Prayers, Quips and Quotes: St. Thomas Becket, Feast Day December 29

St. Thomas Becket

The feast day of St. Thomas Becket is celebrated on December 29.  He was the Archbishop of Canterbury and a martyr.


St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118 in Normandy. He was the son of a wealthy merchant. He went to Paris to study law. After working in the field of law he decided to become a priest. He continued studying towards this goal. Thomas accepted the position of Bishop of Canterbury in 1162. After becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave up his worldly lifestyle. He lived an austere life and was generous with his time and money.

Many disputes arose between St. Thomas and King Henry II. Refusing to cooperate with the King, Thomas proceeded to resign as Archbishop, saying his election had been irregular. The Pope reinstated him as archbishop ordering him not to abandon his office. He then recommended Thomas to the Cistercian Abbot at Pontigny. Thomas followed the rules of the monastery after putting on the habit of a monk.

Troops soon appeared. The Cistercians were warned that they were harboring an enemy. No longer welcome there, the Archbishop turned to King Louis for refuge.

After three years of quarreling, Thomas was named the legate for the Pope for England except York.

St. Thomas was murdered with swords at his cathedral in Canterbury by knights of King Henry.

Many miracles were reported at his tomb. He is considered a martyr for the faith.

“I feel as though I am with Mary and Joseph beside the Crib.

It is good to be there. Outside are the cold and the snow,

images of the world, but in the little cave,

lit by the light of Jesus, it is sweet and warm and light.”

Quote of Bl. Charles de Foucauld; Feast day December 1


December is the Month of the Divine Infancy



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