Thursday, December 29, 2005

St Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury & Martyr

This is an interestng little illustration representing the martyrdom of St Thomas. The artist appears to have transferred the liturgical celebration at which St Thomas was murdered from Vespers to Holy Mass. Perhaps to show him in his chasuble of Sarum blue?

The Hooly Blissful Martir is one of my favourite saints as you may have guessed from past years' lengthy entries, here, here, and here. All of the links in those posts appear still to be operational - in fact, many of them are the same. I repeated myself a few times.

Here are a couple of new links for this year:

A set of links to other sites on St Thomas.
A collection of links to primary sources on St Thomas. This set is especially interesting. It includes the text of the Constitutions of Clarendon, Edward Grimm's eyewitness account of the murder, contemporaneous chronicles, and the text of Pope Alexander's decree of canonisation.

Finally, a pair of antiphons from the Sarum breviary for the feast of St Thomas Becket, as given in Gueranger's The Liturgical Year for this day. The English versions are those of Dom Laurence Shepherd, O.S.B.

Ant. Pastor cæsus in gregis medio,
pacem emit cruoris pretio:
lætus dolor in tristi gaudio!
Grex respirat, pastore mortuo;
plangens plaudit mater in filio,
quia vivit victor sub gladio.

Ant. The Shepherd, slain in the
midst of his flock, purchaseth
peace at the price of his blood.
O joyful mourning, O mournful joy!
The Shepherd dead, new life is in
the Flock! The Mother speaks,
through her tears, the praises of
her Son, for still he lives, the
conqueror of the sword.

Ant. Salve, Thoma, virga iustitiæ,
mundi iubar, robur Ecclesiæ,
plebis amor, cleri deliciæ.
Salve, gregis tutor egregie,
salva tuæ gaudentes gloriæ.

Ant. Hail, O Thomas! sceptre
of justice, light of the earth,
strong champion of the Church,
beloved of the people, favourite
of the clergy! Hail, admirable
keeper of the Flock! keep in
safety all us who rejoice in


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