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The religious fervor of young St. Thomas More

2 min • Digitized on September 15, 2021

From Wisdom and Wit of Blessed Thomas More, page 3
By Rev. T. E. Bridgett, C.S.S.R.

His biographers, however, tell us that, amid his first literary triumphs, in his first success as a lawyer and a politician, the thought of the emptiness of this world took so deep a hold on his soul that he spent four years in the practice of devotion and extraordinary austerity among the Carthusians, debating whether he should either retire altogether from the world’s cares and pleasures, or, as a priest, in an austere and active order, labour for the world’s improvement.

He wrote the life and translated some of the spiritual works of Pico della Mirandola, a young Italian nobleman of marvellous talent, and no less holiness, who had abandoned his great possessions, and resolved, “fencing himself with the crucifix, barefoot walking about the world, in every town and castle to preach Christ,” and who was about to enter the Dominican Order for this purpose, when he died at the early age of thirty-two.

More had clearly taken Pico for his model, though it was not God’s will that he should execute his plans any more than Pico himself. In his interior spirit, however, he copied him closely. He tells us, among other things, that when the Count of Mirandola was dying, and some mistaken consolers were reminding him that his early death would free him from many pains and sorrows which a longer life would certainly bring, the dying man said, with a smile: “No, no, that is not the advantage of death. It is that it puts an end to sin, and to the danger of offending and losing God.”

To keep himself unspotted by the world, and to be found at death spotless in the presence of his God, was the wisdom and philosophy of Blessed More as well as of Pico.

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