29 December 2008
St Thomas Becket, Bishop and Martyr
St Thomas Becket – ‘à Becket’ it seems is a mistake - was murdered on this date in 1170, aged 58, in Canterbury Cathedral, where he was archbishop, by followers of King Henry II of England. He is the patron saint of the pastoral clergy of England.
The office of readings for his feast has an extract from one of his letters. It is clear that he was a faithful and orthodox bishop, his martyrdom being the ultimate witness to that. He writes:
At our consecration we promised to be continuously and increasingly zealous as teachers and pastors. We repeat the promise every day. Would to God our lives made our promises more credible!
Further on we read: Still, who can doubt that the Church of Rome is the head of all the churches, the source of Catholic teaching? Who does not know that the keys of the kingdom of heavern were given to Peter? Is not the whole structure of the Church built up on Peter’s faith and teaching, so to grow until we meet Christ as one perfect man, united in faith and in our recognition of him as Son of God?
I found the picture above in Canterbury Tales , the blog of Taylor Marshall, a convert to the Catholic Church and a former Episcopal priest in Texas. He tells why he is a Catholic Christian here.