Not Sure What I Think of This

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To mark the 850th anniversary of the murder of Thomas Becket, the Vatican will be sending back the martyred saint’s bloodstained tunic to Canterbury Cathedral.

Becket served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170 by followers of King Henry II, following a dispute over the rights and privileges of the Catholic Church.

While they had long been friends, Henry and Thomas fell out over the Church’s independence from and authority over the crown.

According to tradition, Henry once famously said of Becket’s insistence on the independence of the Church, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Historian Simon Schama contends that Becket’s contemporary biographer got the quotation right, when he recorded him as saying:

“What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?”

Becket was murdered on December 29, 1170, and soon after was venerated across Europe as a martyr. Pope Alexander III canonized him only two years after his death. Canterbury Cathedral, where he was murdered, then became home to his shrine, attracting pilgrims from all over England and Europe, until Henry VIII destroyed the shrine in 1538.

The popular devotion to Becket inspired Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which is structured as a story-telling contest among a group of pilgrims traveling from London to visit Becket’s shrine in Canterbury.

Becket’s tunic managed to survive the Reformation and the subsequent looting of the monasteries, because Henry VII had sent it as a gift to the pope 50 years earlier.


Go here to read the rest.  If the members of the Church of England now wish to commemorate the “Holy, Blessed Martyr” I guess that is a good thing, but these words of Christ come strongly to mind:


Woe to you who build the monuments of the prophets: and your fathers killed them.

Luke 11:47


However, if even one man, woman or child comes to the Faith as a result of this, it is worth it.

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  1. Henry II incited a mob to uphold his heresy and tyranny over the Church. Henry’s mob incited uprising resulted in the martyrdom of Thomas Becket.That Henry II had to incite a mob proves his heresy to be tyranny.

  2. Still, inciting a riot that resulted in the martyrdom of Becket does not place the blame for Becket’s death on Henry II. I felt bad that Henry resorted to being beaten. Two wrongs do not make a right. I got the feeling that Henry’s beating was all theater.

  3. Since you are still thinking:
    On the Sistine Chapel ceiling is Michelangelo’s painting of God, the Father, begetting His Son, Jesus Christ with His right hand while His left hand embraces the Immaculate Conception.
    This is entitled The Creation of Adam. It is the begetting of God, the Father’s Word incarnate in human flesh in human nature, the revelation of God, through the Immaculate Conception embraced and created for Jesus Christ by God, the Father’s left hand.
    Jesus Christ looks to His Father. The Immaculate Conception has her eyes fixed on Jesus Christ.

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