Otázka: Thomas Becket
Argument with Henry II. and death
He was born in London, England. Soon he became a great favourite of King Henry II. himself. When Thomas was thirty-six, King Henry made him his chancellor. When the archbishop of Canterbury died, the king wanted the pope to give Thomas this position. But Thomas said that he didn’t want to be archbishop of Canterbury. The king paid no attention and Thomas was made a priest and a bishop in 1162. At first, things were fine. But soon, the king began to demand money from the Church, with Thomas felt wasn’t right. One day, the king was very angry. He said “Will no one rid me of this archbishop?” Some of his knight took him seriously and went off to murder the archbishop. They attacked him in his own cathedral. Thomas died saying, “For the name of Jesus and in defence of the Church, I am willing to die.” It was December 29, 1170.
The entire Christian word was horrified at such a crime. Pope Alexander IIII. held the king personally responsible for the murder.
Soon miracles began to happen at Thomas’ tomb and he was proclaimed a saint by the same pope in 1173.
In 1173, Becket’s sister Mary was appointed as abbess of Barking Abbey as reparation for the murder of her brother.
Henry humbled himself with public penance at Becket’s tomb as well as at the church of St. Dunstan’s, which became one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in England.