St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher (Feast Day — June 22) were contemporaries. They both were intellectual, political, and spiritual leaders during the reign of King Henry XIII of England. Although they were counselors to the king, they upheld the moral demands of their own consciences despite what everyone else thought. They each defended the validity of Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon when he wished to dissolve it in order to marry Anne Boleyn, and they rejected Henry’s claim to be the head of the Church of England. Both men were beheaded for treason in 1535.
“I do not care very much what men say of me, provided that God approves of me.” — St. Thomas More
“I condemn no other man’s conscience: their conscience may save them, and mine must save me.” — St. John Fisher
Questions for Reflection
- Has your conscience ever led you to take an unpopular stance?
- What gives you the courage to stand up for what you feel to be right?
- How do you handle it when someone else’s conscience differ from yours?