Saint Thomas Moore
By Aline Laferriere
Thomas Moore was born on February 7, 1478 in London to John Moore and Agnes Nei Graunger. They wanted Thomas to be educated at St. Anthony’s School, which was considered one of the finest in London at that time. He served as a page from 1490 to 1492 in the home of John Morton, the Archbishop and Lord Chancellor of Canterbury. He began his studies to become a lawyer in 1502. He at one time had considered leaving Law to become a monk. In 1503 he lived near a Carthusian Monastery where he joined the monk’s spiritual exercises. Though he admired their piety, he discerned marriage as his vocation and was later elected to Parliament. Even though he was married he continued living the monk’s ascetical practices for the rest of his life.
In 1505 he married Jane Colt who was 10 years younger, quiet, good-natured. Together with Jane, Thomas raised four children: Margaret, Elizabeth, Cicely and John. Jane died in 1511, and Moore remarried to his 2nd wife, Alice. He helped raise her daughter, Anne, from her previous marriage. He served in Parliament and on many seats of power. He later served as Advisor and Lord Chancellor to King Henry VIII. Thomas wrote many scholarly and literary books; one was called, “Utopia.” Soon King Henry VIII began to challenge the authority of the Pope because he wanted an annulment from Catherine so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. Moore refused an oath and refused to attend the coronation and wedding; it was taken as an insult. He was arrested, charged with treason, and put in the Tower of London as a prisoner. In court he was sentenced to death by decapitation by jury only after fifteen minutes of trial.
I admire Thomas Moore because he exemplifies how we should live our faith: courageously and with steadfastness. His martyrdom took place on July 6, 1535 where he said bravely, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”
Saint Thomas Moore, pray for us!