"The King’s good servant – but God’s first"
St. Thomas More (1478-1535) is the ideal of the Catholic Lawyer. He was a man
of scholarship and God; a man of action and contemplative prayer; a devoted
husband and public servant. For American lawyers, the life of St. Thomas More
has become a model for men and women trained in the heritage of English common
law. He showed people how to rightly order their lives, serving God first.
During his lifetime he earned a reputation as a leading humanist scholar and
occupied many public offices, including that of Lord Chancellor from 1529 to
1532. In 1935, four hundred years after his death, Thomas More was canonized in
the Church by Pope Pius XI, and was later declared the patron saint of statesman
The legal profession is a high calling with corresponding responsibilities to
society. The principal objective of every lawyer is to promote and seek
justice. The duty of a Catholic lawyer is to remain faithful to God, His
Church, and its teachings at all times despite the personal consequences, and to
pursue the truth in both one’s spiritual and professional life.
Prayer to St. Thomas More
Thomas More, counselor of law and statesman of integrity, merry martyr and most
human of saints:
Pray that, for the glory of God and in the pursuit of His justice, I may be
trustworthy with confidences, keen in study, accurate in analysis, correct in
conclusion, able in argument, loyal to clients, honest with all, courteous to
adversaries, ever attentive to conscience. Sit with me at my desk and listen
with me to my clients' tales. Read with me in my library and stand always beside
me so that today I shall not, to win a point, lose my soul.
Pray that my family may find in me what yours found in you: friendship and
courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity,
patience in pain—their good servant, and God's first.