Thought for the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury
No one becomes a saint without struggle, especially with himself. Thomas knew he must stand firm in defense of truth and right, even at the cost of his life. We also must take a stand in the face of pressures—against dishonesty, deceit, destruction of life—at the cost of popularity, convenience, promotion and even greater goods.
St Thomas a Becket, Pray for Us!
Quote/s of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury
I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the course,
I have kept the faith.
From now on a merited crown awaits me
2 Timothy 4:7
“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 bears witness to the unfailing truth,
that without real effort no-one wins the crown.”
“I am ready to die for my Lord,
that in my blood,
the Church may obtain liberty and peace.”
“Better are the blows of a friend,
than the false kisses of an enemy.”
“Who shall resist Anti-Christ when he comes
if we show such patience
towards the vices and crimes of his precursors?
By such leniency, we encourage kings
to become tyrants
and tempt them to withdraw every privilege
and all jurisdiction from the Churches.”
It is dangerous for men in power,
if no-one dares to tell them, when they go wrong.”
(St Thomas to a friend on his ordination)
St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr
Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
29 December – The Fifth Day of the Christmas Octave
Jesus lies on the straw
“Consider that the Mother of Jesus has neither wool or down to make a bed for the tender infant. What does she do? She gathers together a small handful of straw into the manger. How hard and how painful is this bed for an infant that has just been born. The limbs of a baby are so delicate and especially the limbs of Jesus, which were formed by the Holy Spirit with special care and delicacy. Straw is a bed fit only for beasts and yet the Son of God had no other bed on which lie, than a bed of miserable straw. St Francis of Assisi, while sitting at table one day, reflected on this fact and immediately rose from his place at table, threw himself on the ground and finished his meal. “What” he said, “My Lord was laid on straw and I continue to sit?”
My beloved Jesus, I do not desire to leave You alone to cry and to suffer. Your tears both afflict and console me. They afflict me because You are so innocent but they console me, because they assure me of the gift of salvation. I, too, will weep, because it is my sins that are the cause of Your sufferings.”
“…he who says he abides in him,
ought to walk in the same way, in which he walked.”
1 John 2:6
Prayer (St Alphonsus)
O Most merciful Infant Jesus,
I give You thanks
for all that You suffered for me.
O my sweetest Love,
I am sorry that I have offended You.
I desire to be always faithful in Your service.
Fill my heart with Your love.
O Mary, grant that I may belong
entirely to you and your Son, Jesus.
Our Morning Offering – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury
Please Lord, Make me Worthy
Prayer of St Thomas a Becket
I find it difficult to talk to You.
What can I say?
I, who have turned away from You
so often with indifference.
I have been a stranger to prayer,
undeserving of Your friendship and love.
I’ve been without honour
and feel unworthy.
I am a weak and shallow creature,
clever only in the second-rate
and worldly arts,
seeking my comfort and pleasure.
I gave my love,
such as it was, elsewhere,
putting service to my earthly king,
before my duty to You.
teach me how to serve You
with all my heart,
to know at last,
what it really is,
So that I may worthily administer
Your kingdom here on earth
and find my true honour,
in observing Your divine will.
Please Lord, make me worthy.
Saint of the Day – 29 December – St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury
A strong man who wavered for a moment but then learned one cannot come to terms with evil and so became a strong churchman, a martyr and a saint—that was Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, murdered in his cathedral on 29 December 1170.
His career had been a stormy one. While archdeacon of Canterbury, he was made chancellor of England at the age of 36 by his friend King Henry II. When Henry felt it advantageous to make his chancellor the archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas gave him fair warning – he might not accept all of Henry’s intrusions into Church affairs. Nevertheless, in 1162 he was made archbishop, resigned his chancellorship and reformed his whole way of life!
Troubles began. Henry insisted upon usurping Church rights. At one time, supposing some conciliatory action possible, Thomas came close to compromise. He momentarily approved the Constitutions of Clarendon, which would have denied the clergy the right of trial by a Church court and prevented them from making direct appeal to Rome. But Thomas rejected the Constitutions, fled to France for safety and remained in exile for seven years. When he returned to England he suspected it would mean certain death.
Because Thomas refused to remit censures he had placed upon bishops favoured by the king, Henry cried out in a rage, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!” Four knights, taking his words as his wish, slew Thomas in the Canterbury cathedral.
Henry did penance at the grave of Thomas, seeking forgiveness for the actions of his knights and the tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage for the faithful.
Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times.
Richard Burton played St Thomas in the film “Becket” with Peter O”Toole as King Henry II – here is a snip from “the Best Scenes”
St Thomas a Becket (1118-1170) Martyr (Optional Memorial)
Full Biography: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/12/29/saint-of-the-day-29-december-st-thomas-a-becket-1118-1170/
St Aileran of Clonard
St Albert of Gambron
St Aproniano de Felipe González
St David the King
St Ebrulf of Ouche
St Enrique Juan Requena
St Florent of Bourges
Bl Francis Ruiz
St Girald of Fontenelle
St Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
Bl José Aparicio Sanz
Bl José Perpiñá Nácher
St Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda
St Libosus of Vaga
St Marcellus the Righteous
St Martinian of Milan
Bl Paul Mary
Bl Peter the Venerable
St Quartillosa of Carthage
St Thaddeus of Scythia
St Trophimus of Arles
St Trophimus of Ephesus
Bl William Howard (1614–1680) Martyr
Martyrs of North Africa – (8 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are eight names – Crescentius, Dominic, Honoratus, Lybosus, Primian, Saturninus, Secundus and Victor.
Martyrs of Rome – (3 saints): A group of Christians executed together for their faith. The only details to survive are three names – Boniface, Callistus and Felix.
Martyrs of Seoul – (7 saints): Additional Memorial – 20 September as part of the Martyrs of Korea.
A group of seven lay woman in the apostolic vicariate of Korea who were martyred together.
• Barbara Cho Chung-I
• Barbara Ko Sun-I
• Benedicta Hyong Kyong-Nyon
• Elisabeth Chong Chong-Hye
• Magdalena Han Yong-I
• Magdalena Yi Yong-Dok
• Petrus Ch’oe Ch’ang-Hub
They were born in South Korea and were martyred by beheading on 29 December 1839 at the Small West Gate, Seoul, South Korea. They were Canonised on 6 May 1984 by St Pope John Paul II.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
Thousands of people were murdered in the anti-Catholic persecutions of the Spanish Civil War from 1934 to 1939.
• Blessed Aproniano de Felipe González
• Blessed Enrique Juan Requena
• Blessed Jacinto Gutiérrez Terciado
• Blessed Juan Bautista Ferreres Boluda