Friday, June 22, 2018

Saint June 23 : St. Etheldreda of Ely : Patron of #Widows and Sore Throat or Necks

St. Etheldreda of Ely
Feast: June 23

Feast Day:June 23
Died:23 June, 679
Patron of:neck ailments, throat ailments, widows
Queen of Northumbria; born (probably) about 630; died at Ely, 23 June, 679. While still very young she was given in marriage by her father, Anna, King of East Anglia, to a certain Tonbert, a subordinate prince, from whom she received as morning gift a tract of land locally known as the Isle of Ely. She never lived in wedlock with Tonbert, however, and for five years after his early death was left to foster her vocation to religion. Her father then arranged for her a marriage of political convenience with Egfrid, son and heir to Oswy, King of Northumbria. From this second bridegroom, who is said to have been only fourteen years of age, she received certain lands at Hexham; through St. Wilfrid of York she gave these lands to found the minster of St. Andrew. St. Wilfrid was her friend and spiritual guide, but it was to him that Egfrid, on succeeding his father, appealed for the enforcement of his marital rights as against Etheldreda's religious vocation. The bishop succeeded at first in persuading Egfrid to consent that Etheldreda should live for some time in peace as a sister of the Coldingham nunnery, founded by her aunt, St. Ebba, in what is now Berwickshire. But at last the imminent danger of being forcibly carried off by the king drove her to wander southwards, with only two women in attendance. They made their way to Etheldreda's own estate of Ely, not, tradition said, without the interposition of miracles, and, on a spot hemmed in by morasses and the waters of the Ouse, the foundation of Ely Minster was begun. This region was Etheldreda's native home, and her royal East Anglian relatives gave her the material means necessary for the execution of her holy design. St. Wilfrid had not yet returned from Rome, where he had obtained extraordinary privileges for her foundation from Benedict II, when she died of a plague which she herself, it is said, had circumstantially foretold. Her body was, throughout many succeeding centuries, an object of devout veneration in the famous church which grew up on her foundation. One hand of the saint is now venerated in the church of St. Etheldreda, Ely Place, London, which enjoys the distinction of being the first—and at present (1909) the only—pre-Reformation church in Great Britain restored to Catholic worship. Built in the thirteenth century as a private chapel attached to the town residence of the Bishop of Ely, the structure of St. Etheldreda's passed through many vicissitudes during the centuries following its desecration, until, in 1873-74, it was purchased by Father William Lockhart and occupied by the Institute of Charity, of whose English mission Father Lockhart was then superior.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

#Novena to Saint Thomas More - Prayers to the Patron Saint of Politicians, Lawyers and Religious Freedom with Litany

Novena Prayers to St. Thomas More, Martyr & Patron of Saint of Religious Freedom, Statesmen, Politicians & Lawyers ++++++
Please join in nine days of prayer
All are also encouraged to pray the daily Rosary and do some form of penance during this novena. ++++++
First Day
Dear St. Thomas More, in your earthly life, you were a model of prudence. You never thrust yourself rashly into any serious undertaking; instead, you tested the strength of your powers and waited on God's will in prayer and penance, then boldly carried it out without hesitation. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for me the virtues of patience, prudence, wisdom and courage. Our Father...
Dear St. Thomas More, in your earthly life, you were a model of humility. You never allowed pride to lead you to take on enterprises beyond your abilities; even in the midst of earthly wealth and honor, you never forgot your total dependence on your Heavenly Father. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for me the grace of an increase in humility, and the wisdom not to overestimate my own powers.
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...
Repeat: Glorious St. Thomas More, I beg you… (From First Day)
Now is said the Litany of St. Thomas More.
Sixth Day
Dear St. Thomas More, in your earthly life, you were a model husband and father. You were loving and faithful to both of your wives, and a diligent provider and example of virtue for your children. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for me the grace of a happy home, peace in my family, and the strength to persevere in chastity according to my state of life. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...
Repeat: Glorious St. Thomas More, I beg you… (From First Day)
Now is said the Litany of St. Thomas More.
Seventh Day
Dear St. Thomas More, in your earthly life, you were a model of Christian fortitude. You suffered bereavement, disgrace, poverty, imprisonment and a violent death; yet you bore all with the strength and good cheer for which you were known throughout your life. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for me the grace to bear all the crosses that God sends me with patience and joy.
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... Repeat: Glorious St. Thomas More, I beg you… (From First Day)
Now is said the Litany of St. Thomas More.
Eighth Day
Dear St. Thomas More, in your earthly life, you were a loyal child of God and a steadfast son of the Church, never taking your eyes off the crown for which you strove. Even in the face of death, you trusted in God to give you the victory, and He rewarded you with the palm of martyrdom. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for me and mine the grace of final perseverance and protection from sudden and unprovided death, so that we may one day enjoy the Beatific Vision in your glorious company.
Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... Repeat: Glorious St. Thomas More, I beg you… (From First Day)
Now is said the Litany of St. Thomas More.
Ninth Day
Dear St. Thomas More, you spent your whole earthly life preparing for the life to come. Everything you endured prepared you not only for the glory God wished to bestow upon you in heaven, but for your work as the patron of lawyers, judges and statesmen, and steadfast friend to all who call upon you. Through your prayers and intercession, obtain for us aid in all our necessities, both corporal and spiritual, an follow in your footsteps, until at last we are safely home with you in the mansions our Father has prepared for us in heaven. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...
Repeat: Glorious St. Thomas More, I beg you… (From First Day)
Litany of St. Thomas More
(To be prayed each day after the Novena prayers that follow)
V. Lord, have mercy R. Lord, have mercy.
V. Christ, have mercy R. Christ have mercy
V. Lord, have mercy R. Lord, have mercy.
V. Christ hear us R. Christ, graciously hear us
V. St. Thomas More, Saint and Martyr, R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians and Lawyers. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Patron of Justices, Judges and Magistrates. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Model of Integrity and Virtue in Public and Private Life. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Servant of the Word of God and the Body and Blood of Christ. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Model of Holiness in the Sacrament of Marriage. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Teacher of his Children in the Catholic Faith. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Defender of the Weak and the Poor. R. Pray for us.
V. St. Thomas More, Promoter of Human Life and Dignity. R. Pray for us.
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.
Let us pray: O Glorious St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, your life of prayer and penance and your zeal for justice, integrity and firm principle in public and family life led you to the path of martyrdom and sainthood. Intercede for our Statesmen, Politicians, Judges and Lawyers, that they may be courageous and effective in their defense and promotion of the sanctity of human life - the foundation of all other human rights. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Pope Francis Flight Interview "The commitment to peace is a serious matter. When you think about the money you spend on armaments!" FULL TEXT



Papal Flight
Thursday, 21 June 2018

Thanks, in the meantime. "Walking, praying, working together" [Travel Theme]. We walked, we prayed, several times, and now we have to work a bit - and even eat, afterwards. However, we see that walking together brings fruit: today, hospitality. We have seen that, after so many years of dialogue, there is mutual respect and something more: there is also friendship. But there is still a lot of work to do and many challenges, and this is of interest to us normally: the challenges.

Maybe you want to say something first ...

Pope Francis

Thank you for your work! It was a rather heavy day, at least for me. But I'm happy. I am happy because the different things we have done, both the prayer at the beginning, then the dialogue during lunch, which was beautiful, and then the Mass, are things that made me happy. Tired, but they are good things. Thank you very much. And now, I'm at your disposal.

Greg Burke:

Good. Let's start with the Swiss: Arnaud Bédat, from the magazine "L'Illustre":

Arnaud Bédat:

Holy Father, estuvo en Ginebra pero también en Suiza. ¿Qué imágenes, qué momentos importantes, fuertes, ha marcado during esta jornada?

[Holy Father, he was in Geneva but also in Switzerland. What image, what important, strong moments hit you during this day?]

