St Thomas More was a close friend of Henry VIII. Thomas was both a brilliant lawyer and a man of deep faith. Henry respected him and appointed him Chancellor. Thomas joined the king in opposing the attacks on the Church made by reformers, Henry VIII wrote an essay supporting the Church – (probably ghost written by Thomas). Henry’s essay gained him the title “Defender of the Faith” which the British monarch still bears. Their relationship fractured big style when Henry’s request to the Pope for an annulment was denied, and Henry declaring himself head of the Church. After which everyone was required to take the oath of supremacy rejecting the authority of Rome in religious matters. Thomas would not and consequently he was stripped of his position as chancellor, then imprisoned and finally executed. Thomas’ last words were: “I die as the King’s faithful servant, but God’s first.” Given the choice between following his conscience and rejecting the truth, Thomas saw no choice. Given the choice of choosing king or God, he chose God. We are reminded today that we have to be active, courageous and moral citizens. That is how we can give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
…the high renown, the eternal Name!