The image of St. Thomas More, patron of legal professionals and elected officials, is placed in front of the altar during the Red Mass Jan. 23 at St. Mary’s Basilica. The Phoenix chapter of the St. Thomas More Society, an organization for Catholic attorneys, organizes the annual Mass. (Joyce Coronel/CATHOLIC SUN)

June 22

Born in London, Thomas More studied at Oxford, married and had four children. King Henry VIII took this brilliant lawyer into his service in 1518, knighted him and named him lord chancellor.

But Thomas broke with the king when he divorced Catherine of Aragon and set himself up as supreme head of the Church in England. In 1532 Thomas resigned his post, and in 1534 was arrested when he refused to take the oath to the new Act of Succession.

Imprisoned for more than a year in the Tower of London, he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

His feast day kicks off Religious Freedom Week in the U.S., and he is the patron of St. Thomas More Parish in Glendale and the St. Thomas More Society for Catholics in the legal profession.

St. Thomas More is also the subject of the following pieces of art:

Prose to the saint from a Scottsdale poet

‘A Man for All Seasons’ teaser for the 2017 show dates at St. Anne in Gilbert