Installation Scene From Becket

Thursday, December 29, AD 2016

 

If we who are called bishops desire to understand the meaning of our calling and to be worthy of it, we must strive to keep our eyes on him whom God appointed high priest for ever, and to follow in his footsteps. For our sake he offered himself to the Father upon the altar of the cross. He now looks down from heaven on our actions and secret thoughts, and one day he will give each of us the reward his deeds deserve.

Saint Thomas Becket

 

In honor of the feast day of Saint Thomas Becket, a reminder of the history of Catholic England, when Catholics were willing to stand against the State if need be to protect the Honor of God.   Becket (1964), although inheriting the historical howlers that existed in the play, and were known by the playwright Jean Anouilh who wisely preferred a poetic story to prosaic fact,  (Becket was Norman not Saxon, Henry II was not a crowned juvenile delinquent, the armor, as is usual in medieval epics, is all wrong for the period, etc.), this classic film helped awaken in me a desire to learn about the history of the Church.  With masterful performances by Richard Burton as “the holy blessed martyr” and Peter O’Toole as Henry II, the film brought alive to me as a child the high Middle Ages.  The installation sequence brought home to me the important role of ceremony, tradition and symbolism in our Faith, a lesson I have never forgotten.

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3 Responses to Installation Scene From Becket

  • I remember going to see the movie “Becket” as if it was yesterday. Actually, it was nearly 50 years ago. I had been discharged from the U.S. Air Force that Fall and was attending College on the G.I. Bill. I was lonely because everyone I knew in High School had married and/or moved to parts unknown. I had been gone for four years.
    To my great delight, I discovered that there was this one girl, whom I had always had my eye on, but never could get up the moxie to ask out, a beautiful and poised young lady, that was still available and unattached ! I asked her out, and she said “yes” !
    Well sir, I cleaned up the eight year old Impala that I had saved for to attend College with. And she sparked and shined. All except the one frayed patch on the passenger seat. I couldn’t afford new seat covers.
    We attended the movie “Becket”, the one with Burton and O’Toole. And the acting was great. I felt great. And I hoped that Virginia was as impressed with me, as I was with her !
    When we arrived back at her place, I noticed that she seemed kind of angry. I was trying to suggest that we go elsewhere for a bite. But she said no.
    Actually, as I helped her out of the car, she shouted, “Don;t ever pick me up again in that piece of crap !” And she gestured towards the Impala.
    Yessir, the movie was great. I never saw her again.
    Timothy R.

  • That Impala saved you from a lot of pain Tim!

  • In high school we were encouraged to see Becket and a Man For All Seasons which encouraged my interest in English saints. Two thomases martyred by the two Henrys. Having attended St. Thomas More grade school and with a birthday of December 29th I was already partial to these great saints who refused to compromise their faith by acquiescing to the Crown. Years later while on leave in England another WAVE and I caught the last train to Canterbury. We arrived just in time for Vespers/Evensong. It was an awesome experience to listen to the choir near the site of Thomas a Becket’s martyrdom.

Saint Thomas Becket: Saint of Courage

Tuesday, December 29, AD 2015

We have made men proud of most vices, but not of cowardice. Whenever we have almost succeeded in doing so, God permits a war or an earthquake or some other calamity, and at once courage becomes so obviously lovely and important even in human eyes that all our work is undone, and there is still at least one vice of which they feel genuine shame.

CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

 

 

Today is the feast day of Saint Thomas Becket, “the holy, blessed martyr”.  His fearless championing of the True Faith against his liege and former friend, Henry II, reminds us of the importance of courage as a virtue among Christians. From the historical record it is clear to me that Becket knew that his stand would likely end in his being a martyr for Christ, a destiny he embraced and sealed with his blood.  TS Eliot put into the mouth of Becket this homily on Christmas morning 1170 that probably was close to what the Archbishop actually said at the time:

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4 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket: Saint of Courage

  • Those times offer food for thought for Catholics today concerning church and state .
    Becket in the movie said ” I will be judged by the pope alone!”
    How would the pope today respond?

