(flourished 3rd century; Western feast day July 25; Eastern feast day May 9) Patron saint of travelers and motorists. He is said to have been martyred in Lycia under the Roman emperor Decius ( 250). Legends depict him as a giant who devoted his life to carrying travelers across a river. One day a small child asked to be transported, and in the middle of the river the child became so heavy that Christopher staggered under the burden. The child revealed that the saint had been carrying Christ and the sins of the world, thus giving rise to Christopher's name (Greek: Christ-Bearer). His historicity is doubtful.
不朽的聖人 香港公教真理學會 1983 Saints Alive by Anne Stuart 1981
譯本不具名 不過顯然是多人所作 少數的章節附英文 幫助讀者了解 其餘全章漢字 令人費解
讀More 章 優點是多引用通信等 缺點是全書沒引文出處 有些說法令人啟疑 如More 12年無殺異端....
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints by David Hugh Farmer is a concise reference compilation of information on more than 1300 saints. Published January 8, 1998 by Oxford University Press.
More, Thomas (1478–1535), martyr. Born in London, the son of Sir John More, barrister and judge, Thomas More at the age of thirteen joined the household of John Morton, archbishop of Canterbury (1486–1500), who sent him to Canterbury College, Oxford, where he stayed for only two years on a very restricted allowance from his father, who called him home. In 1496 he entered Lincoln's Inn and was called to the Bar in 1501. In 1504 he entered Parliament (his constituency is unknown). For four years he had lived at the London Charterhouse, uncertain in his own mind whether to join it or the Friars Minor or to become a diocesan priest. In the event he did none of these things but decided to pursue his legal career and get married. But from these years date his lifelong habit of wearing a hairshirt, the daily recitation of the Little Office, and the use of the discipline. If some reaction against clerics and clerical life is seen in this decision, it would be quite untrue to assume on Thomas's part any rejection of asceticism. Always a Londoner and a lawyer, he delighted both in the capital's way of life and in the cut and thrust of legal argument.
In 1505 he married Jane Colt of Netherhall (Essex), the eldest daughter of John Colt. Although More had originally found her younger sister more attractive, the marriage was a happy one; three daughters and a son were born, but Jane More died in 1511. Already More had made friends with and been deeply influenced by some of the leading men of the New Learning, especially Erasmus, but also Linacre, Grocyn, and Colet. More's many‐sided personality, made up of intellectual sophistication and simple moral honesty, brilliance and receptivity, loyalty to his king and affection to his wife, friends, and children, was becoming known. Henry VIII, who became king in 1509, early recognized his worth and integrity; he promoted him to a whole series of public offices: Under‐Sheriff of London (1510), envoy to Flanders (1516), Privy Councillor and Master of Requests (1518), Speaker of the House of Commons (1523), High Steward of Oxford University (1524), High Steward of Cambridge University, and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1525). Meanwhile his reputation as a man of letters and a wit was helped by his publications, the most notable of which was Utopia, written in Latin in 1516, but soon translated into the principal European languages. This is an ironical political essay describing a society in which there is no private property but where there is universal religious toleration and free education for both men and women. Other writings include his Life of John Picus (1510), History of Richard III (printed 1543, a pro‐Lancastrian tract later used by Shakespeare) and controversial works against Tyndale such as the Dialogue (1528), the Confutacyon of Tyndale's Answere (1528–32), and his own Apologye (1533). The language of the controversial works is often unpleasing to modern readers but was common currency in his time. So too is his pursuit of heretics whom he regarded as dangerous enemies of both Church and State.
A few weeks after the death of his first wife More married again. His second wife was a widow, Alice Middleton; she was an experienced housewife, full of common sense, and a good stepmother for his children. In 1523 he had undertaken a defence, written against Luther, of Henry VIII 's book on the Seven Sacraments, which had earned Henry the title of Defender of the Faith from the papacy. More wrote under the name Gulielmus Rosseus. In 1524 he moved to Chelsea, where his famous household was painted by Hans Holbein (c.1526). His cultured and delightful family life, which included the education of his daughters (especially Margaret Roper) to a level far surpassing that currently available to most women, was often commented on by contemporaries. Devotional elements included the reading of passages from Scripture at table and family prayers every night, but the general culture, fed in part by his early study of the classics and by a scientific curiosity which led him to keep unusual pets such as a monkey, was of a particularly high level and seasoned by More's wit. His realism about clerical scandals or superstition in some cults of saints was matched by his assessment of the king's favour for him: ‘If my head would win him a castle in France, it should not fail to go.’
In the late 1520s Henry (who used to visit More's house informally, arriving by barge) consulted him about the supposed invalidity of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. More first excused himself for lack of expert knowledge, but when pressed again made it clear that he did not share the king's opinion. This, however, did not prevent the king choosing him as Lord Chancellor in succession to Cardinal Wolsey in 1529. As judge he was famous for fairness, promptitude, and incorruptibility, which could not be said of many contemporaries in similar offices. But his tenure of office was too short to be profoundly influential on English history. He initiated, speaking for the king, the programme of the reform of the clergy, which had results even he would not have foreseen. But the cloud of doubt about Henry's marital plans hung over the friendship between More and the king, as did another caused by the king's plans to take to himself the powers over the Church of England held by the pope, according to traditional Christian belief the successor of St. Peter, prince of the Apostles. Only little by little did the king's intentions become clear. His imposition on the clergy of the acknowledgement of himself as ‘Protector and Supreme Head of the Church of England’ was accepted by Fisher and others only ‘so far as the law of Christ allows’. More at first wished to resign his office at this point, but was persuaded to accept the oath with JohnFisher's proviso. Further measures inhibiting the liberty of the clergy and refusing ‘firstfruits’ of bishoprics to the Holy See were opposed by More, but in vain. As the king's intentions became increasingly clear, More found his situation impossible and resigned the chancellorship.