Pope Francis

Thank you. I believe that - I would say - there is a common word: meeting. It was a day of meetings. Variegated. The right word of the day is meeting, and when one person meets another and feels pleasure of the meeting, this always touches the heart. These were positive, even beautiful, encounters, starting with the dialogue with the President [of the Swiss Confederation], at the beginning, which was not only a dialogue of courtesy, normal, but a profound dialogue, on deep world issues and with an intelligence that you hit me. Starting from this. Then, the meetings that you have all seen ... And what you have not seen is the meeting of lunch, which was very profound in the way of touching so many topics. Perhaps the topic on which we have been more time is that of the young, because even all the Confessions are concerned, in the good sense, for the young. And the pre-Synod that was done in Rome, from March 19 onwards, attracted enough attention, because they were young people of all the Confessions, even agnostics, and of all countries. Think about it: 315 young people present and 15 thousand connected online who "came and went". This perhaps woke up a special interest. But the word that perhaps gives me the whole trip is that it was a journey of encounter. The experience of the meeting. Not mere courtesy, nothing purely formal, but human encounter. And this, between Protestants and Catholics, is to say everything ... Thank you.

Greg Burke:

Thank you, Holiness. Now the German group is Roland Juchem, of the German Catholic CIC.

Roland Juchem:

Thank you, Holy Father. You often talk about concrete steps to be taken in ecumenism. Today, for example, he once again reported it by saying: "Let's see what can be done concretely, rather than discouraging us from what is not". Then, the German bishops, lately, have decided to take a step [on the so-called "inter-Communion"], and then we wonder why Archbishop Ladaria [Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] wrote a letter that seems a little like an emergency stop. After the meeting on May 3rd, it was stated that the German bishops should have found a solution, possibly unanimously. What will be the next steps? Will an intervention by the Vatican be necessary to clarify, or will the German bishops have to find an agreement?

Pope francesco:

Good. This is not new, because the Code of Canon Law provides for what the German bishops were talking about: Communion in special cases. And they looked at the problem of mixed marriages: whether it is possible or not possible. However, the Code says that the particular bishop of the Church - this word is important: particular, if it is from a diocese - must manage this thing: it is in his hands. This is in the Code. The German bishops, because they had seen that the case was not clear, and also that some priests did things not agree with the bishop, they wanted to study this theme and they did this study that - I do not want to exaggerate - was a study of more than a year, I do not know well but more than a year, well done, well done. And the study is restrictive: what the bishops wanted is to clearly say what is in the Code. And I, too, read it, I say: this is a restrictive document. It was not "open to everyone". No. It was well conceived, with an ecclesial spirit. And they wanted to do it for the local Church: not the particular one. They did not want to. The thing has slipped up to there, that is, saying it is for the German Bishops' Conference. And there is a problem, because the Code does not provide for this. It foresees the competence of the diocesan bishop, but not of the Episcopal Conference. Because? Because something approved in an Episcopal Conference immediately becomes universal. And this was the difficulty of the discussion: not so much the content, but this. They sent the document; then there were two or three meetings of dialogue and clarification; and Archbishop Ladaria sent that letter, but with my permission, he did not do it alone. I told him: "Yes, it is better to take a step forward and say that the document is not yet mature - this was what the letter said - and that we had to study the matter more". Then there was another meeting, and eventually they will study the thing. I believe this will be a guiding document, because each of the diocesan bishops can manage what canon law already permits. There was no braking, no. It was a matter of managing the thing to get on the right track. When I visited the Lutheran Church in Rome, a question like that was made and I responded according to the spirit of the Code of Canon Law, the spirit that they [the bishops] are now seeking. Maybe there was not just information at the right time, there's a bit of confusion, but that's the thing. In the particular Church, the Code permits it; in the local Church, it can not, because it would be universal. And this.
Roland Juchem:
Is the local Church the Conference?
Pope Francis: 
... it is the Conference. But the Conference can study and give guidelines to help the bishops deal with particular cases. Thank you.
Greg Burke: 
Now, the Spanish group is Eva Fernández of the Cope, Spanish Radio.

Eva Fernández: 
Thank you, Holy Father. We have seen that the Secretary General of the World Council of Churches also spoke about aid to refugees. Lately we have seen the accident of the ship "Aquarius" and other cases, as well as the separation of families in the United States. Do you think that some governments exploit the drama of refugees? Thank you.
Pope Francis: 
I spoke a lot about refugees and the criteria are in what I said: "welcome, protect, promote, integrate". These are criteria for all refugees. Then I said that every country must do this with the virtue of government that is prudence, because a country must welcome as many refugees as it can and those who can integrate: integrate, that is educate, give work ... This, I would say, is the quiet plan, peaceful refugees. Here we are experiencing a wave of refugees fleeing war and hunger. War and hunger in many countries of Africa, wars and persecution in the Middle East. Italy and Greece have been very generous to welcome. For the Middle East - regarding Syria - Turkey has received so many; Lebanon, many: Lebanon has as many Syrians as there are Lebanese; and then Jordan, and other countries. Even Spain had welcomed it. There is the problem of the traffic of migrants. And there is also the problem of cases in which they return, because they have to return: there is this case ... I do not know the terms of the agreement well, but if they are in the Libyan waters they have to return ... And there I saw the photographs of the prison traffickers. Traffickers immediately separate women from men: women and children go God knows where ... They do the traffickers. There is also a case, I know, in which the traffickers approached a ship that had received refugees from the boats and said: "Give us women and children and take the males away". This is the traffickers. And the prisons of the traffickers, for those who have returned, are terrible, they are terrible. These things were seen in the lagers of World War II. Even mutilations, torture ... And then they throw them into the mass graves, the men. This is why governments worry that they will not come back and fall into the hands of these people. There is a world concern. I know that governments are talking about this and they want to find an agreement, even to amend the Dublin Agreement. In Spain, you have had the case of this ship that arrived in Valencia. But all this phenomenon is a disorder. The problem of wars is difficult to solve; the problem of the persecution of Christians also, in the Middle East and also in Nigeria. But the problem of hunger can be solved. And many European governments are thinking of an urgent plan to invest in those countries, to invest intelligently, to give work and education, these two things. In the countries from which these people come. Because - without offending, but it is the truth - in the collective unconscious there is an ugly motto: "Africa must be exploited" - Africa es para ser explotada. This is in the unconscious: "Eh, they are Africans! ...". Land of slaves. And this must change with this plan of investment, education, development, because the African people have so many cultural riches. And they have a great intelligence: the children are very intelligent and can, with a good education, go further. This will be the medium-term road. But at the moment governments must agree to move forward with this emergency. This, here in Europe.

Let's go to America. In America, there is a big migration problem in Latin America, and there is also the internal migration problem. In my homeland there is a migration problem from the north to the south; people leave the countryside because there is no work and they go to big cities, and there are these megalopolis, slums, and all these things ... But there is also an external migration to other countries that give jobs. Speaking concretely, towards the United States. I agree with what the Bishops of that country say. I support them. Thank you.

Greg Burke:

Thank you, Holiness. Now, the English group: Deborah Castellano Lubov, from the Zenit agency.

Deborah Castellano Lubov:

Thank you, Holiness. Holiness, in your speech today at the Ecumenical Meeting, you referred to the enormous power of the Gospel. We know that some of the Church of the World Council of Churches are so-called "Churches of Peace", which believe that a Christian can not use violence. Recall that two years ago, in the Vatican, there was an organized conference to reconsider the doctrine of the "just war". So, Holiness, the question is whether you think it is the case for the Catholic Church to join these so-called "Churches of Peace" and put aside the theory of "just war". Thank you.

Pope Francis

A clarification: why do you say that there are "Churches of Peace"?

Deborah Castellano Lubov:

They are considered "Churches of Peace" because they have this conception that a person uses violence can no longer be considered Christian.

Pope Francis

Thanks, I understand. She put her finger in the wound ... Today, at lunch, a Pastor has said that perhaps the first human right is the right to hope, and this I liked, and falls a bit 'in this theme. We talked about the human rights crisis today. I think I have to start with this to get to your question. The human rights crisis appears clear. There is a bit of human rights, but many groups or some countries distance themselves. Yes, we have human rights but ... there is not the strength, the enthusiasm, the conviction I do not say 70 years ago, but 20 years ago. And this is serious, because we have to see the causes. What are the causes for which we have arrived at this? That today human rights are relative. The right to peace is also relative. It's a human rights crisis. This I think we have to think about it thoroughly.

Then, the so-called "Churches of Peace". I believe that all the Churches that have this spirit of peace must come together and work together, as we said in the speeches today, both I and the other people who spoke, and at lunch it was discussed. The unity for peace. Today peace is a need, because there is a risk of war ... Someone said: this third world war, if we do, we know what weapons we will do, but if there is a fourth one, we will with sticks, because humanity will be destroyed. The commitment to peace is a serious matter. When you think about the money you spend on armaments! For this reason, the "Churches of Peace": but it is God's mandate! Peace, brotherhood, united humanity ... And all conflicts, we must not resolve them like Cain, but resolve them through negotiation, dialogue, and mediation. For example, we are in crisis of mediations! Mediation, which is a very precious juridical figure, is in crisis today. Crisis of hope, crisis of human rights, crisis of mediations, crisis of peace. But then, if you say that there are "Churches of Peace", I ask myself: are there "Churches of War"? It is difficult to understand this, it is difficult, but there are certainly some groups, and I would say in almost all religions, small groups, a little 'simplifying I will say "fundamentalists", who seek wars. We Catholics also have some, who always seek destruction. And this is very important to have it under your eyes. I do not know if I answered ...

They tell me that people ask for dinner, that there is the right time to arrive with a full stomach ...

Only, one word I want to say clearly: that today was an ecumenical day, just ecumenical. And at lunch we said a good thing, which I leave to you to think about it and reflect on it and make a nice consideration on this: in the ecumenical movement we must take one word out of the dictionary: proselytism. Clear? There can be no ecumenism with proselytism, one must choose: either you are ecumenical, or you are a "proselytist".

Thank you. I would continue to talk because I like it, but ...
And now, let's bring the Substitute [of the Secretariat of State] because it is the last trip he takes with us, because now he will change "color" [becoming Cardinal]: but not out of shame! We want to dismiss him and there will be the Sardinian cake to celebrate.

Mons. Becciu:

Thank you! It's a double surprise, call me here and thank me in front of you. And then a Sardinian cake ... good !, we will taste it with pleasure. I really thank the Holy Father for this occasion, but for everything, for everything, because he made me do this wonderful experience of traveling with him a lot. At the beginning, he had frightened me, he had said: "No, I will do a few trips", do you remember? And then, after one he added another, and another, and we said: "Thank God he said they would be few!", And they were many. A magnificent experience: to see the Holy Father courageously spread the Word of God. My service was only this: to help him in this. Thanks to all of you and to those who helped us. Thank you.

Pope Francis
Enjoy your meal, have a nice dinner and thank you very much. And pray for me, please. Thank you.
FULL TEXT Source: - Unofficial Translation

#BreakingNews Armed Robbers enter Church all-night Prayer Service Shooting and Kill Woman - RIP Felicia Dameda

A fifty year old woman, Felicia Dameda has been shot dead at Kasseh in the Ada East District of the Greater Accra Region in Ghana, Africa. Felicia,  joined her fellow congregants in an all night service at the Macedonia Prayer Church at Kasseh D/A basic school where the service was held. According to brother Ebenezer Djani, a presiding elder of Macedonia Prayer Church, at about 2:45 am whiles church service was in session, four masked armed men suddenly stormed in and ordered them to surrender while firing gunshots sporadically.
Two suspected armed robbers wearing face masks on Saturday dawn killed a woman, when they stormed the Macedonia Prayer Church in Ada Kasseh, during an All Night Service, and in what looked like a Hollywood movie, started firing guns sporadically. This sent members of the church, who had met at the Kasseh Basic School for prayers, running helter shelter, and in the process one of the members a 48-year-old Megbenya Adzamade, was shot in the head, leading to her death. Confirming the incident to the Ghanaian Times, the Ada District Police Commander, Superintendent Timothy Dassah, said the robbers took away mobile phones and hand bags containing unspecified amount of money.
From Ghanaian Times and

Free Catholic Movie - "The Greatest Miracle" - Animation on the Holy Mass

The Greatest Miracle (2011) El gran milagro (original title) PG | 1h 10min | Animation, Drama | 14 October 2011 (USA) The Greatest Miracle PosterThe Greatest Miracle tells a marvelous story about the backdrop of mysterious spirits and a religious service many of us have come to take for granted. Three different stories come together as Monica, Don Chema and Doña Cata find themselves at the same Catholic Mass due to a crisis each one is struggling with. Although this is not the first time any of them has attending Mass, they need assistance to embrace its true meaning. That guidance comes from their guardian angels, which help them understand the struggle between good and evil, and the miraculous triumph of faith that manifests itself in every celebration of the Eucharist. Writer: Luis De Velasco (screenplay) Stars: JB Blanc, Bryan Brems, Mari Devon 

#BreakingNews Death of Conservative Charles Krauthammer at age 68 of Cancer who wrote he “hope[s] for the day when Roe is overturned..”

Irving Charles Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950 and died on June 21, 2018. He was an American conservative political writer. In his first year at Harvard Medical School, Krauthammer became permanently paralyzed from the neck down after a diving board accident that severed his spinal cord. He returned to medical school, graduating to become a psychiatrist involved in the creation of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III. In the 1980s, Krauthammer became a columnist and political commentator. He was a weekly panelist on PBS news program Inside Washington from 1990 until  2013. Krauthammer had been a nightly panelist on Fox News Channel's Special Report. 
 Krauthammer had been a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard, a Fox News contributor, and a nightly panelist on Fox News Channel's Special Report. Krauthammer was born on March 13, 1950, in New York City. His father was from Bolekhiv, Ukraine and his mother from Belgium. His brother, Marcel, was four years older. When he was 5, the Krauthammers moved to Montreal. Both parents were Orthodox Jews, he graduated from McGill University in Montreal, graduating in 1970 with First Class Honours in both economics and political science. In 1974, Krauthammer married his wife, Robyn Trethewey (m. 1974–2018), a lawyer and t hey had one child, Daniel.  Krauthammer was Jewish, but said that he was"not religious" and "a Jewish Shinto" who engages in "ancestor worship".  He was co-founder of Pro Musica Hebraica, a not-for-profit organization devoted to presenting Jewish classical music, in a concert hall setting. Though he was not pro-life, an article of his in newspapers across the nation previously called on the Supreme Court to reverse its landmark Roe v. Wade ruling allowing abortion on demand.  “Legalizing abortion by judicial fiat instead of by democratic means has its price,” Krauthammer writes. “One is that the issue remains socially unsettled. People take to the streets when they have been deprived of resort to legislative action.” “The other effect is to render the very debate hopelessly muddled,” he says. “Instead of discussing what a decent society owes women and what it owes soon-to-be-born infants, and trying to balance the two by politically hammering out regulations that a broad national consensus can support, we debate the constitutional niceties of a 35-year-old appallingly crafted Supreme Court decision,” Krauthammer said at the time. The columnist said he “hope[s] for the day when Roe is overturned,” but not because he supports the aims and goals of the pro-life movement.. “Abortion is already so contaminated with legalisms, why not turn the issue into one of simple democracy? Let the people decide,” Krauthammer concluded.
 “The fact that people are becoming aware of how late-term abortions are so near to infanticide. And also how the new technology and the ultrasounds are giving people awareness of how much an infant has developed in the womb. So the movement has stopped, and I think reversed, especially among young people.” (Quotes from LifeNews)
Please Pray for the Repose of his Soul and for his family....

Wow over 1400 Leaders including Bishop Sleep out in the Cold to Raise Money for the Poor in Australia

More than 1400 business and community leaders braved the cold across the country last night for the 13th annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout.
As temperatures fell to single figures, the community leaders feasted on soup and a simple sausage in bread before retiring for the night to get a taste of what it's like to be homeless.
The national event is tipped to raise more than $6.4 million for Australia's homeless and disadvantaged.
Sydney Auxiliary Bishop Richard Umbers was one of the 350 people who slept rough at the Sydney event at Rozelle's White Bay Cruise Terminal and said it was a valuable insight into how the thousands of people living on the streets exist day to day.
On the cold and damp concrete with chilly winds blowing off the water he was given the opportunity to not only reflect on what it's like to sleep rough but to network with other community leaders on what can be done to help.
"It was great having the opportunity to have open dialogue with community leaders on how the social teaching of the church needs to be made better known," he said.
"I took part in the Sleepout as a sign of solidarity with the many Catholic agencies providing essential services particularly for the homeless.
"In the current climate there is a lot of criticism levelled at the Church, from school funding to the Royal Commission, people think we don't have much awareness about what's actually happening on the ground and in people's lives.
"But there is so much goodness, so much truly Gospel-centred work going on without headlines, stories or recognition of any kind so I wanted to draw attention to not only the homeless but those there who pick up the pieces."
NSW chief executive of the St Vincent de Paul Society Jack de Groot has called on the Federal Government to recognise that housing is a human right not a privilege, which he says has been consistent in Catholic social teaching for decades.
He said there are many things the community can do to help the homeless including finding out more about the issue and raising awareness, volunteering with Vinnies and making financial contributions to charitable organisations as well as taking part in the Vinnies Sleepout.
"The homelessness problem needs to be dealt with and the best way is by bringing people together,"' he said.
"It's not just a moral thing, it's intellectual, people need to understand it.
"The Sleepout brings all types of community leaders to the table where decisions are made."
There is still time to help make a difference by making a tax deductible donation in support of Bishop Richard's participation go to:
FULL TEXT Release from the Archdiocese of Sydney Australia

