St Thomas More Patron Saint
Did you ever think how fortunate we are to have a patron like St. Thomas More for our parish? By saint standards, he's a pretty contemporary guy, having been canonized a mere 61 years ago (four hundred years after his death). Though a man of his times--a man for all seasons, he could easily pass as a man of our own times, the kind of person you'd like to have living next door.
Happily married with four children, Thomas More loved to entertain in his home. A writer, philosopher friend of his, Erasmus, wrote of him, "More built himself on the banks of the Thames not far from the city of London, a country seat. . .There he lives with his best friends--his wife, his son, his three daughters and as many sons in law and eleven grandchildren. . . He loves his old wife as if she were a girl of 15. . . There is no quarreling or scolding; no one is idle." In a time when most women never learned to read, More made sure that all three of his daughters received excellent educations and always treated them as equals. Says Erasmus, he even loved jokes at his own expense. . . his special pleasure is to study the forms and minds and habits of animals. There is not species of bird that he does not keep at his house. His love of learning, entertaining, and humor were well known. He was unpretentious even after he was named Chancellor of England. He delights in simple dress, nor does he wear silk nor purple nor gold chains except on festive occasions when forced to. (Erasmus)
At the heart for Thomas More was always his strong faith, a man of true piety, said Erasmus. He could not condone the actions of Henry VIII in setting himself up as head of the Church. He was beheaded for that in 1535 saying on the block, I die the king's good servant, but God's first. The story of his struggle for integrity during that tumultuous time under Henry VIII, was well told in the famous play, later movie, A Man for All Seasons--Academy Award winner of Best Picture in 1966 and a good consideration for a popcorn and movie night over summer vacation.
In St. Thomas More we have a patron who understands our own experiences and trials, the extraordinary and the everyday. As families of the 1990's and the 21st century, we can look to him as a model and pray for his intercession and guidance.