Who Was St. Thomas of Canterbury?

Also known as St. Thomas Becket, our parish patron lived in 12th century England and was made Archbishop of Canterbury during the time of King Henry II.  The king oftentimes intruded into church affairs taking actions that would be to his personal advantage and less than noble desires.  St. Thomas, a man of integrity, refused to cooperate with actions born out of sinfulness and evil.  He opposed the king’s decrees that made it difficult for the Catholic Church in England to remain true to its faith, teaching, and practice.  After fleeing England and living exiled in France for 7 years,
Thomas returned to Canterbury knowing that it would mean his death.  True to his conviction, St. Thomas of Canterbury continued to resist the king’s involvement in Church affairs.  In a fit of rage, King Henry II cried out, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”  Four knights took it upon themselves to make the king’s words come true and slew Thomas in his own cathedral in Canterbury.  Today, St. Thomas of Canterbury remains a hero and saint reminding Christians everywhere that it is more important to be loyal to God’s authority than to any human authority.  St. Thomas of Canterbury stands as well as a patron for the freedom to maintain fidelity to the practice of one’s Christian faith.