Pope Francis to #ROACO "All these make manifest the face of Christ’s Church, which proclaims the Gospel in action and in word, thus making present God’s charity for mankind." FULL TEXT

Consistory Hall
Friday, 22 June 2018

I am pleased to meet you at the conclusion of your Plenary Assembly, which this year coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of ROACO. I offer a cordial greeting to Cardinal Sandri and I thank him for his words of introduction. My greetings and my appreciation go likewise to the Papal Representatives of the countries of the Middle East, who daily accompany the aspirations of Christians and people of other religious traditions in lands tragically marked by conflict and suffering. I also greet with gratitude the representatives of the Catholic agencies and the benefactors of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, as well as all those who in the past have offered their services and are present for this important anniversary.
In the wake of the recent celebrations marking the centenary of the Congregation, ROACO now celebrates its own jubilee year. According to the Scriptures, every fiftieth year was heralded by the shofar, the horn that proclaimed the year of freedom for slaves, the cancellation of debt, the restitution of land, all based on the people’s acknowledgment of God’s gracious gift of the Covenant and of the land that was its sign. I invite you to think back with gratitude on the years that have passed, and especially on the faces of so many people – some of whom have already ended their earthly pilgrimage – that have worked in the Congregation and in your various agencies in support of their works of charity and assistance. The study of various projects and their financing, made possible by the generosity of so many of the faithful worldwide, has enabled the Oriental Catholic Churches, both in their native lands and in the diaspora, to carry forward their witness to the Gospel. That witness has been severely tested, often amid sufferings and persecution, first by the totalitarian regimes of Eastern Europe and then, more recently, by forms of allegedly religious fundamentalism and fanaticism, to say nothing of apparently interminable conflicts, especially in the Middle East. The concrete solidarity that you have shown has helped meet emergency situations resulting from wars and movements of migration, but above all it has helped ensure the very existence of the Churches, their activities of pastoral care and evangelization, and their social and charitable works. All these make manifest the face of Christ’s Church, which proclaims the Gospel in action and in word, thus making present God’s charity for mankind. Indeed, the “year of grace” of the Lord is always marked by liberation, both within the heart of sinful human beings and without, in the new life of the redeemed, which prefigures the new heavens and that new earth where justice will dwell.
Saint Peter, on the day of Pentecost, recalled the prophecy, so dear to me, of Joel: “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams” (Joel 2:17). The Oriental Catholic Churches, as living witnesses to their apostolic origins, are called in a special way to protect and pass on a spark of Pentecostal fire. They are called daily to discover anew their own prophetic presence in all those places where they dwell as pilgrims. Beginning with Jerusalem, the Holy City, whose identity and particular vocation needs to be safeguarded beyond different tensions and political disputes, Christians, even though present as a small flock, draw strength from the Spirit for their mission of witness. Today that mission is more urgent than ever before. From the holy places, where God’s plan was fulfilled in the mystery of the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, may there come about a renewed spirit of strength to inspire Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East to embrace their special vocation and to offer an account of their faith and their hope. May the sons and daughters of the Oriental Catholic Churches cherish their prophetic charge to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus, even in settings that are often even more secularized than in the West, where they come as immigrants or refugees. May they find a welcome, both on the practical level and in the Church’s life, as they seek to preserve and enrich the patrimony of their various traditions. These men and women, thanks also to your help, can bear witness to us, whose hearts are often dulled, that it is still worth living and suffering for the Gospel, even as a minority, or the object of persecution, for the Gospel is the joy and the life of men and women of every age.
Allow me to offer a final word of thanks and encouragement. Because of the work of ROACO, through the attentiveness and the acts of charity that sustain the life of the Oriental Churches, the Successor of Peter is able also to continue his mission of pursuing possible paths to the visible unity of all Christians. In the effort to extend a cordial and sincere hand to our most distant brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters are no less loved, and certainly not forgotten. With your help, they are always listened to and helped to continue their journey as the Church of the Risen Christ, amid every challenge, and every spiritual and material suffering, in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.

Dear brothers and sisters, may God’s constant assistance always accompany you in your activities. To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing, which I extend to the agencies you represent, your families and the communities to which you belong. And I ask you, please, to please pray for me. Thank you.
FULL TEXT Official Translation from

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday June 22, 2018 - #Eucharist

Friday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 369

Reading 12 KGS 11:1-4, 9-18, 20

When Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah,
saw that her son was dead,
she began to kill off the whole royal family.
But Jehosheba, daughter of King Jehoram and sister of Ahaziah,
took Joash, his son, and spirited him away, along with his nurse,
from the bedroom where the princes were about to be slain.
She concealed him from Athaliah, and so he did not die.
For six years he remained hidden in the temple of the LORD,
while Athaliah ruled the land.

But in the seventh year,
Jehoiada summoned the captains of the Carians
and of the guards.
He had them come to him in the temple of the LORD,
exacted from them a sworn commitment,
and then showed them the king's son.

The captains did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded.
Each one with his men, both those going on duty for the sabbath
and those going off duty that week,
came to Jehoiada the priest.
He gave the captains King David's spears and shields,
which were in the temple of the LORD.
And the guards, with drawn weapons,
lined up from the southern to the northern limit of the enclosure,
surrounding the altar and the temple on the king's behalf.
Then Jehoiada led out the king's son
and put the crown and the insignia upon him.
They proclaimed him king and anointed him,
clapping their hands and shouting, "Long live the king!"

Athaliah heard the noise made by the people,
and appeared before them in the temple of the LORD.
When she saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom,
and the captains and trumpeters near him,
with all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets,
she tore her garments and cried out, "Treason, treason!"
Then Jehoiada the priest instructed the captains
in command of the force:
"Bring her outside through the ranks.
If anyone follows her," he added, "let him die by the sword."
He had given orders that she
should not be slain in the temple of the LORD.
She was led out forcibly to the horse gate of the royal palace,
where she was put to death.

Then Jehoiada made a covenant between the LORD as one party
and the king and the people as the other,
by which they would be the LORD's people;
and another covenant, between the king and the people.
Thereupon all the people of the land went to the temple of Baal
and demolished it.
They shattered its altars and images completely,
and slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars.
Jehoiada appointed a detachment for the temple of the LORD.
All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet,
now that Athaliah had been slain with the sword
at the royal palace.

Responsorial PsalmPS 132:11, 12, 13-14, 17-18

R. (13) The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
The LORD swore to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
"Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"If your sons keep my covenant
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
For the LORD has chosen Zion;
he prefers her for his dwelling.
"Zion is my resting place forever;
in her will I dwell, for I prefer her."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.
"In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David;
I will place a lamp for my anointed.
His enemies I will clothe with shame,
but upon him my crown shall shine."
R. The Lord has chosen Zion for his dwelling.

AlleluiaMT 5:3

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are the poor in spirit;
for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 6:19-23

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.

"The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be."

Saint June 22 : St. John Fisher : #Martyr of #England - Bishop

St. John Fisher
Feast: June 22

Feast Day:June 22
1469, Beverley, Yorkshire, England
Died:22 June 1535, Tower Hill, London, England
Canonized:19 May 1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Cardinal, Bishop of Rochester, and martyr; born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1459 (?1469); died 22 June, 1535. John was the eldest son of Robert Fisher, merchant of Beverley, and Agnes his wife. His early education was probably received in the school attached to the collegiate church in his native town, whence in 1484 he removed to Michaelhouse, Cambridge. He took the degree of B.A. in 1487, proceeded M.A. in 1491, in which year he was elected a fellow of his college, and was made Vicar of Northallerton, Yorkshire. In 1494 he resigned his benefice to become proctor of his university, and three years later was appointed Master of Michaelhouse, about which date he became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of King Henry VII. In 1501 he received the degree of D.D., and was elected Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University. Under Fisher's guidance, the Lady Margaret founded St. John's and Christ's Colleges at Cambridge, and also the two "Lady Margaret" professorships of divinity at Oxford and Cambridge respectively, Fisher himself being the first occupant of the Cambridge chair.

