Blessed Thomas Abel

Also known as

  • Thomas Able
  • Thomas Abell



Thomas received his Doctor of Divinity from Oxford University in England. Priest. Chaplain to Queen Catherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII. He delivered the letter of Emperor Charles V that sought the permission and blessing of Pope Julius II for the marriage of Henry and Catherine. He confided to the emperor that Catherine had been coerced into writing the letter; Charles refused to pass on the request to the pope, and Thomas returned empty-handed to England.

When Henry sought to divorce Catherine, Thomas published Invicta Veritas, which argued against Oxford University‘s support of the divorce; for this he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1532. Released soon after, he was arrested again in 1533, accused of involvement in the Holy Maid of Kent incident in which a woman named Elizabeth Barton went into trances at the sight of the image of Mary and gave teachings in favour of the Mass and Catholicism. While in prison, Thomas established a correspondence with Blessed John Forest who was doing time in Newgate prison. The warden of the Tower released Thomas in 1539, but he was soon re-arrested, and the warden was imprisoned for releasing him. Thomas was convicted of high treason on the basis of denying the king‘s supremacy over the Church. Martyr.




Additional Information

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Thomas Abel“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 July 2020. Web. 16 October 2021. <>