St. Thomas More (22nd June): How can we describe Thomas More? At his own death he used these very words to describe his life’s vocation´,” the King´s good servant but God´s first”. Thomas was born in London in 1478 and was the son of a prominent judge. At the age of 13, he joined the household of the Archbishop of Canterbury and went onstudy law at Canterbury college Oxford. Three years later, he was called to the bar and became a member of parliament. Thomas was a man who had great faith and high moral principles and had considered entering the religious life but in 1505 he married and had 4 children. Thomas was renown for his academic prowess loyalty and integrity. In 1509, he became a favourite adviser to Henry V111 and was appointed to a series of public posts ,succeedingWolsey to the position of Lord Chancellor in 1529.He wrote many famous Works, his most successfulwas probably “Utopia”.WhenHenry began proceedings to divorce Catherine of Aragon,Thomas due to his firm faith refused to sign a petition for the divorcewas sent to the Pope to attain his permission. He also refused to support Henry´s measures to secure ecclesiastical powerfor himself and resignedhis office.,More was imprisoned in the tower of London inthe King and executed on account of treason in1535.He was beatified alongside his friend and confident Saint John Fisher and canonized in 1935.
The Nativity of St John The Baptist (24th June): John was the long awaited son of Elizabeth theMary’s elder cousin and Zechariah a priest in the temple of Jerusalem. Elizabeth and Zechariah were deeply religiousand served God devoutly. Every day Zechariah prayed ardently for the gift of a child. One day, when he was on incense duty in the temple the angelthe Lordto him and saidhe would be blessed with a child called John who would pave the way for the coming of. Due to his and Elizabeth’sages, he could not believe the angel´s wordsowinghis disbelief,struck dumb until the time of John´s Circumcision, where the child was named. Then within his heart Zechariahto God´s goodness with a canticle known as the Benedictus.was” a man sent by God” with a special mission , to prepare the way for the arrival of the Messiah. According to Isaiah, he was a voice crying out in the wilderness thatthe good news of coming salvation . Considered the last of the great prophets, he first encountered Christ at the Visitation of the Virgin MaryElizabeth where he leaped with joy in his mother´s womb at Christ’s presenceand was filled with the Holy Spirit.Although he baptised Jesus in the river Jordan, his baptism was one of repentance in comparison to that of Christ who would baptise men with the” Holy Spirit and Fire”.
St Josemaria Escriva (26th June): Saint Josemaria Escriva dewas born in Barbastro, in Aragon Spain, in January 1902 to a devout Catholic family. From his teenage years, he had acalling and after seeingmonks footprints in the snow he decided to dedicate his life to the service of Godthis as a sign to follow Christ. In 1982, he was ordained into the priesthood and in 1928 through Divine Inspiration, while on retreat, the concept of Opus Dei illuminated his soul. Opus Dei is a religious institution. The term signifying the true “Work of God”. It points to a specific way of seeking holiness in the middle of the world and sharing in the mission of Christ. It is an organization of Catholicpeople and priests dedicated to the teaching that ordinary life in workat home as well as in the churcha path to sanctity.a movement itinvolves with helping the sick and those in need.1950, Pope Pius gave thethe final approvaland by the time of Escriva’s death in 1975 Opus Dei had spread to five continentsover 60,000 members of 80 nationalities. Escriva wrote many works devoted toChrist’s work in the correct spirit including”The Way”. Saint John Paul 11 said that Escrivia should be counted amongst one of the greatest Christian witnesses.