Saint Thomas More

c. 1477–1535

Saint Thomas More, c. 1477–1535
June 22

Sir Thomas More was a lawyer in England with an important job—Lord Chancellor. He was also a special advisor and friend to King Henry VIII. Henry wanted Thomas to say that the king was the head of the Church in England, not the Pope. Thomas couldn’t do that. King Henry got so angry at Thomas that he had him beheaded. Thomas knew the meaning of fortitude. He loved God so much, he was willing to do the right thing even though he would be killed. He became a Saint and a martyr because he obeyed his conscience.

Discuss: Tell about a time when you followed your conscience even though it was difficult to do.

Saint Thomas More is the patron of lawyers, politicians, and civil servants. He wrote a novel, Utopia, which is still read today. A popular play and movie, A Man for All Seasons, was written about his life and time in King Henry VIII’s court.

Verbal/Linguistic, Visual/Spatial

Explain that Saint Thomas More was very brave to stand his ground and obey his conscience, even in the face of death.

  • Ask: What does it mean to have fortitude?
  • Say: In a strong wind or storm, trees with weak root systems can be blown over, roots and all. Like a tree, we need a strong root system, or foundation, to live a spiritually healthy life. Strengthening our connection to God will give us the fortitude to withstand the storms, or problems, in our lives.
  • Provide your child with art supplies. Using the description you gave above as an example, ask him/her to draw an image of fortitude. Encourage your child to include herself/himself in the picture.