EWTN Podcast Series on "St. Thomas More: Faithful Statesman"
(Hat tip: Julie D. at Happy Catholic)
Fr. C. John McCloskey and Dr. Gerard Wegemer discuss the dramatic life and visit the literary works of St. Thomas More, the Patron Saint of Statesmen and politicians.
The career of Thomas More is examined for the numerous instances in which he displayed the virtues which distinguished him as a model for others in public and political life.
The biographical accounts of the life of Thomas More by Erasmus and William Roper are examined for the distinguishing characteristics which cause him to be viewed as a model for others in public and political life.
The immense capacity of Thomas More for friendship is probed, with special attention to his relationships with Erasmus, King Henry VIII and Antonio Buonvisi.
Thomas More is likened to Socrates in his lifelong pursuit of truth and death for fidelity to his ideals.
Thomas More had a splendid education himself and saw to it that his children had the same. He sees it as the search for truth and a means to acquire character.
The literary career of Thomas More is examined for its brilliance, ranking him with Socrates, Cato and Cicero. Shakespeare was profoundly influenced by Thomas More.
Thomas More’s statesmanship relies on unchanging philosophic and theological principles, including the conviction that human beings are created free.
Thomas More believes that the Church ought to be free from the state’s control, allowed to exercise free speech. Thomas More was even praised by Henry VII for his rule of obeying God and conscience first, then one’s king.
When Thomas More cannot condone Henry the VIII’s actions of making himself the head of the Church in England and marrying someone other than his wife, he resigns and is unlawfully imprisoned.
Separated from his family, Thomas More lives in difficult conditions in the Bell Tower of the Tower of London for the last 16 months of his life. He writes moving literary works as he prepares for execution. His moving farewell to his daughter Meg is captured in a famous painting. He comforts those who ought to have comforted him.
In his time in the Tower of London awaiting execution, Thomas More writes moving meditations on the Agony of Christ in the Garden.
Educated at Oxford, he studies Greek with Erasmus. More courageously insists on priorities and decides which way of life to take.
Thomas More is an example for any man and father of a family. Over and above his qualities as friend and humorist, Holbein chooses to portray More’s fidelity to conscience as he paints the saint’s portrait. Thomas More Societies abound in England today.