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Inside the Mind of Thomas More: The Witness of His Writings

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Item Number: 73134

In the 482 years since his death, Thomas More continues to attract worldwide admiration.  One of his earliest admirers, 18th century writer Jonathan Swift of Gulliver’s Travels fame, named More among the six greatest defenders of liberty of all time, “to which all the ages of the world cannot add a seventh.” St. John Paul II in 2000 named him patron of statesman.   G.K. Chesterton in 1929, called Thomas More “more important at this moment than at any moment since his dying; but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years’ time.”

 In a time when the rights of conscience against state compulsion are tested in many areas of life, from forcible involvement in abortion to non-Christian forms of marriage, More matters to the world even sooner than Chesterton expected. He is a figure that is hard to find fault with.  Without compromising himself to advance, More stood at the summit of his country, second only to the king. The greatest lawyer in the land was without show a devout practicing Catholic who spent one day a week in prayer and penance since his youth. He accepted an ignominious death rather than to cave in to his monarch’s marriage caprices which destroyed the Catholic Church in England.  Why did he persist in an action that he knew could destroy him, his family,  and his accomplishments?