Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), also known as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, author, and statesman who in his lifetime gained a reputation as a leading Renaissance humanist scholar, and occupied many public offices, including Lord Chancellor(1529–1532). More coined the word “utopia”, a name he gave to the ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in Utopia, published in 1516. He was beheaded in 1535 when he refused to sign the Act of Supremacy that declared King Henry VIII Supreme Head of the Church of England.
In 1935, four hundred years after More’s death, Pope Pius XI canonized him in the Roman Catholic Church. More was declared Patron Saint of politicians and statesmen by Pope John Paul II in 2000. In 1969, More’s name was included in the General Roman Calendar, with a Memorial in which he is venerated with Saint John Fisher on 22 June, the day of the latter’s death. In 1980, More was added to the Church of England’s calendar of saints, again jointly with John Fisher, but on July 6, the day of More’s death.
Saint John Fisher (c.1469 – 22 June 1535) was an English Catholic bishop, cardinal and martyr. He shares his feast day with Saint Thomas More on 6 July on the Anglican calendar of saints. Fisher and More were executed by order of King Henry VIII during the English Reformation for refusing to accept him as Head of the Church of England. He is the only member of the College of Cardinals to have suffered martyrdom.
you confirm the true faith
with the crown of martyrdom.
May the prayers of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More
give us the courage to proclaim our faith
by the witness of our lives.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever. Amen.