But now she made her great mistake. Her personal hatred for Cranmer was such that even though she had his recantation, she insisted on burning him anyway. The execution was on 21st of March, 1556, and Cranmer was allowed to preach before the massive crowd to publicize his recantation. In his last masterly speech, he repented of all his sins -- as he was meant to -- but ended by repenting his greatest sin of all, denial of the Protestant gospel. Amid uproar and commotion, he was led off to the fire and burnt. He put his right hand into the flames first. "As my hand offended," he said, "writing contrary to my heart, my hand shall first be punished."
The Roman Catholic Church convened the Council of Trent to counter the spreading Reformation influence. Cranmer eagerly desired that Protestant leaders meet together. He particularly sought unity on the Lord's Supper. He desired to host a meeting in England and on March 20, 1552, wrote and invited Calvin of Geneva, Bullinger (Zwingli's successor at Zurich) and Melanchthon (Luther's successor at Wittenberg). It never came to pass. July 24, 1553, Mary became queen. Cranmer's moment had passed. Below is an excerpt from his letter of invitation to Calvin.