By Bull dated 14 October, 1504, Fisher was advanced to the Bishopric of Rochester, and in the same year was elected Chancellor of Cambridge University, to which post he was re-elected annually for ten years and then appointed for life. At this date also he is said to have acted as tutor to Prince Henry, afterwards Henry VIII. As a preacher his reputation was so great that in 1509, when King Henry VII and the Lady Margaret died, Fisher was appointed to preach the funeral oration on both occasions; these sermons are still extant. In 1542 Fisher was nominated as one of the English representatives at the Fifth Council of Lateran, then sitting, but his journey to Rome was postponed, and finally abandoned. Besides his share in the Lady Margaret's foundations, Fisher gave further proof of his genuine zeal for learning by inducing Erasmus to visit Cambridge. The latter indeed (Epist., 6:2) attributes it to Fisher's protection that the study of Greek was allowed to proceed at Cambridge without the active molestation that it encountered at Oxford. He has also been named, though without any real proof, as the true author of the royal treatise against Luther entitled "Assertio septem sacramentorum", published in 1521, which won the title < Fidei Defensor> for Henry VIII. Before this date Fisher had denounced various abuses in the Church, urging the need of disciplinary reforms, and in this year he preached at St. Paul's Cross on the occasion when Luther's books were publicly burned.

When the question of Henry's divorce from Queen Catherine arose, Fisher became the Queen's chief supporter and most trusted counsellor. In this capacity he appeared on the Queen's behalf in the legates' court, where he startled his hearers by the directness of his language and most of all by declaring that, like St. John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage. This statement was reported to Henry VIII, who was so enraged by it that he himself composed a long Latin address to the legates in answer to the bishop's speech. Fisher's copy of this still exists, with his manuscript annotations in the margin which show how little he feared the royal anger. The removal of the cause to Rome brought Fisher's personal share therein to an end, but the king never forgave him for what he had done. In November, 1529, the "Long Parliament" of Henry's reign began its series of encroachments on the Church. Fisher, as a member of the upper house, at once warned Parliament that such acts could only end in the utter destruction of the Church in England. On this the Commons, through their speaker, complained to the king that the bishop had disparaged Parliament. Dr. Gairdner (Lollardy and the Reformation, I, 442)  says of this incident "it can hardly be a matter of doubt that this strange remonstrance was prompted by the king himself, and partly for personal uses of his own".

The opportunity was not lost. Henry summoned Fisher before him, demanding an explanation. This being given, Henry declared himself satisfied, leaving it to the Commons to declare that the explanation was inadequate, so that he appeared as a magnanimous sovereign, instead of Fisher's enemy. A year later (1530) the continued encroachments on the Church moved the Bishops of Rochester, Bath, and Ely to appeal to the Apostolic see. This gave the king his opportunity. An edict forbidding such appeals was immediately issued, and the three bishops were arrested. Their imprisonment, however, can have lasted a few months only, for in February, 1531, Convocation met, and Fisher was present. This was the occasion when the clergy were forced, at a cost of 1000,000 pounds, to purchase the king's pardon for having recognized Cardinal Wolsey's authority as legate of the pope; and at the same time to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England, to which phrase, however, the addition "so far as God's law permits" was made, through Fisher's efforts.

A few days later, several of the bishop's servants were taken ill after eating some porridge served to the household, and two actually died. Popular opinion at the time regarded this as an attempt on the bishop's life, although he himself chanced not to have taken any of the poisoned food. To disarm suspicion, the king not only expressed strong indignation at the crime, but caused a special Act of Parliament to be passed, whereby poisoning was to be accounted high treason, and the person guilty of it boiled to death. This sentence was actually carried out on the culprit, but it did not prevent what seems to have been a second attempt on Fisher's life soon afterwards.

Matters now moved rapidly. In May, 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned the chancellorship, and in June, Fisher preached publicly against the divorce. In August, Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died, and Cranmer was at once nominated to the pope as his successor. In January, 1533, Henry secretly went through the form of marriage with Anne Boleyn; Cranmer's consecration took place in March of the same year, and, a week later, Fisher was arrested. It seems fairly clear that the purpose of this arrest was to prevent his opposing the sentence of divorce which Cranmer pronounced in May, or the coronation of Anne Boleyn which followed on 1 June; for Fisher was set at liberty again within a fortnight of the latter event, no charge being made against him. In the autumn of this year (1533), various arrests were made in connection with the so-called revelations of the Holy Maid of Kent (see BARTON, ELIZABETH), but as Fisher was taken seriously ill in December, proceedings against him were postponed for a time. In March, 1534, however, a special bill of attainder against the Bishop of Rochester and others for complicity in the matter of the Nun of Kent was introduced and passed. By this Fisher was condemned to forfeiture of all his personal estate and to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure. Subsequently a pardon was granted him on payment of a fine of 300 pounds.

In the same session of Parliament was passed the Act of Succession, by which all who should be called upon to do so were compelled to take an oath of succession, acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, under pain of being guilty of misprision of treason. Fisher refused the oath and was sent to the Tower of London, 26 April, 1534. Several efforts were made to induce him to submit, but without effect, and in November he was a second time attained of misprision of treason, his goods being forfeited as from 1 March preceding, and the See of Rochester being declared vacant as from 2 June following. A long letter exists, written from the Tower by the bishop to Thomas Cromwell, which records the severity of his confinement and the sufferings he endured.

In may, 1535, the new pope, Paul III, created Fisher Cardinal Priest of St. Vitalis, his motive being apparently to induce Henry by this mark of esteem to treat the bishop less severely. The effect was precisely the reverse. Henry forbade the cardinal's hat to be brought into England, declaring that he would send the head to Rome instead. In June a special commission for Fisher's trial was issued, and on 17 June he was arraigned in Westminster Hall on a charge of treason, in that he denied the king to be supreme head of the Church. Since he had been deprived of his bishopric by the Act of Attainder, he was treated as a commoner, and tried by jury. He was declared guilty, and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, but the mode of execution was changed, and instead he was beheaded on Tower Hill. The martyr's last moments were thoroughly in keeping with his previous life.

He met death with a calm dignified courage which profoundly impressed all present. His headless body was stripped and left on the scaffold till evening, when it was thrown naked into a grave in the churchyard of Allhallows, Barking. Thence it was removed a fortnight later and laid beside that of Sir Thomas More in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula by the Tower. His head was stuck upon a pole on London Bridge, but its ruddy and lifelike appearance excited so much attention that, after a fortnight, it was thrown into the Thames, its place being taken by that of Sir Thomas More, whose martyrdom occurred on 6 July next following.

Several portraits of Fisher exist, the best being by Holbein in the royal collection; and a few secondary relics are extant. In the Decree of 29 December, 1886, when fifty-four of the English martyrs were beatified by Leo XIII, the best place of all is given to John Fisher. In 1935, Pope Pius XI canonized him. A list of Fisher's writings will be found in Gillow, "Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics" (London, s.d.), II, 262-270. There are twenty-six works in all, printed and manuscript, mostly ascetical or controversial treatises, several of which have been reprinted many times. The original editions are very rare and valuable. The principal are: "Treatise concernynge...the seven penytencyall Psalms" (London, 1508); "Sermon...agayn ye pernicyous doctrin of Martin Luther" (London, 1521); "Defensio Henrici VIII" (Cologne, 1525); "De Veritate Corporis et Sanguinis Christi in Eucharistia, adversus Johannem Oecolampadium" (Cologne, 1527); "De Causa Matrimonii...Henrici VIII cum Catharina Aragonensi" (Alcal & aacute; de Henares, 1530); "The Wayes to Perfect Religion" (London, 1535); "A Spirituall Consolation his sister Elizabeth" (London, 1735

SOURCE: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint June 22 : St. Paulinus of Nola : #Bishop

St. Paulinus of Nola
Feast: June 22

Feast Day:June 22
Born:354 AD, Bordeaux, France
Died:June 22, 431, Nola, near Naples, Campagna, Italy
Born at Bordeaux about 354; died 22 June, 431. He sprang from a distinguished family of Aquitania and his education was entrusted to the poet Ausonius. He became governor of the Province of Campania, but he soon realized that he could not find in public life the happiness he sought. From 380 to 390 he lived almost entirely in his native land. He married a Spanish lady, a Christian named Therasia. To her, to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux and his successor the Presbyter Amandus, and to St. Martin of Tours, who had cured him of some disease of the eye, he owed his conversion. He and his brother were baptized at the same time by Delphinus. When Paulinus lost his only child eight days after birth, and when he was threatened with the charge of having murdered his brother, he and his wife decided to withdraw from the world, and to enter the monastic life. They went to Spain about 390.

