A Martyr for His Beliefs: The Untold Story of Thomas More


Thomas More was a man of great conviction and faith, willing to risk everything for his beliefs. He lived in a time of political and religious turmoil, where speaking out against the King and the Church could lead to imprisonment or death. Despite these dangers, More remained steadfast in his beliefs and ultimately became a martyr for them.

Born in London in 1478, Thomas More was the son of a prominent lawyer and judge. He received an excellent education at Oxford University and eventually became a lawyer himself, rising through the ranks to become the friend and advisor of King Henry VIII.

In 1529, More was appointed as Lord Chancellor, the highest position in the country after the King. But as Henry VIII sought to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and marry his mistress Anne Boleyn, More’s loyalties were tested. As a devout Catholic, he could not support the King’s actions as it went against his religious beliefs.

Despite pressure from the King and his advisors, More refused to give his approval for the annulment. He resigned from his position as Lord Chancellor in 1532, citing poor health, but in reality, it was due to his opposition to the King’s actions.

But Henry VIII was not one to take no for an answer. He demanded that all his subjects swear an oath acknowledging his marriage to Anne Boleyn and denouncing the authority of the Pope. More, along with other prominent figures such as Bishop John Fisher, refused to take the oath, believing it to be against the laws of God and the Church.

More’s refusal to swear the oath led to his arrest and imprisonment in the Tower of London in 1534. Despite being offered a chance to release himself from prison if he swore allegiance to the King’s marriage, More remained steadfast in his beliefs and refused. He spent 15 months in prison, where he wrote and prayed, before being brought to trial for treason.

During the trial, More passionately defended his beliefs and refused to compromise his conscience. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by beheading. On July 6, 1535, More was executed at Tower Hill. His last words were, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”

More’s death caused shock and outrage throughout England. He was a beloved figure and seen as a martyr for his faith. His execution also marked a turning point in England’s history, as it solidified the break with the Catholic Church and the establishment of the Church of England.

More’s legacy continues to inspire people today, nearly 500 years after his death. He is remembered not only for his courage in standing up for his beliefs but also for his writings, including his most famous work, Utopia, which criticized the social and political institutions of his time. His example has inspired other martyrs, including St. Thomas Becket and St. Joan of Arc, and continues to inspire many to stand up for their beliefs and conscience.

In 2000, Pope St. John Paul II declared More a saint, honoring his sacrifice and unwavering faith. He is also recognized as the patron saint of statesmen, politicians, and lawyers.

The story of Thomas More is a reminder of the power of truth and the strength of an individual’s convictions. He chose to be true to his beliefs and conscience, even at the cost of his own life. More’s story serves as a timeless example of courage, faith, and integrity that continues to inspire people around the world.