This digital art print of Saint Thomas More is the perfect addition to your home decor or a great gift for birthdays, Confirmation, weddings, or Christmas.
St. Thomas More was born in 1478 in London to wealthy parents. Thomas’ father was a lawyer and a judge and he used his connections to help Thomas rise to success in his own career.
Thomas went to one of the best schools in London and his stellar education and his father’s connections led him to work as a page to John Morton, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chancellor of England. Later, Thomas attended Oxford and then trained to become a lawyer. At this point in his life, he began contemplating the religious life, but ultimately decided he could better serve God in the secular world. Thomas was known to be a theologian and a writer, composing his most famous piece, Utopia, which was widely read during and after the Renaissance.
What Thomas More is most known for, and what would bring about his eventual death, is his relationship with King Henry VIII. Henry VIII appreciated Thomas and would show that appreciation by giving him more and more responsibilities, including making him Under-Treasurer of the Exchequer and then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and then eventually Lord Chancellor.
As Lord Chancellor, Thomas prosecuted individuals accused of heresy and worked to defend the Catholic Church and faith in England. Eventually, Henry VIII desired to divorce his wife Catherine and annul the marriage in the Catholic Church in order to remarry Anne Boleyn. To this end, he asked Thomas to write a letter to the Pope requesting an annulment, but Thomas refused.
Henry VIII, wanting things to go his way, saw a solution in breaking away from the Catholic Church--and Thomas saw that he could no longer support or even work for the king. Thomas resigned his position, saying he was too ill to fulfill his duties, and Henry accepted. However, when Thomas refused to attend the coronation of the new queen, Anne Boleyn, Henry took this as the final straw.
Henry began looking for ways to incriminate Thomas, but his integrity protected him. Henry tried to have Thomas accused of taking bribes--but there was no evidence to support these claims. Then, Henry tried to have Thomas accused of conspiracy with a nun who prophesied against Henry and his new queen--but Thomas produced a letter that showed he specifically instructed the nun to avoid interfering with politics. Henry’s attempts to sabotage Thomas failed due to Thomas’ excellent character.
Finally, Henry ordered Thomas to take an oath, acknowledging that Anne Boleyn was England’s legitimate queen, that his annulment from Catherine was legitimate, and that Henry, as king, was the head of the Church. Thomas admitted to Henry’s marriage to Anne but refused to accept and acknowledge the rest.
Thomas faced trial and was convicted--by a court that included three of Anne Boleyn’s own family members. Thomas was sentenced to be decapitated. It is said that Thomas joked to his executioners that if they helped him up the scaffold, he would see himself down. And faithful to the very end, Thomas’ final statement included that he was “the king’s good servant, but God’s first.”
St. Thomas More is the patron saint of adopted children, lawyers, civil servants, politicians, and difficult marriages.