Oil Dedicated to St Thomas Becket (Patron for Diocesan Priests)
St Thomas Becket (Patron for Diocesan Priests) from A Blessed Call To Love, Ireland.
Saint Thomas Becket was many things in his life: a priest, a royal chancellor, a friend and an opposer of the king; he was an archbishop and, eventually, a martyr.
He has much to teach us about standing firm in our Catholic faith and not yielding in times of trial.
Nine hundred years after his death, Becket is still a good example of what it means to be a truly devout man. The quote at the beginning of this article foreshadowed the “effort” and courage he displayed when he was threatened by King Henry II, and later murdered in his own cathedral.
Thomas Becket was born on December 21, 1120. He grew up in Cheapside, London. His father, Gilbert, was a merchant and allowed Thomas to be exposed to the wealthier pleasures and activities of life. Growing up, Thomas was no saint; he was prideful, lazy, and wild.
He went off to go to school at the age of ten, and then went to Paris at the age of twenty to continue his studies. However, around this time, his family was in financial trouble, so Thomas forced to find work as a clerk—which paved the future course of his life.
A short time later, Gilbert introduced Thomas to his good friend Theobald of Bec, who was Archbishop of Canterbury at the time. This introduction led to a life-changing job opportunity for Thomas Becket. Theobald soon came to rely on him, and eventually sent Thomas to Rome for many important assignments.
Theobald also helped young Thomas continue his education, inspiring him to study canon law. Impressed with Becket’s work, Theobold made a suggestion to King Henry II that Thomas should be Lord Chancellor.
The King whole-heartedly agreed.
Theobald died in 1161. Thomas chosen to fill his position as Archbishop of Canterbury.