My parents gave me the middle name of Thomas, and since childhood I have always considered St. Thomas More my patron saint. I don’t know why him rather than St. Thomas the Apostle, all I know is from my earliest memory, Thomas More was “the man.”
Today it is his optional memorial on the liturgical calendar. He shares it with St. Bishop John Fisher. Both were executed in England in 1535 of treason, because they held fast to the Catholic Church and the pope, and refused to follow the orders of Henry VIII.
Whereas John Fisher was a bishop, Thomas More was a married man, a lawyer, and a high government official, who was actually at one time a friend of sorts with the king, until Henry’s break with Rome over his divorce and the pope’s refusal to find any grounds for an annulment of Henry’s marriage. As you recall, the king wanted to marry again. Since Rome refused to declare his marriage null, Henry decided to establish the Church of England, put himself at its head and demanded that all Catholic clergy and faithful swear allegiance to the new Church.
Fisher and More refused and were executed.
For a great website on these saints and their writings, log on to:
Even though today’s memorial is optional on the calendar, I celebrate it in the breviary. Hope all of you do the same!