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A prayer for good humour

Margaret Mary Flynn  |  23 May 2018

illustration of three young people playingSaint Thomas More (1478–1535) was an English writer and philosopher, a successful lawyer, a family man, and a much-loved friend to many.

He was appointed Lord Chancellor of England by Henry VIII in 1529. After Pope Clement VII refused Henry’s request to rule that his marriage to Queen Catherine of Aragon was invalid. Henry made a law that his subjects must take an Oath of Supremacy, to swear that the King was the head of the English Church, and Anne Boleyn was Queen. Thomas, a staunch Catholic, quietly refused. He became a prisoner of conscience and was executed on 6 July 1535. Thomas had been called a martyr for his faith. It was not his choice. He did all he could to try to steer his country and Henry, his friend towards wisdom.

In a world of lies, compromises and fake news, Thomas More stood for what was good and real. He loved his friends and his family, good conversation and a hospitable table. He even joked with his executioner on the scaffold, asking him to be careful of his when he beheaded him, as it had done no harm. A friend wrote of him: ‘More is a man of an angel’s with and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvellous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.’

Pope France is a great admirer of St Thomas. He says, ‘A bit of good humour is very good for us! It will do us much good to pray St Thomas More’s prayer frequently. I pray it every day, and it helps me.’


Prayer for Good Humour

by St Thomas More

Grant me, O Lord, good digestion, and also something to digest.

Grant me a healthy body, and the necessary good humour to maintain it.

Grant me a simple soul that knows to treasure all that is good and that doesn’t frighten easily at the sight of evil, but rather finds the means to put things back in their place.

Give me a soul that knows not boredom, grumblings, sighs and laments, nor excess of stress, because of that obstructing thing called ‘I.’

Grant me, O Lord, a sense of good humour.

Allow me the grace to be able to take a joke, to discover in life a bit of joy, and to be able to share it with others.


Topic tags: heroesandrolemodels, peoplestoriesoffaith

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