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Sir Thomas More and Family (c. 1594) Rowland Lockey

 

Feast of Saint Thomas More

(1478 – 1535)

 

St. Thomas More was born in London, the son of a lawyer and judge. He was educated in the finest schools and became a brilliant English statesman. He served in parliament, on the King’s council, as a diplomat, and in many other prominent positions in public administration. He was highly esteemed for his unfailing moral integrity, sharpness of mind, humor, and extraordinary learning. He was also a faithful Catholic, a loving husband, and a devoted father. For his great abilities he was promoted by his friend King Henry VIII to the high office of Lord Chancellor, second in position to the king. He resigned from this post when the king, in open defiance of Church teaching, sought to divorce his wife in order to marry another woman, and to declare himself sovereign of the Church in England. Thomas More, a defender against heresy, refused to condone the king’s actions. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade his friend to approve of what he was doing, King Henry VIII imprisoned More in the Tower of London. At his trial, More testified boldly for Church autonomy over the state, for the authority of the pope as head of the Church, and for the indissolubility of marriage in the eyes of God. He was eventually condemned and beheaded, dying as a martyr for the Catholic faith. Thomas More is the patron saint of statesman, politicians, lawyers, civil servants, and large families.

His feast day is June 22nd.

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Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal.”

Saint Thomas More
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The Meeting of Sir Thomas More With His Daughter After His Sentence of Death by William Frederick Yeames

I die the king’s good servant and God’s first.”

Saint Thomas More
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Sir Thomas More’s Farewell to His Daughter, 1816-79
Painting by Edward Matthew Ward

Saint Thomas More, God’s Good Servant, martyr, pray for us.

Be not afraid!  And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always.  Holy Family pray for us.  Amen.

The Holy Family, Murillo
The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities (c. 1675-82) by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617 – 1682)

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