  • It is rather interesting that Henry II, first king of the Plantagenet line, ushered in an era of unsettled social conditions that lasted, with a few brief interruptions, almost three hundred years. The country could not decide if it was truly English or a French derivation. Although it may seem that Thomas lost his life in a futile cause, the devotion to Canterbury that followed and the principle of Church sovereignty lived on even to the present despite the tensions that arise from time to time.

  • Donald Link,
    .
    With the breakup of Anglicanism and the wholesale embrace of anti-Christian sexual mores and a female priesthood, I do not think there is much devotion to modern Canterbury.

  • The Hundred Years War aided in the process of making the English feel English and the French feeling French. Henry V was the first English King to speak English as a first language and French, shakily, as a second language. (Shakespeare got that right.) The Plantagenets had the ill luck to have many weak kings mixed in with strong kings, often following in leap frog: Henry III-Edward I-Edward II-Edward III-Richard II; Henry V-Henry VI. The Tudors viewed themselves as a continuation of the Plantagenet line and were so viewed by their contemporaries after the passions of the Wars of the Roses, a 19th century construct in terminology, had cooled. Regarding them as a separate dynasty is also a 19th century construct.

My Top Ten Favorite Saints

Friday, January 2, AD 2015

I have always thought it says a lot about Catholics as to whether they have favorite saints, and who they are if they do have special saints.  Here are my top ten.

10.  Saint Andreas Wouters-Most saints have been extraordinary men and women.  That was decidedly not the case with Andreas Wouters!  A scandalous priest, he fathered several children.  Suspended from his priestly duties, he was living in disgrace when God granted him the opportunity to die a martyr’s death, an opportunity he seized with both hands like a drowning man cast a life line. His courage and steadfastness redeemed his life of sin.  May all of us have such a happy death as he did.  Go here to read about him.

 9.  Blessed Miguel Pro, SJ-Not canonized yet, I have no doubt that “God’s Jester” is a saint in Heaven.  During the Cristeros Rebellion in Mexico, he adopted many disguises to bring the sacraments to the Mexican people.  A lover of jokes, he is proof positive that saints need not be solemn.  When the Mexican government executed him, a death he met with incredible courage, the officials took copious pictures which appeared in newspapers.  The strategy backfired with Cristeros troops treating the pictures as precious relics and carrying them with them into battle.  Go here to read about him.

 8.  Saint Marianne Cope– Throughout my life I have been blessed with the friendship of strong women, starting with the love of my formidable sainted mother, and perhaps that is why I have always been drawn to strong female saints.  Few have been stronger than Mother Marianne and her nuns who pioneered the care for female lepers in Hawaii.  No difficulty or danger could deter her from bringing God’s love to her lepers.  Go here to read about her.

 7.  Venerable Matt Talbot-Some saints become famous during their lifetime and some, the vast majority no doubt, are known only to God.  Matt Talbot’s was a quiet path to sainthood that would be known only to God, but for the accident of his dying on a street in Dublin.  However, God does not see as man sees, and I have always thought that this reformed drunk ranks high among the champions of Christ.  Go here to read about him.

 6.  Saint Kateri Tekakwitha-Some saints God decides to distinguish with miracles after their death.  Such was the case of Lily of the Mohawks.  Go here to read about her.

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15 Responses to My Top Ten Favorite Saints

  • We all have our favorite saints, but I feel all lists should have the following: Mary, Joseph, and John the baptist. Mary conceived with out sin mother of God; Joseph – at conception had original sin on his soul only to have God remove it a second later – he never sinned again- protector of Jesus and Mary – the hardest role any man could undertake; John the baptist from the moment in Elizabeth’s womb to the day he died, he never took his eyes off of God and the proclaiming of the coming of the savior.

  • Chesterton once wrote something along the lines of, the Bible is a riddle and the Church is the answer. Both evangelicals and atheists treat Christianity as the Bible, but a document can’t be a religion. The Church can only be properly understood by including the lives of its holiest members. They explain the faith in practice.

    I’m not sure who my top ten would be, but St. Catherine of Siena would be at least a close #2. No disrespect intended to the Blessed Mother. I wish we knew more of Our Lady’s life and words. I’m just able to feel closer to those saints who were authors. Thomas Aquinas would definitely be on my top ten, along with Francis de Sales. All three are Doctors of the Church, with both Catherine’s and Francis’s thinking being influenced by Thomism.

    And, as I say every year, thank you for bringing St. Andreas Wouters to my attention!

  • May I respectfully add St Anthony of Padua, and St Therese of Lisieux, both saints of the “impossible”, without which my life would be completely a different [and not-a-better] one. Yet again, nothing is impossible for God.

  • I don’t know much about St. Anthony of Padua, so I just looked him up on Wikipedia. He impressed the Dominicans with his theology and the Franciscans with his simplicity? Hard to think of greater praise than that.

  • Saints preserve us. The Immaculate Conception is a most fascinating person.

  • Like most Catholics, I have a list of “saint/friends”. In addition to our Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, the Little Flower (& approximately 20 others I ask for intercession) I always include St. Dymphna, the patroness of mental stress & duress – seems fitting in THESE times, St Michael for protection against the evil one, St Joseph of Cupertino for his excellent acceptance of his limitations & his great humility, St Theresa Benedicta for her embrace of conversion & St Maximillian Kolbe for his love of God, Mary & others. Thank you for sharing your list – I love learning about our friends in heaven who want nothing more than to help us achieve heaven!

  • My daughter’s are named Joan, (Joan of Arc) Katherine(Mother Katherine Drexel) . Maria(Maria Goretti). My other’s are St. Francis Cabrini, Venerable Matt Talbot, Blessed Miguel Pro, St. Gianna Molla and St. Camillius, just to name a few.

  • Jeanne Rohl: One of my favorite saints is Camillus de Lellis simply because I too, have taken seven decades to obey God’s vocation, and if God can love him, then God can love me, too. Aren’t all saints mirrors of God love?

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  • Well said Pinky.
    I hope one day we have Saint Chesterton.

    As I love read about Crusades my list of favorite saints will include st Louis ix, st Dominic, blessed Urban II, st. Joan Darc, st Bernard, st Thomas Aquinas. But also st Catherine laboure, st. Maximilian Kolbe, then of course Our Lady of Grace.
    I think that he was perhaps too violent but I admire a lot Richard The lionheart.
    I will research about your favorite saints, Donald, I love what you said on st Andreas and Matt Talbot.

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  • good day everyone….i end my mass, rosary and prayers with intercessions from my saints and they are: 1) Mary hrough Her Immaculate Heart, 2) St. Joseph, 3) St. Michael the Archangel, 4) St. Anthony of Padua, 5) St. Francis of Assisi, 6) St. John Vianney, 7) St. Padre Pio, 8) San Pedro Calungsod (2nd Filipino saint and am a Filipino, lol), 9) St. Pope John Paul II (i was 18 years old when he became our pope), 10) St. Therese of the Child JESUS, 11) St. Therese of Avila, 12) St. Claire of Assisi, 13) St. Faustina of the Divine Mercy, 14. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and 15) Blessed Pope Paul VI. Thanks everyone and God bless all….

  • Pedro Eric: “I think that he was perhaps too violent but I admire a lot Richard The lionheart.”
    .
    Strength from heaven above cannot be too forceful.

  • Our Lady is in a class all by herself, above all the saints and angels.

    My faves:
    Servant of God Queen Isabel the Catholic – drove out the infidel Muslims, unified Spain, cleaned up the government, appointed reformers to the Church in Spain, approved of Columbus’ voyage which led to more than two thirds of the Western Hemisphere becoming Catholic…
    St. Catherine of Siena, Servant of God Demetrius Gallitzin, the Apostle to the Alleghenies, Blessed Miguel Pro

  • Yes, all these extraordinary lives: but Padre Miguel Pro—a man who was absolutely fearless, even facing the fusiliers. So much for “…Proselytism is such solemn nonsense:” uttered by another nonsensical Jesuit, irony in a class by itself.

Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

Sunday, December 29, AD 2013

(I originally posted this on December 29th last year.  I think it is worth a repost on December 29th this year.)

Today is the feast day of my confirmation saint, Saint Thomas Becket, the holy, blessed martyr.  His story tells us how foreign to our time the Middle Ages are.  Becket was a worldly cleric who had risen to be chancellor of England for Henry II.  Henry seized the opportunity to place his man, Becket, on the throne of Canterbury as Primate of England.  Becket had a sudden and complete religious conversion and fought Henry for the liberty of the Church for which Becket suffered exile and, ultimately, murder.  In penance for Becket’s murder Henry had himself beaten by the monks at Canterbury before the tomb of his former friend who, two years after his death, was canonized by the Pope.  For over three centuries his tomb became one of the major pilgrimage sites in Europe and inspired the immortal Canterbury Tales.

The Middle Ages were fully as immersed in sin as our own time, although with different mixtures of evil, but the sins of the Middle Ages were often followed by great penances and acts of contrition that brightened and inspired countless lives down through the centuries.  This we have lost and this we must regain.  G.K. Chesterton put what we lack in high relief when he wrote about Saint Thomas:

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12 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

  • It is amazing how moderns often treat death. It is no longer feared. It is seen as the end of our lives, but nothing is believed to follow, neither good nor bad. So it worries no one. To be extinguished, I guess, is no worry for the average unbeliever. Perhaps telling oneself that we’re all headed that way makes it seem OK.

  • “It is no longer feared.”

    Completely disagree Jon. I believe that atheists and agnostics fear death most of all. There is a great deal of truth to the old adage that there are no atheists in foxholes. What we do have among many non-religious people is a denial of death.

  • Thank you for this, Donald. As it happens, Thomas is my confirmation saint, too. He and I have a long history, stretching way back into my Anglican days, and I credit him with a large role in praying me into the Catholic Church.

  • In our prayer, our act of Contrition, we promise to do penance. .. Maybe I’d be better about the “amend my life part” if I did a little more serious penance!

  • Thank you Donald for this wonderful article. Thomas Becket is one of my favorite saints (his is one of the medals I wear along with my scapular). You made several good points. I would like to add that some accounts have, that after Henry II performed his penance at Canterbury, his forces won a major victory against a rebellion to his rule, with the capture of the rebel leader.

    This is part of a letter from Thomas Becket as todays second Office Reading (if today was not Sunday and therefore higher priority):

    “Yet the Roman Church remains the head of all the churches and the source of Catholic teaching. Of this there can be no doubt. Everyone knows that the keys of the kingdom of heaven were given to Peter. Upon his faith and teaching the whole fabric of the Church will continue to be built until we all reach full maturity in Christ and attain to unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God…Nevertheless, no matter who plants or waters, God gives no harvest unless what he plants is the faith of Peter, and unless he himself assents to Peter’s teaching. All important questions that arise among God’s people are referred to the judgment of Peter in the person of the Roman Pontiff. Under him the ministers of Mother Church exercise the powers committed to them, each in his own sphere of responsibility.”

    You hit the nail right on the head about Henry VIII. Becket’s stand against Henry II made it necessary for Henry VIII to destroy Becket’s his image, for if an archbishop could stand against a king, then how could the king rule the church. Part of destroying that image was destroying Becket’s tomb, a source of pilgrimage from all over Christendom. It was also rumored to be wealthy and therefore a prime target for a cash hungry Henry (having already dissolved the religious houses) who, despite all the wealth he seem to acquire, it was never enough to keep up with his ambition.

    I would also like to add that the movie Becket, which you have posted a clip from above, is excellent (even if it takes some historical liberties) and would recommend to all catholics interested in Saint Thomas Becket. I think it is Richard Burton’s finest role.

    Samuel Edwards, welcome home. It is good to know that St. Thomas was helpful in your return. It brings me great joy (and I’m sure many other catholics as well) to hear of our Anglican brethren being re-united with us.

  • If we weren’t afraid of death, why would we hide it away in such a cold, sterile place as a hospital?

