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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Remembering Michael Davies, Founding Father of Traditional Catholic Counterrevolution

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Michael Davies, Chartres Pilgrimage 1996 Michael Davies, Chartres Pilgrimage 1996

Editor’s Note: I wrote these few words 14 years ago, the day after the death of my friend Michael Davies on September 25, 2004. Those wishing to learn more about this premier traditional Catholic layman can read the entire eulogy HERE. For over 30 years Michael Davies wrote a bi-weekly column for The Remnant called, simply, “A Letter from London.” May he rest in peace. MJM

Though he was not martyred, the name Davies can surely and without hesitation be placed alongside those of More, Fisher and Campion, as men who gave their lives to the defense of the Holy, Roman Catholic Church in times of great upheaval.

With all my heart I believe this to be true and am convinced that history will concur. In terms of sheer positive impact on souls languishing in a revolution-wracked Church, I can think of no layman who served more loyally or confirmed the brethren more steadfastly. He knew history and he understood the perils of our own time in the context of history.


He also knew that we are presently engaged in a pitched battle against forces of darkness, against which, humanly speaking, we are no match since the Catholic Church has fallen. He knew well that, under such circumstances, even the strongest faith will wither if hope is lost.

And so his tireless task was to keep Hope alive, convinced that a childlike confidence in a good God is the best antidote for the poisons of despair, ambition, presumption and pride that hell has injected into the bloodstream of the modern world.

Like Newman and Chesterton before him, Michael Davies chose this Faith…he wasn’t born into it. And after making that choice, he, like them, dedicated his life to the unflagging defense of its every doctrine and dogma, tenet and creed, rubric and sacred prayer. And this is what we’d do well to always remember about him—he chose to be a traditional Catholic and would have died for that choice.

The former Anglican knew well that Roman Catholics possess the pearl of great price; ours was the religion that successfully carried saints and kings, gentlemen and scholars, soldiers and peasants through this vale of tears for two thousand years since Christ walked with men. We, then, are the fortunate ones…and neither fabricated liturgies nor cockamamie Councils can change that triumphant reality. We have no excuse to abandon Hope!

And so, as Michael always sought to be useful, let’s put his memory to good use. Let’s remember him happily as the mighty lion of Tradition, the jovial son of Wales, the great Catholic who inspired tears of love and tears of laughter, who helped us believe in the only things that really matter, and who kept hope burning bright even in the darkest night. In the end, he showed us how to finish this race, fight the good fight, and keep the old Faith.

With fond remembrance and gladness at having known him and called him friend, we bid adieu and Godspeed to Michael Davies, one of the greatest Defenders of the Faith who ever lived.

Cheers, Sir. Thanks for everything! And, don’t worry—we’ll not forget what you’ve done for us and for our children. As Harry the King might have said, your story shall the good man teach his son. And Tradition shall ne'er go by from this day to the ending of the world. 

You ran the good race, you kept the old Faith, may you now rest in peace. Amen

davies matt

Michael Davies and Michael Matt on Pilgrimage to Chartres, a long time ago...

End Note
Any one who is fortunate enough to be worshipping regularly at the Tridentine Mass these days may see fit to consider that, were it not for the groundwork of Michael Davies, there may not be many such Masses left to attend anywhere in the world.  Would it not be right and fitting, then, for each of us to vow here and now to have one such Mass offered for the repose of his soul? I can think of no more fitting way to repay the debt we owe the man who spent thirty-five years teaching us about the “most beautiful thing this side of heaven” and showing us all how to keep ourselves and our children on the narrow path that leads to everlasting life…despite the Revolution of Vatican II.

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Last modified on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Michael J. Matt | Editor

Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000.  Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.