St Thomas More
Feastday: 22nd June
Patron: of adopted children lawyers, civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages
Beatified: December 29th, 1886 by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized: May 19th, 1935 by Pope Pius XI
St Thomas More 1478-1535
There have been many men and women who have strode across our land and made a lasting impact on the nature of our society. St Thomas More is somewhat neglected, nevertheless he has made a lasting mark on the intellectual, religious and legal life of our country.
The Life of St Thomas More
He was born on February 7th 1478, the son of a successful lawyer and profoundly influenced by his mother in early life. In 1492 he entered Oxford University, and after leaving there, he trained as a lawyer in London and began to practise in 1502.
In 1504 he stood for Parliament; by 1510 he represented London and it was here that he developed a reputation for being honest and effective. He became a Privy Councillor in 1514. In 1516 he published his most famous work Utopia which is still read today. By 1517, Henry VIII had taken an interest in Thomas, giving him posts of ever-increasing responsibility and appointed him Lord Chancellor in 1529.
Thomas was fiercely loyal to the King but in 1530, as Henry worked towards an annulment from Catherine of Aragon, Thomas More refused to sign a letter requesting the Pope to grant the annulment. In 1532, with tension between Henry and Thomas growing, he offered his resignation which was accepted.