    If one were curious to know, read the first chapter of George Duby’s William Marshall, to see what a good death in the High Middle Ages looked like.

  • Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the distinguished Boston physician and father of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Justice of the United States Supreme Court wrote:
    “So far as I have observed persons nearing the end of life, the Roman Catholics understand the business of dying better than Protestants. They have an expert by them, armed with spiritual specifics, in which they both, patient and priestly ministrant, place implicit trust. Confession, the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, these all inspire a confidence, which, without this symbolism, is too apt to be wanting in over sensitive natures… I have seen a good many Roman Catholics on their dying beds; and it has always appeared to me that they accept the inevitable with a composure which showed that their belief, whether or not the best to live by, was a better one to die by” (Over the Teacups [1891]).
    We will go to Christ, the Giver of Life, and ask Him for the life that never ends, life everlasting. Pray for a happy death; pray for those who have already died. We will accept death from God wherever, whenever, and however He decides. That is one of the best prayers and penances we can offer to the Almighty.
    Above all we will occasionally bring home to ourselves the vital, sobering, balancing thought that we must die, but that we will rise again, with Christ whom we have tried to love and serve. Let the dance of death go on. We, the followers of Christ are ready.

  • That is wonderful Victor! I learn so much participating on The Amereican Catholic. Thanks Domald, Tito and everyone.

  • “Confession, the Eucharist, Extreme Unction, these all inspire a confidence, which, without this symbolism, is too apt to be wanting in over sensitive natures”
    and “without this symbolism” The Person of Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of The Holy Eucharist is a real Person; Jesus Christ is a Real Presence, and not a symbol. How empty must be the soul without Holy Viaticum.
    Flannery O’Connor said that if the Eucharist is a symbol, it can go to hell.

  • Donald, perhaps it is a denial of death. Or perhaps people push it so far into the distant future that it seems unreal. When people are confronted with its prospect, fear may very well surface. And it’s a problem today that death is all too easily hidden from our sight.

  • Thomas a` Becket is my birthday saint and that of my identically named sister-in-law. Becket and A Man For All Seasons need to be viewed by the younger generations. I wish that we had a Becket or a More in the present. Would we have Obamacare and other onslaughts against freedom of religion if the US bishops and cardinals had chained themselves in protest to the White House fence?

  • A bit off topic but on the 29th I viewed the website of St. Thomas a Becket Church on 5th Ave. in Manhattan. I had slipped in the church once for a quick prayer before the BVM shrine, and only when I looked at the bulletin did I realize it was not R. Catholic but Episcopal/Anglican. Re the website: High church or now Anglican they have their version of the 7 sacraments. Very interesting their instructions on the proper way to receive the Holy Eucharist in both species (Our parishes’ websites should have a paragraph on the proper reception. Rarely is there a reminder on it from the pulpit.) There also appears to be an altar rail, which has been removed in most Roman Catholic churches.

Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

Saturday, December 29, AD 2012

Today is the feast day of my confirmation saint, Saint Thomas Becket, the holy, blessed martyr.  His story tells us how foreign to our time the Middle Ages are.  Becket was a worldly cleric who had risen to be chancellor of England for Henry II.  Henry seized the opportunity to place his man, Becket, on the throne of Canterbury as Primate of England.  Becket had a sudden and complete religious conversion and fought Henry for the liberty of the Church for which Becket suffered exile and, ultimately, murder.  In penance for Becket’s murder Henry had himself beaten by the monks at Canterbury before the tomb of his former friend who, two years after his death, was canonized by the Pope.  For over three centuries his tomb became one of the major pilgrimage sites in Europe and inspired the immortal Canterbury Tales.

The Middle Ages were fully as immersed in sin as our own time, although with different mixtures of evil, but the sins of the Middle Ages were often followed by great penances and acts of contrition that brightened and inspired countless lives down through the centuries.  This we have lost and this we must regain.  G.K. Chesterton put what we lack in high relief when he wrote about Saint Thomas:

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4 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket, Sin and Contrition

  • St Thomas’s cultus was by no means confined to England.

