Saint Days: Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr
Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) was a prominent figure in the English Reformation who became the Archbishop of Canterbury, his tenure lasting from the time of Henry VIII to the reign of Edward VI (and for a brief period under Mary I). During the reign of Henry, he did not make radical changes in the Church given Henry's propensity for Catholic doctrine and practice. Under the more Protestant King Edward, he was able to contribute to the development of the Church of England immensely, his largest contributions being the first two editions of the Book of Common Prayer which he compiled and the Thirty-Nine Articles (an Anglican doctrinal statement).
Despite his contributions to the life of the Church of England, he was martyred at the hands of Catholic Queen Mari I who accused him of treason and heresy. Originally, he recanted of his teachings and submitted to the Roman Church but ended up withdrawing his recantations to be burned at the stake.
One beautiful quote of his, which underlies our philosophy on liturgy here at Christ our Redeemer, goes like this: "What the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies."
Let us remember the example of Thomas Cranmer in our prayers today:
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Thomas Cranmer boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.