“Remember then how our fathers worked out their salvation;
remember the sufferings through which the Church has grown, and
the storms the ship of Peter has weathered because it has Christ on board.
Remember how the crown was attained by those whose sufferings gave
new radiance to their faith. The whole company of saints bear witness
to the unfailing truth that without real effort no one wins the crown.”
– St Thomas Becket
"A martyr, a saint, is always made by
the design of God, for His love of men,
to warn them and to lead them ,
to bring them back to His ways.”
~ St. Thomas Becket, homily excerpt, Christmas morning Mass (1170),
four days before he was martyred
St. Thomas Becket
Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr*
England ~ 1118-1170
FEAST DAY - December 29
*On December 29th, 1170, four knights from the court of King Henry II burst into Canterbury Cathedral as the Archbishop was on his way to Vespers. Just inside the cloister door, they murdered Thomas Becket, whose defense of the rights of the Church had angered the King. His last words were: 'I accept death for the name of Jesus and for the Church.'
The murder shocked the conscience of all Europe; miracles were announced immediately; the archbishop was canonized as a martyr by Alexander III in 1173; the king did public penance at his tomb, and much of what St Thomas had worked for all his life was accomplished by his death.
Thomas said this to a friend on his way to Ordination: "Hereafter, I want you to tell me, candidly and in secret, what people are saying about me. And if you see anything in me that you regard as a fault, feel free to tell me in private. For from now on, people will talk about me, but not to me. It is dangerous for men in power if no one dares to tell them when they go wrong."
St Thomas Becket, pray for us!