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Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.  Ps. 1:1

Read the full story when time arrives for you. He was made a saint politically but the ACW revere him as our PATRON SAINT; as we chose to honor those life and indeed their times honors, loyalty in service to God and others

   Archbishop Thomas Becket        
Thomas Becket, also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury (born December 21, 1119 [or 1120], died December 29, 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.

There are many sources on his life, but the ACW chose him as their Patron Saint for the simple reason of his love of God and defense of his faith and church. In this simple prayer as he stood before the altar in a time of crisis, “O Lord I am a weak and shallow creature; teach me Lord to love and serve thee with all my might that I may truly serve thee”.  (We invite you to Google Thomas Becket and read some of the many accounts of his life.)

Archbishop Becket's life chroniclers much; we have chosen to focus on his faith and loyalty to God. Fleeing in exile he never lost faith as his loyalty shifted from that to King Henry to serve the church as God would have him knowing that his life remained in danger. As a teenager he acquired a position in the household of Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, who entrusted him with several important missions to Rome. He then named him Archdeacon of Canterbury with responsibilities for other ecclesiastical duties; his spiritual life really began there. His efficiency in those posts led to Theobald recommending him to King Henry II for the vacant post of Lord Chancellor.  As Chancellor, Becket enforced the king's traditional sources of revenue that were exacted from all landowners, including churches.

He was nominated Archbishop of Canterbury after the death of Theobald.  Henry had hoped that Becket would put government first, rather than the church. However, the famous transformation of Becket into an ascetic occurred at this time. Becket was ordained a priest on 2 June 1162 at Canterbury, and on 3 June 1162 was consecrated as Archbishop. A rift grew between Henry and Becket as the new Archbishop resigned his chancellorship and sought to recover and extend the rights of the Archbishop. This led to a series of conflicts with the king, including that over the jurisdiction of secular courts over English. A clergyman, which accelerated antipathy between Becket and the king, he employed all his skills to induce the other Bishops and was successful with all but Becket. Finally, Becket expressed his willingness to agree to the substance of them but he refused to formally sign the documents.

Henry summoned Becket to appear before a great council to answer allegations of malfeasance in the Chancellor's office. Convicted on the charges, Becket stormed out of the trial and fled to France. Henry pursued the fugitive Archbishop with a series of edicts, targeting Becket as well as all of Becket's friends and supporters; but King Louis VII of France offered Becket protection. He spent nearly two years there until Henry's threats against the order obliged him to return. Becket fought back by threatening excommunication and interdict against the king and Bishops and the kingdom, but in the end favored a more diplomatic approach. Thomas to return to England from exile but a jealous king asked “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest, or as translated "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?", which his soldiers interpreted that he should be killed, and so he was.


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