Saint Thomas More (June 22nd)
Feast Day: June 22nd
Patron of: civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages
Saint Thomas More was a “man for all seasons”. He was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father, and chancellor of England, but above all he was a man of God. His belief that no one came before the Lord ended up costing Thomas his life.
Born in 1478. His father, a judge, made sure he received a classical education from a young age. At age 13 he became the protégé of Archbishop John Morton, who also served as the Lord Chancellor. More once considered joining the Carthusian monastic order, however, once he was elected to Parliament he gave up on his monastic ambitions. Despite this, he did not stop leading a disciplined spiritual life.
Eventually, he became Chancellor of England and part of the Kings inner circle. For a while, life was great. It was not until King Henry VIII wanted an annulment from his marriage to Catherine of Aragon that Thomas’s martyrdom began. Thomas refused to approve Henry’s divorce and stepped down from being Chancellor. In 1534, Henry VIII declared that everyone should take an oath affirming the validity of his marriage to Anne Boleyn. However, Thomas refused and was arrested. While his wife and friends begged him to reconsider and take the oath, Thomas never wavered. Later, in 1535, Henry VIII declared himself to be “the only supreme head on earth of the Church in England,”. Once again, Thomas refused to acknowledge this statement. When his trial began, the opposition found him guilty of treason.
Thomas More was sentenced to death on June 1535. His final words as he walked towards the executioner were,” “I die the king's good servant, but God's first.”
Thomas More was the first person to write of a 'Utopia'. He wrote the book, Utopia.
He made sure his daughters got an education as rich as his son, during a time when few girls were educated.
"God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind."
"You wouldn't abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn't control the winds."
“I die the king's good servant, but God's first.”