Happy Birthday!

…to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, saint, and tragic murder victim. Becket was born around 1118 in Cheapside, London and educated at Merton Priory in England, then in Paris, Bologna, and Auxerre. He was an assistant to Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, and was made Archdeacon of Canterbury and Provost of Beverley. On Theobald’s recommendation, King Henry II named Becked Lord Chancellor in 1155.

Becket and Henry became fast friends but a rift developed between them after Thomas became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. Henry wanted more power for himself, but Becket refused to cede any clerical independence to the king. After several years of fighting, during which excommunications were flung around and the Pope even got involved, Henry, in a rage, allegedly said: “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” He failed to realize that, since he was king and all, someone was bound to take him seriously.

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