At Christmas, 394, or 395, the inhabitants of Barcelona obliged him to be  ordained, which was not canonical as he had not previously received the other orders. Having had a special devotion to St. Felix, who was buried at Nola in Campania, he laid out a fine avenue leading to the church containing Felix's tomb, and beside it he erected a hospital. He decided to settle down there with Therasia; and he distributed the largest part of his possessions among the poor. In 395 he removed to Nola, where he led a rigorous, ascetic, and monastic life, at the same time contributing generously to the Church, the aqueduct at Nola, and the construction of basilicas in Nola, Fondi, etc. The basilica at Nola counted five naves and had on each side four additions or chapels (cubicula), and an apsis arranged in a clover shape. This was connected with the old mortuary chapel of St. Felix by a gallery. The side was richly decorated with marble, silver lamps and lustres, paintings, statuary, and inscriptions. In the apsis was a mosaic which represented the Blessed Trinity, and of which in 1512 some remnants were still found.

About 409 Paulinus was chosen Bishop of Nola. For twenty years he discharged his duties in a most praiseworthy manner. His letters contain numerous biblical quotations and allusions; everything he performed in the Spirit of the Bible and expressed in Biblical language. Gennadius mentions the writings of Paulinus in his continuation of St. Jerome's "De Viris Illustribus" (xlix). The panegyric on the Emperor Theodosius is unfortunately lost, as are also the Opus sacramentorum et hymnorum", the "Epistolae ad Sororem", the "Liber de Paenitentia", the "Liber de Laude Generali Omnium Martyrum", and a poetical treatment of the "De Regibus" of Suetonius which Ausonius mentions. Forty-nine letters to friends have been preserved, as those to Sulpicius Severus, St. Augustine, Delphinus, Bishop Victricius of Rouen, Desiderius, Amandus, Pammachius, etc. Thirty-three poems are also extant. After 395 he composed annually a hymn for the feast of St. Felix, in which he principally glorified the life, works, and miracles of his holy patron. Then going further back he brought in various religious and poetic motives. The epic parts are very vivid, the lyrics full of real, unaffected enthusiasm and an ardent appreciation of nature. Thirteen of these poems and fragments of the fourteenth have preserved.

Conspicuous among his other works are the poetic epistles to Ausonius, the nuptial hymn to Julianus, which extols the dignity and sanctity of Christian marriage, and the poem of comfort to the parents of Celsus on the death of their child. Although Paulinus has great versatility and nicety, still he is not entirely free from the mannerisms and ornate culture of his period. All his writings breathe a charming, ideal personality, freed from all terrestrial attachments, ever striving upward. According to Augustine, he also had an exaggerated idea concerning the veneration of saints and relics. His letter xxxii, written to Sulpicius Severus, has received special attention because in it he describes the basilica of Nola, which he built, and gives copious accounts of the existence, construction, and purpose of Christian monuments. From Paulinus too we have information concerning St. Peter's in Rome. During his lifetime Paulinus was looked upon as saint. His body was first interred in the cathedral of Nola; later, in Benevento; then it was conveyed by Otto III to S. Bartolomeo all'Isola, in Rome, and finally in compliance with the regulation of Pius X of 18 Sept., 1908 (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, I, 245 sq.) was restored to the cathedral of Nola. His feast, 22 June, was raised to the rank of a double.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

Saint June 22 : St. Thomas More : Patron of #Politicians , #Lawyers , and Widowers - Religious Freedom

St. Thomas More

Feast Day:
June 22
1478 at London, England 

6 July 1535, London, England
1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Patron of:
Adopted children,civil servants, court clerks, difficult marriages, large families, lawyers, politicians and statesmen, stepparents, widowers

Saint, knight, Lord Chancellor of England, author and martyr, born in London, 7 February, 1477-78; executed at Tower Hill, 6 July, 1535. He was the sole surviving son of Sir John More, barrister and later judge, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger. While still a child Thomas was sent to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, kept by Nicholas Holt, and when thirteen years old was placed in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Here his merry character and brilliant intellect attracted the notice of the archbishop, who sent him to Oxford, where he entered at Canterbury Hall (subsequently absorbed by Christ Church) about 1492. His father made him an allowance barely sufficient to supply the necessaries of life and, in consequence, he had no opportunity to indulge in "vain or hurtful amusements" to the detriment of his studies. At Oxford he made  friends with William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, the latter becoming his first instructor in Greek. Without ever becoming an exact scholar he mastered Greek "by an instinct of genius" as witnessed by Pace (De fructu qui ex doctrina percipitur, 1517), who adds "his eloquence is incomparable and twofold, for he speaks with the same facility in Latin as in his own language". Besides the classics he studied French, history, and mathematics, and also learned to play the flute and the viol. After two years' residence at Oxford, More was recalled to London and entered as a law student at New Inn about 1494. In February, 1496, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a student, and in due course was called to the outer bar and subsequently made a bencher. His great abilities now began to attract attention and the governors of Lincoln's Inn appointed him "reader" or lecturer on law at Furnival's Inn, his lectures being esteemed so highly that the appointment was renewed for three successive years.

It is clear however that law did not absorb all More's energies, for much of his time was given to letters. He wrote poetry, both Latin and English, a considerable amount of which has been preserved and is of good quality, though not particularly striking, and he was especially devoted to the works of Pico della Mirandola, of whose life he published an English translation some years later. He cultivated the acquaintance of scholars and learned men and, through his former tutors, Grocyn and Linacre, who were now living in London, he made friends with Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, and William Lilly, both renowned scholars. Colet became More's confessor and Lilly vied with him in translating epigrams from the Greek Anthology into Latin, then joint productions being published in 1518 (Progymnasnata T. More et Gul. Liliisodalium). In 1497 More was introduced to Erasmus, probably at the house of Lord Mountjoy, the great scholar's pupil and patron. The friendship at once became intimate, and later on Erasmus paid several long visits at More's Chelsea house, and the two friends corresponded regularly until death separated them. Besides law and the Classics More read the Fathers with care, and he delivered, in the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry, a series of lectures on St. Augustine's "De civitate Dei", which were attended by many learned men, among whom Grocyn, the rector of the church, is expressly mentioned. For such an audience the lectures must have been prepared with great care, but unhappily not a fragment of them has survived. These lectures were given somewhere between 1499 and 1503, a period during which More's mind was occupied almost wholly with religion and the question of his own vocation for the priesthood.

This portion of his life has caused much misunderstanding among his various biographers. It is certain that he went to live near the London Charterhouse and often joined in the spiritual exercises of the monks there. He wore "a sharp shirt of hair next his skin, which he never left off wholly" (Cresacre More), and gave himself up to a life of prayer and penance. His mind wavered for some time between joining the Carthusians or the Observant Franciscans, both of which orders observed the religious life with extreme strictness and fervour. In the end, apparently with the approval of Colet, he abandoned the hope of becoming a priest or religious, his decision being due to a mistrust of his powers of perseverance. Erasmus, his intimate friend and confidant, writes on this matter as follows (Epp.447): "Meanwhile he applied his whole mind to exercises of piety, looking to and pondering on the priesthood in vigils, fasts and prayers and similar austerities. In which matter he proved himself far more prudent than most candidates who thrust themselves rashly into that arduous profession without any previous trial of their powers. The one thing that prevented him from giving himself to that kind of life was that he could not shake off the desire of the married state. He chose, therefore, to be a chaste husband rather than an impure priest." The last sentence of this passage has led certain writers, notably Mr. Seebohm and Lord Campbell, to expatiate at great length on the supposed corruption of the religious orders at this date, which, they declare, disgusted More so much that he abandoned his wish to enter religion on that account. Father Bridgett deals with this question at considerable length (Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More, pp. 23-36), but it is enough to say that this view has now been abandoned even by non-Catholic writers, as witness Mr. W. H. Hutton: "It is absurd to assert that More was disgusted with monastic corruption, that he 'loathed monks as a disgrace to the Church'. He was throughout his life a warm friend of the religious orders, and a devoted admirer of the monastic ideal. He condemned the vices of individuals; he said, as his great-grandson says, 'that at that time religious men in England had somewhat degenerated from their ancient strictness and fervour of spirit'; but there is not the slightest sign that his decision to decline the monastic life was due in the smallest degree to a distrust of the system or a distaste for the theology of the Church."

