Saint Thomas More (1478-1535)

Patron Saint For Lawyers And Judges

St. Thomas MoreBorn on 7th February 1478, Thomas More is remembered for his steadfast opposition to Henry VIII's Act of Succession that cost him his life.

More was called to the utter bar of Lincoln's Inn in 1496 and elected a Member of Parliament in 1504. More married Jane Colte in 1505 and on her demise he married the widow, Alice Middteton in 1511.

Appointed Chancellor of England

In 1516 he published his most famous book Utopia. As a wit and reformer, he found favour with the King that saw him being knighted in 1521 and made sub-treasurer to the king.

In 1523 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons. In 1529 More succeeded the renowned Cardinal Wolsey as Chancellor of England becoming the first layman to assume the post. He also had equal unparallel success as a judge.

Beheaded For High Treason

When Henry VIII issued a royal proclamation in 1530 that declared him the "Supreme Head" of the Church, More tendered his resignation as chancellor. His resignation however was not accepted. More continued to firmly oppose Henry's opinions on divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against heretics. His opposition speedily lost him the royal favour. In May, 1532, he resigned as Lord Chancellor.

In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed that required all to inter alia take an oath to repudiate the papal supremacy. On 14 April 1535, More was summoned to take the oath and on his refusal he was indicted for high treason. On 1 July, More was found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, which sentence was subsequently substituted by Henry to beheading. On the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as "the King's servant, but God's first". The execution took place on 6th July 1535.

Thomas More was formally beatified by Pope Leo in 1886 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

Adopted By The Society

At the invitation of Archbishop Anthony Soter Fernandez, the Catholic Lawyers' Society Kuala Lumpur adopted St Thomas More as its patron Saint.

The celebration of our patron's feast-day is always a timely reminder to members of the society to walk in the ways of St. Thomas More; namely, to keep the faith (especially during trials and tribulations) and be vigilant in carrying out their responsibilities as Catholic lawyers.


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