Monday, June 22, 2015
Today, June 22, the Church celebrates the feast day of two English men martyred for their faith in the 1500's. I have seen the film, A Man for All Seasons, many times. Paul Scofield did a masterful job in his portrayal of Sir Thomas More, married man, lawyer, father, faithful Catholic and Lord Chancellor of England, and eventually martyr for the faith. He was a friend of King Henry VIII until Henry decided to marry Anne Boleyn as a replacement for his first wife. Thomas More resigned his post and suffered material losses as fines and other expenses piled up. More was a writer and a philosopher, friend of Erasmus and many others in Europe. His book Utopia was a "best seller" in his own time. Thomas More loved his wife and children. He could have saved his life by feigning adherence to Henry's call to be recognized as head of the Church in England. More in conscience could not give in to the King. Eventually Thomas More was beheaded for disobeying the King's command. St. Thomas More left an example of honesty, fidelity to truth and to family, and a great love for God and neighbor.