The question of religious vocation being disposed of, More threw himself into his work at the Bar and scored immediate success. In 1501 he was elected a member of Parliament, but as the returns are missing his constituency is unknown. Here he immediately began to oppose the large and unjust exactions of money which King Henry VII was making from his subjects through the agency of Empson and Dudley, the latter being Speaker of the House of Commons. In this Parliament Henry demanded a grant of three-fifteenths, about 113,000 pounds, but thanks to More's protests the Commons reduced the sum to 30,000. Some years later Dudley told More that his boldness would have cost him his head but for the fact that he had not attacked the king in person. Even as it was Henry was so enraged with More that he "devised a causeless quarrel against his father, keeping him in the Tower till he had made him pay a hundred pounds fine" (Roper). Meanwhile More had made friends with one "Maister John Colte, a gentleman" of Newhall, Essex, whose oldest daughter, Jane, he married in 1505. Roper writes of his choice: "albeit his mind most served him to the second daughter, for that he thought her the fairest and best favoured, yet when he considered that it would be great grief and some shame also to the eldest to see her younger sister preferred before her in marriage, he then, of a certain pity, framed his fancy towards" the eldest of the three sisters. The union proved a supremely happy one; of it were born three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Cecilia, and a son, John; and then, in 1511, Jane More died, still almost a child. In the epitaph which More himself composed twenty years later he calls her "uxorcula Mori", and a few lines in one of Erasmus' letters are almost all we know of her gentle, winning personality.

Of More himself Erasmus has left us a wonderful portrait in his famous letter to Ulrich von Hutten dated 23 July, 1519 (Epp. 447). The description is too long to give in full, but some extracts must be made. "To begin then with what is least known to you, in stature he is not tall, though not remarkably short. His limbs are formed with such perfect symmetry as to leave nothing to be desired. His complexion is white, his face rather than pale and though by no means ruddy, a faint flush of pink appears beneath the whiteness of his skin. His hair is dark brown or brownish black. The eyes are grayish blue, with some spots, a kind which betokens singular talent, and among the English is considered attractive, whereas Germans generally prefer black. It is said that none are so free of vice. His countenance is in harmony with his character, being always expressive of an amiable joyousness, and even an incipient laughter and, to speak candidly, it is better framed for gladness than for gravity or dignity, though without any approach to folly or buffoonery. The right shoulder is a little higher than the left, especially when he walks. This is not a defect of birth, but the result of habit such as we often contract. In the rest of his person there is nothing to offend...He seems born and framed for friendship, and is a most faithful and enduring friend...When he finds any sincere and according to his heart, he so delights in their society and conversation as to place in it the principal charm of life...In a word, if you want a perfect model of friendship, you will find it in no one better than in More...In human affairs there is nothing from which he does not extract enjoyment, even from things that are most serious. If he converses with the learned and judicious, he delights in their talent, if with the ignorant and foolish, he enjoys their stupidity. He is not even offended by professional jesters. With a wonderful dexterity ha accommodates himself to every disposition. As a rule, in talking with women, even with his own wife, he is full of jokes and banter. No one is less led by the opinions of the crowd, yet no one departs less from common sense..." (see Father Bridgett's Life, p. 56-60, for the entire letter). More married again very soon after his first wife's death, his choice being a widow, Alice Middleton. She was older than he by seven years, a good, somewhat commonplace soul without beauty or education; but she was a capital housewife and was devoted to the care of More's young children. On the whole the marriage seems to have been quite satisfactory, although Mistress More usually failed to see the point of her husband's jokes.
More's fame as a lawyer was now very great. In 1510 he was made Under-Sheriff of London, and four years later was chosen by Cardinal Wolsey as one of an embassy to Flanders to protect the interests of English merchants. He was thus absent from England for more than six months in 1515, during which period he made the first sketch of the "Utopia", his most famous work, which was published the following year. Both Wolsey and the king were anxious to secure More's services at Court. In 1516 he was granted a pension of 100 pounds for life, was made a member of the embassy to Calais in the next year, and became a privy councilor about the same time. In 1519 he resigned his post as Under-Sheriff and became completely attached to the Court. In June, 1520, he was in Henry's suite at the "Field of the Cloth of Gold", in 1521 was knighted and made sub-treasurer to the king. When the Emperor Charles V visited London in the following year, More was chosen to deliver the Latin address of welcome; and grants of land in Oxford and Kent, made then and three years later, gave further proof of Henry's favour. In 1523 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons on Wolsey's recommendation; became High Steward of Cambridge University in 1525; and in the same year was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to be held in addition to his other offices. In 1523 More had purchased a piece of and in Chelsea, where he built himself a mansion about a hundred yards from the north bank of the Thames, with a large garden stretching along the river. Here at times the king would come as an unbidden guest at dinner time, or would walk in the garden with his arm round More's neck enjoying his brilliant conversation. But More had no illusions about the royal favour he enjoyed. "If my head should win him a  castle in France," he said to Roper, his son-in-law, in 1525, "it should not fail to go". The Lutheran controversy had now spread throughout Europe and, with some reluctance, More was drawn into it. His controversial writings are mentioned below in the list of his works, and it is sufficient here to say that, while far more refined than most polemical writers of the period, there is still a certain amount that tastes unpleasant to the modern reader. At first he wrote in Latin but, when the books of Tindal and other English Reformers began to be read by people of all classes, he adopted English as more fitted to his purpose and, by doing so, gave no little aid to the development of English  prose.

In October, 1529, More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England, a post never before held by a layman. In matters political, however, he is nowise succeeded to Wolsey's position, and his tenure of the chancellorship is chiefly memorable for his unparalleled success as a judge. His despatch was so great that the supply of causes was actually exhausted, an incident commemorated in the well-known rhyme,

When More some time had Chancellor been
No more suits did remain.
The like will never more be seen,
Till More be there again.

As chancellor it was his duty to enforce the laws against heretics and, by doing so, he provoked the attacks of Protestant writers both in his own time and since. The subject need not be discussed here, but More's attitude is patent. He agreed with the principle of the anti-heresy laws and had no hesitation in enforcing them. As he himself wrote in his "Apologia" (cap.49) it was the vices of heretics that he hated, not their persons; and he never proceeded to extremities until he had made every effort to get those brought before him to recant. How successful he was in this is clear from the fact that only four persons suffered the supreme penalty for heresy during his whole term of office. More's first public appearance as chancellor was at the opening of the new Parliament in November, 1529. The accounts of his speech on this occasion vary considerably, but it is quite certain that he had no knowledge of the long series of encroachments on the Church which this very Parliament was to accomplish. A few months later came the royal proclamation ordering the clergy to acknowledge Henry as "Supreme Head" of the Church "as far as the law of God will permit", and we have Chapuy's testimony that More at once proffered his resignation of the chancelorship, which however was not accepted. His firm opposition to Henry's designs in regard to the divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against heretics, speedily lost him the royal favour, and in May, 1532, he resigned his post of Lord Chancellor after holding it less than three years. This meant the loss of all his income except about 100 pounds a year, the rent of some property he had purchased; and, with cheerful indifference, he at once reduced his style of living to match his strained means. The epitaph he wrote at this time for the tomb in Chelsea church states that he intended to devote his last years to preparing himself for the life to come.