The final crisis came over the Act of Succession with its inescapable implications. While the supposed nullity of Henry's marriage with Catherine of Aragon was still being decided at Rome, Henry married Anne Boleyn, who was then crowned Queen. More refused to attend her coronation. In 1534 the Act of Succession required the king's subjects to recognize the offspring of the marriage of Henry and Anne as successors to the throne; also that the union with Catherine of Aragon was no true marriage, but that the union with Anne was a true marriage and that the authority of any foreign prince or potentate should be repudiated. To the first part of the oath More was ready to agree, but he could not accept the other propositions, especially as only a little while before Clement VII had at last pronounced the marriage of Henry and Catherine to have been valid. Opposing the Act had been declared high treason, so after a second refusal More and John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, were committed to the Tower. This was on 13 April 1534. More was imprisoned for the remaining fifteen months of his life. Many efforts were made to induce him to conform but in vain; he forfeited all his lands and his family shared his poverty. In 1535 the Act of Supremacy which gave to the king the title ‘only supreme head of the Church in England’ came into force. John Houghton and the other London Carthusian monks were executed for ‘treason’ on 4 May and were watched by More on the way to their death. On 22 June, Fisher, More's friend and adviser, was beheaded on Tower Hill; on 1 July More, weak from illness and imprisonment, was tried in Westminster Hall. His defence was that his indictment was based directly on an Act of Parliament repugnant to the laws of God and the Church; that no temporal prince can presume by any law to take upon himself a spiritual pre‐eminence given by Christ to St. Peter and his successors in the See of Rome; that a particular country could no more make laws against the general law of the Church than the City of London could make a law against Parliament to bind the whole country; that the new title was contrary to the king's coronation oath. Further, although bishops and universities had agreed to this Act, More had not found in seven years' special study of the subject a single ancient writer or doctor that advocated the spiritual supremacy of any secular and temporal prince. In Christendom itself learned bishops and virtuous men still alive, not to mention the saints who were dead, agreed with More; therefore he was not obliged to prefer the council of one realm against the General Council of Christendom or one Parliament (‘God knows what manner of one’) to all the Councils made these thousand years. Nevertheless, he was condemned to death. Characteristically he then expressed the hope that he and his judges may ‘hereafter in heaven all meet merrily together, to our everlasting salvation’. A last affectionate meeting with his daughter Margaret followed on his way back to the Tower; she and other members of his family had taken the oath which he refused. He was executed on Tower Hill on 6 July, his last words being that he died for the faith of the Holy Catholic Church and was ‘the king's good servant, but God's first’.
His body was buried in the church of St. Peter ad Vincula inside the Tower; his head was first exhibited on Tower Bridge and then buried in the Roper vault at St. Dunstan, Canterbury. His death, with that of Fisher, shocked many in Europe. More and Fisher were beatified in 1886 and canonized in 1935. The assertion which they refused to accept was neither conciliarist nor Gallican but, in their view, heretical and therefore unacceptable. Their memory was hallowed in recusant circles for centuries, but in the case of More there has been an enormous proliferation of studies during the 20th century in America, Germany, France, and the Low Countries, as well as in England. He ranks high as a writer of English prose in spite of his prolixity; the spiritual depth of his later works, written in the Tower, such as the Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation and his Treatise on the Passion of Christ forms a suitable climax to a long literary career, whose earlier products reveal a humanist and a wit rather than a saint. In these respects (and possibly his zeal against heretics) it seems right to conclude that More, like other saints, grew in holiness through many difficult years into a fine example of disinterested and moving maryrdom. Many modern churches and schools are dedicated to Thomas More (with or without John Fisher); authentic portraits by Holbein survive. The feast of More and Fisher, formerly on 9 July, is now on 22 June: they are among the few English saints now culted by the whole Roman Church. Recently Pope John Paul II has nominated him patron of politicians.
Click here for a list of abbreviations used in this bibliography.
- Earliest Lives by William Roper and Nicholas Harpsfield (ed. E. V. Hitchcock (E.E.T.S., 1932 and 1935))
- by Thomas Stapleton (ed. P. E. Hallett, 1928)
- by Ro. Ba. (ed. E. V. Hitchcock and P. E. Hallett, E.E.T.S., 1950), and Cresacre More (1630)
- modern Lives by T. E. Bridgett (1891), R. W. Chambers (1935), E. E. Reynolds (2nd edn. 1968), A. Prévost (1969) and A. Fox (1982). For a less favourable view see R. Marius, Thomas More (1984) and B. Bradshaw in J.E.H. xxxvi (1985), 535–69.
- See also A. Kenny, Thomas More (1984) and above all P. Ackroyd, The Life of Thomas More (1999). More's Works were first edited by W. Rastell (1557)
- Latin works published at Louvain (1565) and Frankfurt (1689)
- English works ed. W. E. Campbell (1931, two vols. only)
- Yale edition of complete works (ed. G. L. Carroll and J. B. Murray, 1963– ). Other studies on More include G. Marc'Hadour, Thomas More et la Bible (1969)
- id., L'Univers de Thomas More (1963)
- R. W. Gibson, St. Thomas More (1961). The periodical Moreana (ed. by G. Marc'Hadour) 1963 onwards, records current research into More's life and times. Portraits by Holbein and others are in the National Portrait Gallery and elsewhere