    There are churches dedicated to him in Normandy (as one would expect) and in the Pas de Calais, but also in Sicily, where there was a strong Norman presence. The Duomo of Masala, where the wine comes from, is dedicated to him. The present Baroque church replaces a 12th century Norman one. I never eat zabaglione or tiramisu, which I do rather often, but I think of it.

  • The thing to do was owning up… ? Not pointing fingers?
    Yes, very different to our 21 century minds.

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  • Once a person, a Community, Country or a Nation has lost the sense of sin and, therefore, sees no need for repentance, convesion and reparation they then deliberately chose the road to Eternal Damnation. Let us never cease to pray for the sinners, especially the hardened sinners for whom Jesus dictated to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska the Divine Mercy Chaplet. He also stated that this Chaplet should be prayed at the bedside of the dying so that they can be touched by His Grace and repent at that very, very final moment of their lives.

    How I wish in this Year of Faith the children of the Church would adopt this Prayer for the sinful Civil Leaders – and those who embrace their actions and who do not even accept they have done any wrong with their anti-God policies, Laws and disordered lifestyles.

    “For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the whole world”

Saint Thomas Becket and Three Plays

Wednesday, May 25, AD 2011

 

Destiny waits in the hand of God, not in the hands of statesmen.

TS Eliot, Murder in the Cathedral

The investiture scene from the movie Becket (1964).  The story of the great Archbishop of Canterbury Saint Thomas Becket, who, from being the worldly Chancellor of King Henry II, became the great champion of the Church in life, and a greater champion in death, has always attracted artists and writers.  In our time Jean Anouilh wrote the play Becket, brilliantly brought to the screen in the 1964 film.  Filled with historical howlers, Becket was Norman not Saxon for example, it brilliantly captures the clash between Henry and the man who had been his friend and loyal servant, but who served a Greater Master after Henry, over his protest, had him raised to be Archbishop of Canterbury.

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3 Responses to Saint Thomas Becket and Three Plays

  • Last Fall I saw a tremendous off-broadway performance of ‘Murder in the Cathedral” by the Brooklyn Arts HQ and performed in an actual cathedral (well, a majestic parish church anyway — St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY). Excellent production of this great play enhanced by the staging in a church.

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  • Much to my regret Kurt I have never seen a live performance of Murder in the Cathedral. My dream would be a dual revival of Anouilh’s Becket and Murder in the Cathedral with the plays being show on alternating nights.

Installation Scene From Becket

Friday, October 23, AD 2009

In honor of the Anglican initiative of Pope Benedict this week, a reminder of the history of Catholic England, when Catholics were willing to stand against the State if need be to protect the Honor of God.   Becket (1964), although inheriting the historical howlers that existed in the play, and were known by the playwright Jean Anouilh who wisely preferred a poetic story to prosaic fact,  (Becket was Norman not Saxon, Henry II was not a crowned juvenile delinquent, the armor, as is usual in medieval epics, is all wrong for the period, etc.), this classic film helped awaken in me a desire to learn about the history of the Church.  With masterful performances by Richard Burton as “the holy blessed martyr” and Peter O’Toole as Henry II, the film brought alive to me as a child the high Middle Ages.  The installation sequence brought home to me the important role of ceremony, tradition and symbolism in our Faith, a lesson I have never forgotten.

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5 Responses to Installation Scene From Becket

  • Watching the excommunication scene is still frightening to me. As it should be, I suppose. I would half expect a large chasm to open up under Lord Gilbert the moment the Archbishop snuffs out the candle.

  • That was a very good scene. My favorite line from the movie is uttered after Becket has announced he is appealing to the Pope and a Baron calls him a traitor and advances upon him with sword drawn. “Sheathe your sword, Morville, before you impale your soul upon it!”

