Do you have a special priest at your parish: a good, holy, sacrificing priest who would be deserving of a quality Saint Thomas Becket bracelet? He intercedes for our parish priests who are fighting in the trenches for religious freedom in the modern world.
Born in the 1100s, Thomas was a close advisor and confidante of Britain's King Henry II; so close, in fact, that Henry appointed Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry expected that his friend would bend in his favor when It came to religion versus politics. Thomas found himself in a difficult situation: defend the Church and its independence from the state or allow the King to have control over Church issues. Said to be incalcitrant and arrogant, Thomas was not one to compromise his position, and soon King Henry exiled him for over seven years. Upon his return, trouble started again between the King and Thomas. When one fateful night, King Henry shouted from his throne his infamous words, "“Will no one relieve me of this troublesome priest?” four of his men rose up, found Thomas Becket celebrating Christmas Eve Mass, and slaughtered him in cold blood on the altar. Thomas Becket died a martyr for the Faith.
St. Thomas Becket is the patron saint of secular clergy (diocesan priests or priests who are not part of a monastic order), and his feast day is December 29.