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This Week in Christian History: Henry VIII, USSR church crackdown, Thomas Becket

Thomas à Becket born – December 21, 1118

Thomas a Becket
A Medieval illustration depicting the assassination of Archbishop Thomas a Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. |

This week marks the anniversary of when Saint Thomas à Becket, the archbishop who was famously murdered in Canterbury Cathedral for his refusal to give the monarchy more power over the Church, was born.

The son of merchants, Thomas was educated in London and Paris, becoming an accountant and city clerk before entering the high affairs of church and state politics.

“His contemporaries described Thomas as a tall and spare figure with dark hair and a pale face that flushed in excitement,” noted Britannica.

“His memory was extraordinarily tenacious and, though neither a scholar nor a stylist, he excelled in argument and repartee. He made himself agreeable to all around him, and his biographers attest that he led a chaste life—in this respect uninfluenced by the king.”

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