Summer Saints – Thomas More

Thomas More was born in England in 1477. His father was a lawyer and a judge, and Thomas worked very hard to become a lawyer like his father. Thomas prayed every day and thought about becoming a priest or a monk, but he discerned that God was not calling him to those vocations. He was a good lawyer, and he also wrote many letters and poems. Because he was so good at his work, King Henry VIII wanted Henry to come serve in his court. The king made Thomas a knight and paid for him to build a large house.

Thomas had five children, and was known for being a good and loving father. The king wanted to be friends with Thomas, and he gave him lots of gifts and power. But then King Henry decided that he didn’t want to obey the pope anymore. He decided to start his own church that he would be in charge of, but Thomas would not join this new church. The king was very angry with Thomas and took away his house and almost all of his money. Thomas was still loyal to the Pope, so the King arrested him and charged him with treason. Thomas was sentenced to death, and he was beheaded on July 6, 1535.

Among other things, Thomas is a patron of families. Play this simple game to remind yourselves of the importance of each family member.

Have your family form a large circle outdoors. Using a ball of yarn or string, have one person hold the end of the string and then throw the ball to someone else. The first and second people hold onto their string while the second person throws the ball of string to someone else. Ask everyone to hold tight to the string that was thrown to them and continue throwing the ball of string until it is unrolled. Now, select one person to let go of their string and step away from the circle while everyone else holds onto their string. Discuss what happened to the pattern of your string when just one person let go. Share together how the ball of string is like your family. The string itself is like each person in the family. Each person in the family is special and has gifts and talents that make your family complete. Even when only one person doesn’t take part in the family, it makes a difference. Ask your family to share how it changes when one person is gone or doesn’t take part in family activities. End this activity by having everyone take a turn saying one positive thing about each person. Then, pray together, thanking God for the gift of each person in your family.

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