My husband Shane was watching a documentary about Sir Thomas More with me and said “where’s the magic?” Referring to the sort of magical/miracle aspects of the other saints I’ve written. I kept looking for Thomas’s obvious miracles and I just couldn’t find any. What I discovered is that the church (the Catholic Church) says that martyrdom trumps miracles. And Thomas certainly was a martyr. He invited me to learn more about the history of the Episcopal Church and where it derived from, which really was Henry VIII’s selfish need to divorce his wife so he could marry another “more beautiful” woman who could provide him with a direct heir (a son). Sir Thomas was the King’s Lord High Chancellor and the person whom Henry the VIII wanted to “fix” his problem with the Catholic Church. Long story short, Sir Thomas refused. Eventually Henry got his wish to be separated from the church as well as his wife and married Ann Boleyn. When Ann had her coronation as the new queen and Henry VIII’s trusted chancellor never showed, that was the last straw and he had Sir Thomas charged with treason.
Thomas refused to take the oath of supremacy and was executed for his actions. At his execution, he said “I die the king’s good servant, and God’s first.” While Sir Thomas More didn’t necessarily have any miracles associated with his sainthood, I personally believe it’s a miracle in and of itself to stand up to a selfish and righteous king. He did not waver in his convictions. That takes a solid amount of knowledge mixed with courage.
Thomas was an astounding writer, such works include the popular Utopia, which according to my friend Brandon, should be required reading (I agree). He also wrote a series of annotations while he was held captive at the Tower of London where he spent his final days. He was an intelligent and astute man of miraculous conviction. He taught me to learn more about the history of my church, to always educate yourself, and that you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Sir Thomas More is the patron saint of lawyers, politicians, and public servants. A timely moment for his blessings.