Saint Thomas Becket

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Saint Thomas Becket

Archbishop of Canterbury, Martyr
(1117-1170)

Saint Thomas, son of an English nobleman, Gilbert Becket, was born on the day consecrated to the memory of Saint Thomas the Apostle, December 21, 1117, in Southwark, England. He was endowed by both nature and grace with gifts recommending him to his fellow men; and his father, certain he would one day be a great servant of Christ, confided his education to a monastery. His first employment was in the government of the London police. There he was obliged to learn the various rights of the Church and of the secular arm, but already he saw so many injustices imposed upon the clergy that he preferred to leave that employment rather than to participate in iniquity. He was perfectly chaste and truthful, and no snares could cause to waver his hatred for any form of covert action.
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The First Creche Made by St. Francis

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The First Creche Made by St. Francis
By St. Bonaventure

In his Life of Saint Francis of Assisi Saint Bonaventure relates the story of the first recorded commemorative creche scene. St. Francis of Assisi was always mindful of the humility of Our Lord, born in poverty in the cold manger of Bethlehem. After petitioning the Holy Father for permission, St. Francis set up a manger scene in a cave outside the Italian town of Greccio. This Saint, on fire with love for God, understood well that our senses and mind benefit by appreciating the truth of Incarnation reconstituted in a symbolic representation of it. His example was universally immitated among Catholics. This is why today we can contemplate Our Saviour in the manger scenes of our own homes and churches during this Advent and Christmas. St. Bonaventure recalls that first precedent… Continue reading