Thomas was not a born saint. He was a close friend of King Henry the 2nd of England. They got up to quite a few unholy things together. He was already Chancellor of England and a deacon when the king pushed for him to be appointed as Archbishop of Canterbury.
This was the most important and prestigious seat in England.
The king’s intention was to have his friend as the Archbishop so that he could control the Church in England.
However, when appointed to this position Thomas decided to follow his conscience and went through a conversion experience. He wanted to do the right thing by serving God and deepening his Faith.
This soon brought him into conflict with the king.
He had to go into exile for six years.
When he returned, he continued to do what was right for the Church.
Henry was noted for his bouts of anger.
During one of these, he said some rash words and four knights went to Canterbury and assassinated Thomas in his Cathedral. This was the 29th of December 1170.
St Thomas Becket is still remembered because he chose to do what is right instead of what is easy.
He did not let friendship and privilege get in the way of conversion.
We are constantly called to conversion, to holiness.
Ready-made saints are almost non-existent.
Image credit: Catholic News Agency