St. Thomas More

Feast Day: June 22

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By Catholic Digest Staff

Feast Day: June 22


An exceptional lawyer who embraced a philosophy of compassion and equality, Thomas More was a Londoner and devout Catholic. Originally drawn to monastic life, his father ordered him to get married and his household became a celebrated place of prayer, teaching, and peace. Regularly, he invited his poorest neighbors to dine instead of the noblest. Excelling in his secular career, a knighthood was bestowed upon him, and he wrote the classic work Utopia, which his educated friends regarded as an important contribution to the Christian humanist movement. In 1529 he became Lord Chancellor of England, famous for his integrity and fairness. A favorite of King Henry VIII, everything began to fall apart when the king ordered that clergy acknowledge him as “Protector and Supreme Head of the Church.” More refused, and also defended the sanctity of the king’s current marriage to Catherine of Aragon, in opposition to the king’s wishes to marry Anne Boleyn. The infuriated King accepted his resignation, and then illegally persecuted More, who was executed for being, in More’s own words, “the king’s good servant- but God’s first.”

Catholic Digest Staff