Franciscan Saints


 

 

 

31st July

 

 

St. Thomas More 

 

Martyr, Third Order

 

Feast day June 22nd. Thomas More was formally beatified by Pope Leo XIII, in the Decree of 29 December, 1886. Note: St. Thomas More was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

 

His belief that no lay ruler has jurisdiction over the Church of Christ cost Thomas More his life. Beheaded on Tower Hill, London, July 6, 1535, he steadfastly refused to approve Henry VIII’s divorce and remarriage and establishment of the Church of England.

 

 

Described as “a man for all seasons,” More was a literary scholar, eminent lawyer, gentleman, father of four children and chancellor of England. An intensely spiritual man, he would not support the king’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne Boleyn. Nor would he acknowledge Henry as supreme head of the Church in England, breaking with Rome and denying the pope as head.

More was committed to the Tower of London to await trial for treason: not swearing to the Act of Succession and the Oath of Supremacy. Upon conviction, More declared he had all the councils of Christendom and not just the council of one realm to support him in the decision of his conscience.

 

Stories:

 

When the executioner offered to blindfold him, More said that he would do this himself. But after he had stretched his head over the low block—it was merely a log of wood—he made a signal to the man to wait a moment. Then he made his last joke: His beard was lying on the block and he would like to remove it. At least that had committed no treason. The heavy axe went slowly up, hung a moment in the air and fell.

 

Comment:

 

 

Four hundred years later, in 1935, Thomas More was canonized a saint of God. Few saints are more relevant to our time. In fact, in 2000, Blessed John Paul II named him patron of political leaders. The supreme diplomat and counselor, he did not compromise his own moral values in order to please the king, knowing that true allegiance to authority is not blind acceptance of everything that authority wants. King Henry himself realized this and tried desperately to win his chancellor to his side because he knew More was a man whose approval counted, a man whose personal integrity no one questioned. But when Thomas resigned as chancellor, unable to approve the two matters that meant most to Henry, the king had to get rid of Thomas More.

 

Patron Saint of: Attorneys Civil servants Court clerks Lawyers Politicians, public servants

 

 

 

 

Prayer of the Church

 

Almighty and eternal God, grant us, we beseech Thee, that we

who celebrate the festival of Thy holy martyr Thomas, may

through his intercession, be firmly established in our love for thee.

Through the same Christ Our Lord Who liveth and reigneth
with
Thee and the Holy Spirit,  One God, now and forever.  Amen

 

Source: Foley, Leonard Fr, OFM. ,ed., revised by Pat McCloskey, O.F.M.,2009,Saint of the Day, Lives, Lessons and Feast, St. Anthony’s messenger Press, Cincinnati, OH

 

Prayer: Habig, Marion A., O.F.M., 1959, ed., The Franciscan book of Saints, Franciscan Herald press, Chicago, Illinois

 

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Last edited 13/09/2017 10:09 
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