St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher were contemporaries, both 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. 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 each rejected Henry’s claim to be the head of the Church of England. Both men were beheaded for treason in 1535. They share a feast day on June 22.
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 the dictates of someone else’s conscience differ from yours?