A Prayer to Saint Thomas More

A Prayer for Lawyers

Statue of Sir Thomas More, London, England, UK
Statue of Sir Thomas More, London, England, UK. Neil Farrin / Getty Images

This prayer invokes St. Thomas More as the patron saint of lawyers, asking him to pray to God for the grace to rise to the highest standards of that profession. It also makes reference, in the final verse, to St. Thomas More’s status as the patron saint of large families; it would be appropriate for a non-lawyer to pray the final verse as a separate prayer.

A Prayer to Saint Thomas More for Lawyers

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. Amen.

An Explanation of the Prayer to Saint Thomas More for Lawyers

We usually think of patron saints as interceding on our behalf, and they certainly do so; but when a saint is a patron of a particular profession, he or she is also helping us to help others through our work. In this prayer, a lawyer asks St. Thomas More to help him serve his clients in a Christian manner, so that, in doing so, he might serve God as well. Rather than praying for earthly victory, the lawyer asks St. Thomas More to help him safeguard his soul.

The prayer also addresses St. Thomas More as the patron saint of large families, reminding us that it is too easy to let our work consume us. Serving others through our profession should be part and parcel of being a good son or daughter, husband or wife, and father or mother.

Definitions of Words Used in the Prayer to Saint Thomas More for Lawyers

Counselor: someone who gives advice; in this case, an attorney or lawyer

Statesman: a political leader who is skillful and respected

Integrity: moral standing or uprightness

Martyr: a person who has suffered death for his Christian faith

Confidences: secrets

Keen: eager, enthusiastic

Courteous: respectful, considerate, polite

Adversaries: opponents; in this case, those on the opposite side of a legal dispute

Attentive: paying close attention to something

Conscience: that spiritual faculty which, properly trained, guides us in determining what is right and what is wrong

Clients: a person to whom one provides a service

Charity: the theological virtue of love for God and one's fellow man

Diligence: persistence in an activity, especially carried out with great care

Adversity: difficulty or misfortune