Born in London, St. Thomas More enjoyed a thorough grounding in the classics and religion. He then studied law and his career led him to Parliament. Also a leading humanist, Thomas had written the famous Utopia by 1516. His reputation attracted the favor of King Henry VIII who appointed Thomas to a succession of high posts, including Lord Chancellor in 1529.
But Thomas resigned from that post in 1532 as Henry persisted in holding opinions quite different from those of the Catholic Church regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. When Thomas refused to render allegiance to Henry as head of the Church in England, he was jailed in the Tower of London. Some time later, he was tried, convicted of treason and sentenced to death. Moments before his beheading, Thomas proclaimed from the scaffold that he was dying as, "… the King's good servant, but God's first." Pope Pius XI canonized this martyr in 1935 and Pope John Paul II declared him patron of statesmen and politicians in 2000. Many people recognize St. Thomas More as a symbol of integrity and a hero of conscience.
(This narrative is printed on the back of Note Cards. A copy is included with each plaque and photo.)
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