January 31, 2010

The King's good servant, but God's first

Early in his life, English lawyer, statesman, scholar, and writer Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535) was torn between a monastic life and a life of civil service. He became a Carthusian monk but eventually, his desire to serve his country won out and he entered the field of politics after three years. His thirty-year political career was tumultuous and controversial, and when he refused to swear to the 1534 Act of Succession and Act of Supremacy, which declared King Henry VIII the supreme head of the Church of England, More was tried, found guilty of treason and beheaded. For the same reasons that he was beheaded, Thomas More was canonized as a Catholic saint in 1935 and he is considered the patron of lawyers and politicians. It is therefore not surprising that the chapel in the Ateneo Professional Schools (law, business, government, and medicine and public health) in Makati City is named the Chapel of Saint Thomas More.

Chapel of Saint Thomas More in the Ateneo Professional Schools

13 comments:

bfarr said...

Interesting story. That is a very striking gold.

Jacob said...

I find it fascinating that church and state are in such close synch in the Philippines...

Nice-looking chapel, for sure!

George said...

What a beautiful chapel. Saint Thomas More has his hands full with the lawyers and politicians over here!

Clueless in Boston said...

Very pretty little chapel. I didn't know he was the patron saint of lawyers and politicians.

Dina said...

A sad story but a beautiful chapel.

I remember attending the Red Mass in Sydney (which is again tomorrow) for the lawyers of the St. Thomas More Society, "lawyers inspired by the example of St Thomas More."

Louis la Vache said...

Beautiful chapel in a modern idiom.

There are many parallels between the story of Thomas More and Thomas Beckett.

VP said...

Nice chapel dedicated to a very important Saint.

Leif Hagen said...

A lovely, peaceful, quiet place! I could sit there for a while and ponder!

Andreea said...

Even though I don't agree with his Utopia, which to me sounds like the blueprint for 20th century communism, the man was a scholar and a remarkable statesmen. I applaud him for standing out for his principles. The chapel looks very warm, exactly as a church should be.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

very interesting with a great image

Stine in Ontario said...

Thank you for the history lesson, Hilda. I knew of Sir Thomas More's trouble with Henry viii, but did not know he's the patron saint of lawyers and politicians. Hmmm. I wonder if the politicians here in Canada know. They might behave better if they knew...or not.

James Mark said...

A great man in many ways. The film of the play, "A man for all seasons" has some memorable lines with Paul Schofield in the lead role. Thomas More, however, was no friend to the growing number of evangelical protestants and actively took part in persecuting them.

gogouci said...

Great post. I learn something everyday...I visit your blog. Thanks.