, and has lectured throughout the world in countries as far afield as the Philippines, India, and Nigeria.

As my son, Christopher reports, Traditionalist blogger "Restore the Church" has a brief look on the life of Michael Davies:
Davies was one of the grandfathers of the Traditionalist Movement, a brilliant, articulate, well-read, and lucid writer who did more than his fair share to present the world with a defense of Traditional Catholicism.

His list of published books and pamphlets include:
  • Cranmer's Godly Order
  • Pope John's Council
  • Pope Paul's New Mass
  • Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre (3 volumes)
  • The Order of Melchisedech
  • Partisans of Error
  • Religious Liberty and the Second Vatican Council
  • The Tridentine Mass
  • The Roman Rite Destroyed
  • St. Athanasius: Defender of the Faith
  • The Liturgical Revolution
  • Mass Facing the People
  • The Reign of Christ the King
  • Liturgical Shipwreck
  • Newman Against the Liberals
"I expect more posts will be forthcoming from both sides of the Catholic spectrum," observes Christopher. Indeed. Many of Davies' books that are still in print are available on Amazon.com at very reasonable prices (both new and used), as you can see below.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine;
Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi;
Dona eis requiem sempiternam

Update 12/6/06
Liturgical views of the man who is now Pope:

"I have been profoundly touched by the news of the death of Michael Davies. I had the good fortune to meet him several times and I found him to be a man of deep faith and ready to embrace suffering. Ever since the Council he put all his engergy into the service of the faith and left us important publications especially on the sacred liturgy. Even though he suffered from the Church in many ways in his time, he always truly remained a man of the Church. He knew that the Lord founded His Church on the rock of Peter and that the faith can find its fullness and maturity only in union with the successor of Saint Peter. Therefore we can be confident that the Lord opened wide for him the gates of heaven. We commend his soul to the Lord's mercy." (Letter of tribute from former Cardinal Ratzinger among those sent by the Roman Curia to be read aloud at the Michael Davies' requiem)

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