  • Huh. I just realized that Peter O’Toole was Henry II twice. Too bad there’s no Eleanor of Aquitane cameo by Katherine Hepburn! 🙂

  • My forebears (Becketts) came from London. They owned a brickworks on the Thames. In 1970 I had a young englishman from London working for me when I lived in Rotorua – his father was a builder in London, and John Oakes worked with him – they used to buy Beckett’s bricks for their building work.
    My father tried to dig further back than the 17th.century, but ran out of time, and couldn’t afford to go back to London from here (NZ)
    So we don’t know whether or not our family line is the same as St.Thomas.

    But I claim it anyway 🙂

    Don Beckett.

  • This moment in history is not only significant with respect to the great matter of Catholic/Anglican reunification but also to vindicate those who were literally severely tortured to death at Tyburn (i.e., <a href='http://www.tyburnconvent.org.uk/home/martyrs.html'the 105 martyrs) several centuries ago and all subsequent English recusants who likewise suffered a similar fate; that these did not die in vain!

    From 1535 to 1681 Tyburn was transformed into a place of cruelty, torture and execution for men and women who suffered on Tyburn Tree for their religious belief. According to the laws of the land in force at that time, it became an act of high treason to be a Catholic priest, or to associate with Catholic priests. It was also legal treason to refuse to accept the King as “the only Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England”, in the reign of King Henry VIII from 1534 onwards. Under Queen Elizabeth I similar laws continued. Under Charles I and Charles II especially similar laws brought many Catholic priests to martyrdom on Tyburn Tree. The infamous Titus Oates Plot and the persecution following it from 1678 to 1681 was the final stage of this one hundred and fifty years of religious persecution against Catholics.

    These 105 Catholic Martyrs of Tyburn suffered death then, because they freely chose fidelity to the Bishop of Rome as the true Head of the Church on earth. They also suffered death at Tyburn because they were ‘Mass saying priests”‘ or helped such priests.

    In the words of one historical account, “To inflict the extremity of torture on a Catholic was the highest joy.”

    May these who have long since joined the Communion of Saints experience certain satisfaction at the prospect that those very elements which made what once was Catholic England are now rightly being recovered and its ancient patrimony restored.

    P.S. Anybody seen the miniseries entitled, “Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire”, which Pope Benedict XVI actually previewed in September where the Pope himself gave a positive review?

    If so, I’d be interested in knowing their personal opinion of it and the details of where and when they saw it. Thanks.

    Here’s a link to its Trailer:

Queen Elizabeth II Appalled At Church Of England

Monday, October 5, AD 2009

Queen Elizabeth unhappy

Richard Eden of the Daily Telegraph has reported that Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, who is also the head of the Church of England, is “appalled” at what has happened to the Anglican Communion.

The usually well-informed newspaper adds that the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the C(hurch) of E(ngland), is “also said to have an affinity with the Holy Father, who is of her generation”.

Quite good stuff to hear of the affinity that Queen Elizabeth has for Papa Bene.

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5 Responses to Queen Elizabeth II Appalled At Church Of England

  • That is becos the QUeen swore an oath to the Catholic faith

  • Liz,

    Could you provide any evidence?

    As Queen of England she is defender of the faith, in this regard, the Anglican faith, not the Catholic faith.

    Unless of course, I missed something.

  • I think certain folks here and elsewhere should educate themselves concerning the Act of Supremacy and the Oath, the very which are the roots of that horrendous Henrician heresy which proclaimed the King (and, years later, the Queen) as Supreme Head of the Church and Defender of the Faith.

    The very reason why John Cardinal Fisher, St. Sir Thomas More, the 105 Martyrs at Tyburn and all other recusants thereafter were put to death.

    It’s funny that the Queen should be appalled; doesn’t she know that she herself is actually Supreme Head of the Church?

    Hence, the responsiblity and, therefore, the blame falls rightly on her alone as well as her detestable lineage from which that very heresy sprung which hitherto only brought abominable ruin to what once was Catholic England!

  • e: Queen Elizabeth counts Margaret Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister, as one of her ancestors, but she has Habsburg blood as well. The family trees of the royal families of Europe are ridiculously intertwined.

  • Donna V.:

    Thanks for the info.

    At this point, I’d rather not dwell on that abomination otherwise known as The Tudors.

    God bless.