Wednesday, December 29, 2010
On this date in 1170 AD, St. Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury, was slain by assassins at the altar of his church as he sang vespers.
Above is the trailer to the 1964 Oscar-winning movie starring Richard Burton and Richard Harris. Here is a famous scene from the film that captures the powerful acting and compelling cinematography. The movie is both gritty and larger than life, a real epic of the kind not made any more in Hollywood.
But let us not forget that this isn't just a well-made movie, but St. Thomas is a real churchman, a brother in Christ, and a faithful servant in the Holy Ministry only separated from us by the thin veil that temporarily segregates the Church Militant from the Church Triumphant. St. Thomas placed his loyalty to the Triune God and the Holy Church even above his friend and king - and for that he was martyred. May we all be blessed with such steadfastness and courage.
Let us pray:
"O Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Thomas triumphed over suffering and was faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember him with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen."