St Thomas Becket-29thDecember 2023

Saint Thomas Becket

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 December 29, 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 favored 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.Thomas Becket remains a hero-saint down to our own times.

Prayer to Saint Thomas Becket, Martyr, Archbishop of Canterbury

Great Saint Thomas, Bishop, Priest, Martyr, and sacrificial lamb for the Faith, pray for us.

You who were a fearless Shepherd of the people of God, pray for us to have courage in all the circumstances of our lives, to living according to the light that your example gives to our consciences. May we be faithful unto death, as you were. May we always seek God’s Holy will in our lives.

Saint Thomas, many were brought to you for healing both in your lifetime and especially after your martyrdom, please hear and accept my prayers for:

We pray for the living and the dead:

confident that you who now stand before Gods Holy Throne will intercede for us and draw us closer to Christ. St Thomas pray for us that in Him, and With Him, we may live and move and have our being. Amen.
Composed by a Poor Clare Cloistered Nun

Prayer of St Thomas a Becket

My Lord, 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.

Please Lord, teach me how to serve You with all my heart, to know at last, what it really is, to love, to adore. 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.

Thomas Becket Intercession Prayer

O God, for the sake of whose Church
the glorious Bishop Thomas fell,
grant, we beseech Thee,
that all who implore his aid,
may obtain the good fruit of their petition.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

Intercession Prayer

Almighty God, you granted your martyr, Thomas Becket, the grace to give his life willingly for the freedom of your Church.
By his prayers, make us willing to renounce our life in this world for Christ so that we may find it in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

… St Thomas Becket, Pray for Us …

Intercession Prayer

Father, you confirm the true faith with the crown of martyrdom.
May the prayers of St Thomas Becket give us the courage to proclaim our faith by the witness of our lives.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Collect Prayer

O God, who gave the Martyr Saint Thomas Becket
the courage to give up his life for the sake of justice,
grant, through his intercession,
that, renouncing our life
for the sake of Christ in this world,
we may find it in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever