The Red Mass
Board of Directors

The St. Thomas More Society of South Florida

This is the official website of the St. Thomas More Society of South Florida, an organization of  Catholic lawyers in the South Florida community, founded in 1989, dedicated to the advancement of the principles of St. Thomas More. The patron saint of lawyers and politicians told the crowd of spectators at his beheading in 1535 that he was dying as "the King's good servant-but God's first."  St. Thomas More has been  immortalized as a "man for all seasons" based on his prolific life and character.  Recently, in an English poll, St. Thomas More was named "Lawyer of the Millennium."  Each year the Society sponsors The Red Mass, a traditional Roman Catholic ceremony with a long and rich history, at St. Anthony Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as a reception and banquet following the Mass at a Fort Lauderdale hotel. Now one of the premier legal events in South Florida, The Red Mass is attended by judges, lawyers, politicians, and officials of all faiths, who ask God to bless, strengthen and enlighten our civic and religious leaders, all servants of the law, and all people of faith, so that in cooperation and mutual trust, we may more effectively achieve justice and freedom for society.

About St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More (1478-1535)

"Patron Saint of Lawyers"

"Patron Saint of Politicians"




Voted "Lawyer of  the    Millennium" by  British Press

Recognized in history and art as a "man for all seasons," More was a renowned lawyer, son of a prominent jurist, literary and theological scholar, gentleman, and father of four children. After a political career as a spokesman for the people in the House of Commons, More became the Chancellor of England and the trusted advisor of Henry VIII.  He also was an intensely spiritual man.

Henry VIII broke with Rome over the Pope's refusal to declare his marriage with Catherine of Aragon null on the grounds that it contravened the Christian law forbidding marriage with a brother's widow.  Henry VIII wanted to marry Anne Boleyn so he simply declared himself the spiritual head of the Catholic church in England.  More would not support the king's divorce from Catherine nor would he acknowledge Henry as the supreme head of the Church in England. Henry tried desperately to win his beloved Chancellor to his side because he knew More was an individual whose approval counted among the populace and one whose personal integrity no one could question. Thomas More refused to serve a government which he thought sought to usurp the almighty powers of the Church that he emphatically loved.  Despite the entreaties of family, friends and politicians of the day, More refused to compromise his moral and legal principles, with the result that he was convicted of treason and beheaded.

Thomas More's Prison Cell  

Few saints are more relevant to the twenty-first century.  Although a supreme diplomat and counselor, Thomas More did not compromise his own moral values in order to please his king, realizing that true allegiance to authority can not be mere blind acceptance of everything the authority wants.  Because of his convictions and his adherence to the principle that mankind is a government of laws and not of individual preference, following his canonization in 1935, Thomas More has been known as the patron saint of lawyers and politicians.

St. Thomas More Prayer

"Lord, grant that I may be able in argument,
accurate in analysis,
strict in study,
candid with clients,
and honest with adversaries.
Sit with me at my desk
and listen with me to my client's plaints,
read with me in my library,
and stand beside me in court,
so that today I shall not,
in order to win a point
lose my soul."

Inspired by St. Thomas More © 1998-99, The University of Detroit Mercy

©2015 St. Thomas More Society of South Florida, Inc.