Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the death of Michael Davies. For those who have been in the traditional movement for decades, this legend of the fight for restoration needs no introduction. For those who are new to tradition, you may have no idea what this man means for you today, unless you read an account of his life and tireless work on behalf of the Church.
We bring you on this day this special piece that ran in The Remnant years ago -- a paper for which Mr. Davies wrote extensively. The article is written by Editor Michael Matt, who knew and loved Mr. Davies deeply.
Please read this and pray for the repose of the soul of Michael Davies.
The Last Letter from London
Thirty-three years ago this past June, Michael Davies submitted his first article for publication in these columns. I was five years old at the time. I don’t remember when he wasn’t a vital part of The Remnant family. For well over three decades his “Letter from London” came in month after month and year after year, keeping thousands of post-Vatican II Catholics informed and encouraged during three of the most turbulent decades in the history of the Church.
After waging a two-year battle against cancer, Michael Davies, who was born in 1936, suffered a massive heart attack and died in his home on September 25, 2004. His final “Letter from London” appeared in the September 30th Remnant. That the great man is no longer with us means, among other sad things, that we no longer have the shoulders of a giant on which to stand to peer over the treetops of a perilous post-conciliar forest. With our London correspondent having gone on ahead, we are on our own and, truly, it seems awfully dark down here in the trees without him!
Remembering a Great Man
Over the decades since the close of Vatican II, Michael Davies literally gave his life to the Traditional Catholic counterrevolution. In fact, I wonder if the cancer that consumed his body and the disease that finally stilled his generous heart, weren’t in some measure brought on by a grueling writing and speaking schedule that would have severely taxed a man half his age.
We’ll never know, but what we can be sure of is that he emptied himself completely in service of the Church, and he died in the saddle with his boots on. We also know that he labored for a pittance from the beginning, having consistently refused to accept a regular stipend for his column.