On July 1, Archbishop José H. Gomez welcomed the relics of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, two 16th-century martyrs who exemplified courage and conviction in the face of religious persecution. The special Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels was followed by a presentation from the curator.

rnLos Angeles is one of the last stops, and the only stop in California, of the national “Witnesses to Freedom” relic tour — organized by the USCCB — during Fortnight for Freedom (June 21-July 4). Fortnight for Freedom is a special time of the year, leading up to Independence Day, when dioceses nationwide highlight the importance of defending religious freedom in the U.S. and raise awareness of religious persecution all over the world. 

rnBoth St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher were well known for opposing King Henry’s divorce, and the establishment of his own church and assertion of power over English Christians. They are witness to the truth that no government can make a claim on a person’s soul. After the Los Angeles visit, the relics went to Washington, D.C., for the tour’s closing Mass before returning to Stonyhurst College in England.