The Secular Franciscan Home Page: ST. THOMAS MORE

Franciscan Saints Archives


    ST. THOMAS belongs to that class of Tertiaries who have grasped the true spirit of their Seraphic Father. It is a spirit of deep-seated piety and of contempt for the world, as well as of unswerving fidelity to Holy church practiced in an exceptional degree and sealed with one's blood.
    As the father of a family, he was concerned that his children should be reared in the fear of God. He became famous for his book entitled "Utopia." By means of this "Kingdom of Nowhere" he scourged in fine satire the evils that were eating their way into the Church and the State.
    Through Henry VIII he became attached to the royal court and was finally appointed Lord High Chancellor. The time had now arrived in which this Tertiary was to manifest how sincerely he had grasped the spirit of the Saint of Assisi. As was to be expected, even as a statesman Thomas continued to make as his accustomed religious exercises. He set aside every Friday as a day of introspection. His charity was without limit.
    He experienced special delight in serving the priest at holy Mass, and he received Holy Communion daily. He was told, by way of reproach, that it was unbecoming for a layman with so much work to do and so many distractions to communicate daily. But he replied, "You are advancing the very reasons for the need for frequent holy Communion. If I am distracted, holy Communion helps me to be come recollected if opportunities are offered me each day to offend my God, I arm myself anew each day for the combat by the reception of the Eucharist. If I am in special need of light and prudence in order to discharge my burdensome duties, I draw nigh to my Savior and seek counsel and light from Him."
    But it was not long before his doom was sealed. Blinded by unholy passions, King Henry divorced his lawful wife and married Anne Boleyn, a lady in waiting at the court. When Rome justly condemned this adulterous act, the king severed his connections with Rome and set himself up as the head of the Church in England.
    The first person that opposed the king was Thomas More. He was cast into prison. When his wife endeavored to persuade him to give up his opposition and prolong his life, he asked her just how long she believed he would live. She answered, "at least twenty years." He answered, "Had you said a few thousand years, that might make a difference. But surely even he would be a poor merchant who would run the risk of losing an eternity for the sake of a thousand years." He was beheaded on July 6, 1535.
    Pope Leo XIII beatified this great Tertiary, and Pope Plus XI canonized him on May 19, 1935

     Be loyal to Christ by your love for the Blessed Sacrament. Faith taught Thomas to behold in the Sacred Host Him who said; "This is My Body!" It was, therefore, his greatest delight and duty to attend the holy Sacrifice daily, to serve the priests of Christ, and to receive Christ in Holy Communion. Can this also be said of you?