Thomas Becket (1118-1170) was the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the head of the English Church, during the reign of Henry II. Conflict arose between the two men over various instances of Henry overstepping what Thomas saw as the boundaries of the Church. It is said that during one of these incidents Henry quipped, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” Four of his knights took this statement literally and attacked Thomas inside the cathedral, splitting open his head. After Thomas’ death, Henry publicly repented in front of his tomb and made Thomas’ sister the abbess of Barking Abbey. Thomas was canonized by Pope Alexander III only two years after his death. His feast day is December 29.
Questions for Reflection
- Our words are powerful, able to hurt or to heal, and they can have ramifications beyond our expectations. How have you seen the power of words in your life in positive and negative ways?
- Do you have someone in your life who tells you the truth? Can it lead to conflicts in your relationship with them?