Today in Catholic History – Henry VIII is declared the Defender of the Faith

On 17 October 1521, Pope Leo X declared King Henry VIII the Fidei Defensor or Defender of the Faith. This title was given to honor Henry for his book Defense of the Seven Sacraments which attacked the theology of Martin Luther and was dedicated to Leo. This title was added to the full royal title of Henry as “Henry the Eighth, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Defender of the Faith and Lord of Ireland”.

After Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church, Pope Paul III excommunicated Henry and rescinded the grant of the title “Defender of the Faith” in 1538 but the English Parliament declared that the title remained valid.

Henry’s book was very popular and went through twenty editions in the sixteenth century.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted October 18, 2010 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    We Catholics should find another word to use instead of ‘reformation’, or at least put it in quotes, or add ‘so-called’.

    After Dirty Harry, everything went downhill, alas.

    • hejid
      Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:58 am | Permalink

      Vivat Henry Rex Defender of the Faith

  2. Sharon
    Posted January 29, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that it was probably St Thomas More and St John Fisher who did the heavy lifting for Henry’s “Defense of the Seven Sacraments”.

  3. Gene
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    Vivat Henry Rex!!!!! :D

  4. Gene
    Posted April 20, 2011 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Vivat Henry Rex!!!!! Defender of the Faith :D


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