For the next eighteen months More lived in seclusion and gave much time to controversial writing. Anxious to avoid a public rupture with Henry he stayed away from Anne Boleyn's coronation, and when, in 1533, his nephew William Rastell wrote a pamphlet supporting the pope, which was attributed to More, he wrote a letter to Cromwell disclaiming any share therein and declaring that he knew his duty to his prince too well to criticize his policy. Neutrality, however, did not suit Henry, and More's name was included in the Bill of Attainder introduced into the Lords against the Holy Maid of Kent and her friends. Brought before four members of the Council, More was asked why he did not approve Henry's anti-papal action. He answered that he had several times explained his position to the king in person and without incurring his displeasure. Eventually, in view of his extraordinary popularity, Henry thought it expedient to remove his name from the Bill of Attainder. The incident showed that he might expect, however, and the Duke of Norfolk personally warned him of his grave danger, adding "indignatio principis mors est". "Is that all, my Lord," answered More, "then, in good faith, between your grace and me is but this, that I shall die today, and you tomorrow." In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed which required all who should be called upon to take an oath acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, and to this was added a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate". On 14 April, More was summoned to Lambeth to take the oath and, on his refusal, was committed to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster. Four days later he was removed to the Tower, and in the following November was attainted of misprision of treason, the grants of land made to him in 1523 and 1525 being resumed by the Crown. In prison, though suffering greatly from "his old disease of the chest...gravel, stone, and the cramp", his habitual gaiety remained and he joked with his family and friends whenever they were permitted to see him as merrily as in the old days at Chelsea. When alone his time was given up to prayer and penitential exercises; and he wrote a "Dialogue of comfort against tribulation", treatise (unfinished) on the Passion of Christ,  and many letters to his family and others. In April and May, 1535, Cromwell visited him in person to demand his opinion of the new statutes conferring on Henry the title of Supreme Head of the Church. More refused to give any answer beyond declaring himself a faithful subject of the king. In June, Rich, the solicitor-general, held a conversation with More and, in reporting it, declared that More had denied Parliament's power to confer ecclesiastical supremacy on Henry. It was now discovered that More and Fisher, The Bishop of Rochester, had  exchanged letters in prison, and a fresh inquiry was held which resulted in his being deprived of all books and writing materials, but he contrived to write to his wife and favourite daughter, Margaret, on stray scraps of paper with a charred stick or piece of coal.

On 1 July, More was indicted for high treason at Westminster Hall before a special commission of twenty. More denied the chief charges of the indictment, which was enormously long, and denounced Rich, the solicitor-general and chief witness against him as a perjuror. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn, but some days later this was changed by Henry to beheading on Tower Hill. The story of his last days on earth, as given by Roper and Cresacre More, is of the tenderest beauty and should be read in full; certainly no martyr ever surpassed him in fortitude. As Addison wrote in the Spectator (No. 349) "that innocent mirth which had been so conspicuous in his life, did not forsake him to the last...his death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced or affected. He did not look upon the severing of his head from his body as a circumstance that ought to produce any change in the disposition of his mind". The execution took place on Tower Hill "before nine of the clock" on 6 July, the body being buried in thee Church of St. Peter ad vincula. The head, after being parboiled, was exposed on London Bridge for a month when Margaret Roper bribed the man, whose business it was to throw it into the river, to give it to her instead. The final fate of the relic is somewhat uncertain, but in 1824 a leaden box was found in the Roper vault at St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, which on being opened was found to contain a head presumed to be More's. The Jesuit Fathers at Stonyhurst possess a remarkable collection of secondary relics, most of which came to them from Father Thomas More, S.J. (d. 1795), the last male heir of the martyr. These include his hat, cap, crucifix of gold, a silver seal, "George", and other articles. The hair shirt, worn by him for many years and sent to Margaret Roper the day before his martyrdom, is preserved by the Augustinian canonesses of Abbots Leigh, Devonshire, to whom it was brought by Margaret Clements, the adopted child of Sir Thomas. A number of autograph letters are in the British Museum. Several portraits exist, the best being that by Holbein in the possession of E. Huth, Esq. Holbein also painted a large group of More's household which has disappeared, but the original sketch for it is in the Basle Museum, and a sixteenth-century copy is the property of Lord St. Oswald. Thomas More was formally beatified by Pope Leo XIII, in the Decree of 29 December, 1886. In 1935, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI.

More was a ready writer and not a few of his works remained in manuscript until some years after his death, while several have been lost altogether. Of all his writings the most famous is unquestionably the "Utopia", first published at Louvain in 1516. The volume recounts the fictitious travels of one Raphael Hythlodaye, a mythical character, who, in the course of a voyage to America, was left behind near Cape Frio and thence wandered on till he chanced upon the Island of Utopia ("nowhere") in which he found an ideal constitution in operation. The whole work is really an exercise of the imagination with much brilliant satire upon the world of More's own day. Real persons, such as Peter Giles, Cardinal Morton, and More himself, take part in the dialogue with Hythlodaye, so that an air of reality pervades the whole which leaves the reader sadly puzzled to detect where truth ends and fiction begins, and has led not a few to take the book seriously. But this is precisely what More intended, and there can be no doubt that he would have been delighted at entrapping William Morris, who discovered in it a complete gospel of Socialism; or Cardinal Zigliara, who denounced it as "no less foolish than impious"; as he must have been with his own contemporaries who proposed to hire a ship and send out missionaries to his non-existent island. The book ran through a number of editions in the original Latin version and, within a few years, was translated into German, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and English.

A collected edition of More's English works was published by William Rastell, his nephew, at London in 1557; it has never been reprinted and is now rare and costly. The first collected edition of the Latin Works appeared at Basle in 1563; a more complete collection was published at Louvain in 1565 and again in 1566. In 1689 the most complete edition of all appeared at Frankfort-on-Main, and Leipzig. After the "Utopia" the following are the most important works: "Luciani Dialogi...compluria opuscula... ab Erasmo Roterodamo et Thoma Moro interpretibus optimis in Latinorum lingua traducta..." (Paris, 1506); "Here is conteigned the lyfe of John Picus, Earle of Mirandula..." (London, 1510); "Historie of the pitiful life and unfortunate death of Edward the fifth and the then Duke of York his brother...", printed incomplete in the "English Works" (1557) and reissued with a completion from Hall's Chronicle by Wm. Sheares (London, 1641); "Thomae Mori v.c. Dissertatio Epistolica de aliquot sui temporis theologastrorum ineptiis..." (Leyden, 1625);

Epigrammata...Thomae Mori Britanni, pleraque e Graecis versa. (Basle, 1518); Eruditissimi viri Gul. Rossi Opus elegans quo pulcherrime retegit ac refellit insanas Lutheri calumnias (London, 1523), written at the request of Henry VIII in answer to Luther's reply to the royal "Defensio Septem Sacramentorum"; "A dyaloge of Syr Thomas More Knyght...of divers maters, as of the veneration and worshyp of ymages and relyques, praying to sayntys and goyng on pylgrymage..." (London,1529); "The Supplycacyon of Soulys" (London, 1529[?]), written in answer to Fish's "Supplication of the Beggars"; "Syr Thomas More's answer to the fyrste parte of the poysoned booke... named 'The Souper of the Lorde' " (London, 1532); "The Second parte of the Confutacion of Tyndal's Answere..." (London, 1533); these two works together form the most lengthy of all More's writings; besides Tindal, Robert Barnes is dealt with in the last book of the whole; "A Letter impugnynge the erronyouse wrytyng of John Fryth against the Blessed Sacrament of the Aultare" (London, 1533); "The Apologye of Syr Thomas More, Hnyght, made by him anno 1533, after he had given over the office of Lord Chancellour of Englande" (London, 1533); "The Debellacyon of Salem and Bizance" (London, 1533), an answer to the anonymous work entitled "Salem and Bizance", and vindicating the severe punishment of heresy; "A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation..." (London, 1553).
Among the other writings in the collected volume of "English Works" are the following which had not been previously published: An unfinished treatise "uppon those words of Holy Scripture, 'Memorare novissima et in eternum non peccabis' ", dated 1522; "Treatise to receive the blessed Body of our Lorde, sacramentally and virtually both"; "Treatise upon the Passion" unfinished; "Certein devout and vertuouse Instruccions, Meditacions and Prayers"; some letters written in the Tower, including his touching correspondence with his daughter Margaret.

SOURCE :The Catholic Encyclopedia