Saint Thomas More

[Saint Thomas More]Also known as

  • omnium horarum homo (a man for all seasons, referring to his wide scholarship and knowledge)

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Studied at London and Oxford, England. Page for the Archbishop of Canterbury. Lawyer. Twice married, and a widower he was the father of one son and three daughters, and a devoted family man. Writer, most famously of the novel which coined the word Utopia. Translated with works of Lucian. Known during his own day for his scholarship and the depth of his knowledge. Friend of King Henry VIII. Lord Chancellor of England from 1529 to 1532, a position of political power second only to the king. Fought any form of heresy, especially the incursion of Protestantism into England. Opposed the king on the matter of royal divorce, and refused to swear the Oath of Supremacy which declared the king the head of the Church in England. Resigned the Chancellorship, and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Martyred for his refusal to bend his religious beliefs to the king‘s political needs.

Born

Died

  • beheaded on 6 July 1535 on Tower Hill, London, England
  • body taken to Saint Peter ad Vincula, Tower of London, England
  • his head was parboiled and then exposed on London Bridge for a month as a warning to other “traitors”; Margaret Roper bribed the man whose was supposed to throw it into the river to give it to her instead
  • in 1824 a lead box was found in the Roper vault at Saint Dunstan’s Church Canterbury, England; it contained a head presumed to be More’s

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Canonized

Patronage

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Readings

What does it avail to know that there is a God, which you not only believe by Faith, but also know by reason: what does it avail that you know Him if you think little of Him? - Saint Thomas More

What men call fame is, after all, but a very windy thing. A man things that many are praising him, and talking of him alone, and yet they spend but a very small part of the day thinking of him, being occupied with things of their own. - Saint Thomas More

Although I know well, Margaret, that because of my past wickedness I deserve to be abandoned by God, I cannot but trust in his merciful goodness. His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land, and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience. God’s grace has given the king a gracious frame of mind toward me, so that as yet he has taken from me nothing but my liberty. In doing this His Majesty has done me such great good with respect to spiritual profit that I trust that among all the great benefits he has heaped so abundantly upon me I count my imprisonment the very greatest. I cannot, therefore, mistrust the grace of God. By the merits of his bitter passion joined to mine and far surpassing in merit for me all that I can suffer myself, his bounteous goodness shall release me from the pains of purgatory and shall increase my reward in heaven besides. I will not mistrust him, Meg, though I shall feel myself weakening and on the verge of being overcome with fear. I shall remember how Saint Peter at a blast of wind began to sink because of his lack of faith, and I shall do as he did: call upon Christ and pray to him for help. And then I trust he shall place his holy hand on me and in the stormy seas hold me up from drowning. And finally, Margaret, I know this well: that without my fault he will not let me be lost. I shall, therefore, with good hope commit myself wholly to him. And if he permits me to perish for my faults, then I shall serve as praise for his justice. But in good faith, Meg, I trust that his tender pity shall keep my poor soul safe and make me commend his mercy. And, therefore, my own good daughter, do not let you mind be troubled over anything that shall happen to me in this world. Nothing can come but what God wills. And I am very sure that whatever that be, however bad it may seem, it shall indeed be the best. - from a letter written by Saint Thomas More from prison to his daughter Margaret

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Thomas More“. Saints.SQPN.com. 27 August 2014. Web. 30 September 2014. <>