St. Thomas More and a Letter

Kathy Schiffer is using the Fortnight for Freedom to bring out some of the church’s well-and-lesser-known freedom fighters. Today she is serving up Saint Thomas More:

From prison, More spoke out strongly against Henry VIII’s marriage, calling the King’s Act of Supremacy “contrary to the laws of God and his holy Church.” More explained that no temporal prince could take away the prerogatives that belonged to St. Peter and his successors, according to the words of Christ. Although most of the English bishops had accepted the king’s order, More stood his ground, insisting that the saints in heaven did not accept it.

On July 7, 1535, after fifteen months of imprisonment, More was beheaded. Calm before his executioner, he declared, “I am the king’s good servant—but God’s first.”

Kathy includes in her post More’s famous (and faith-instructive) letter to his daughter Margaret, which was written during his imprisonment and is always worth re-reading.

Or, if you’d prefer, you can listen to me read it, here

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Rand Careaga

    Have you read Hilary Mantel’s novel Wolf Hall? She paints a sympathetic portrait of Thomas Cromwell and casts a correspondingly baleful eye on More. Of the novels I’ve read published this century, only Vollmann’s Europe Central has impressed me as much.

    [You're not the first to recommend it-admin]