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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Saint THOMAS MORE, Layman, 1535



His keenest trial arose from the endeavour of his beloved daughter to persuade him to take the oath, as she had done herself. She urged that he was more to the King than any man in England, and therefore ought to obey him in what was not evidently repugnant to God's law. That in favour of the oath were all the learned men of England, and nearly all the bishops and doctors, save Fisher. More answered that he condemned no one for taking the oath, " for some may do it upon temporal hopes, or fear of great losses, for which I will never think any have taken it; for I imagine that nobody is so frail and fearful as myself. Some may hope that God will not impute it unto them for a sin, because they do it by constraint. Some may hope to do penance presently after, and others are of opinion that God is not offended with our mouth, so our heart be pure ; but as for my part I dare not jeopardy myself upon these vain hopes." As to the numbers against him, he had on his side many more in other parts of Christendom, and all the doctors of the Church.

"He that is not with Me is against Me : and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth." —MATT. xii. 30.

Thomas More was canonised in 1935, the four hundreth anniversary of his execution.

Saint Thomas More with his family

His Last Letter
Our Lord bless you, good daughter, and your good husband, and your little boy, and all yours, and all my children, and all my god-children and all our friends. Recommend me when ye may to my good daughter Cecily, whom I beseech Our Lord to comfort; and I send her my blessing and to all her children, and pray her to pray for me. I send her a handkercher, and God comfort my good son, her husband. My good daughter Daunce hath the picture in parchment that you delivered me from my Lady Coniers, her name on the back. Show her that I heartily pray her that you may send it in my name to her again, for a token from me to pray for me.
I like special well Dorothy Colly. I pray you be good unto her. I would wot whether this be she that you wrote me of. If not, yet I pray you be good to the other as you may in her affliction, and to my good daughter Jane Aleyn too. Give her, I pray you, some kind answer, for she sued hitherto me this day to pray you be good to her.

I cumber you, good Margaret, much, but I would be sorry if it should be any longer than to-morrow, for it is St. Thomas's even, and the utas of St. Peter; and therefore, to-morrow long I to go to God. It were a day very meet and convenient for me.

I never liked your manner towards me better than when you kissed me last; for I love when daughterly love and dear charity hath no leisure to look to worldly courtesy. Farewell, my dear child, and pray for me, and I shall for you and all your friends, that we may merrily meet in heaven. I thank you for your great cost. I send now my good daughter Clement her algorism stone, and I send her and my godson and all hers God's blessing and mine. I pray you at time convenient recommend me to my good son John More. I liked well his natural fashion. Our Lord bless him and his good wife, my loving daughter, to whom I pray him to be good, as he hath great cause; and that, if the land of mine come to his hands, he break not my will concerning his sister Daunce. And the Lord bless Thomas and Austin, and all that they shall have.

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