The Fifth Day of Christmas: The Feast of Saint Thomas a Becket

The first centuries of the Church's history saw her sons and daughters persecuted fiercely by Jews and pagans. The scions of the Roman Empire engaged in a relentless campaign of vicious attacks upon Catholics, including popes and bishops and priests, between 67 A.D. and the issuance of the Edict of Milan by Emperor Constantine in 313 A.D.  Saint Alphonsus de Liguori estimated that around eleven million Catholics were killed during this initial era of martyrdom. Catholic missionaries, such as Saint Boniface in 755 A.D., continued to suffered at the hands of barbarians during the rest of the First Millennium. The rise of the false, violent religion known as Mohammedanism resulted in yet further attacks, as yet ongoing, on Catholics throughout the known world.

The emergence of Christendom over the course of the First Millennium and into the first part of the Second Millennium produced great exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King amongst the ranks of temporal rules. Men such as Saint Henry, Saint Stephen of Hungary, and Saint Edward the Confessor, Saint Canute, King of Denmark, Saint Ferdinand III, King of Leon and Castile, Gabriel Garcia Moreno of Ecudaor, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, among many others, saw it as their solemn duty to support the missionary work of the Church and to help to foster those conditions in civil society that would be most conducive to the sanctification and salvation of the souls of their subjects.

These rulers, as well as others who would follow their example, such as Saint Louis IX, King of France, knew that there were limits that existed in the Divine positive law and the natural law which they were bound to observe in the exercise of their temporal powers of the civil State. They respected the fact that Holy Mother Church could, as a last resort following the use of Indirect Power of teaching and preaching and exhortation, interpose herself in situations where the good of souls demanded her intervention against the unjust exercise of their own powers. And, quite importantly, these holy exemplars of the Social Reign of Christ the King respected the liberties of Holy Mother Church.

Saint Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in his own cathedral in 1170, had to fight for the liberties of the Church against King Henry II, who was very intent on making the Church serve his own purposes, a foreshadowing of the evils of another King Henry some four hundred sixty years later. Saint Thomas a Becket, although a friend of King Henry Plantagenet, would not let human respect stand in the way of defending the absolute right of the Catholic Church to be free in matters of her internal governance from any interference by temporal officials. The king of a country had to be subordinate to the King of Kings Who was born for us in poverty and in anonymity in Bethlehem so as to be crucified as Our King of Love on Calvary. No amount of blandishments from even a close friend, whom he had served for a time as the Chancellor of the Realm, and no amount of punishments imposed on his own relatives could persuade Saint Thomas a Becket to disown the King of Kings in order to curry favor with a mere mortal whose own kingship was transitory and circumscribed in the exercise of its legitimate powers by the Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Catholic Church.

Saint Thomas a Becket was a humble man. He prayed day and night. He served the poor with selfless abandon. He preached the Gospel fearlessly in the midst of all of the threats that were being made against him and his relatives. He wore a hair-shirt to mortify his flesh. Nevertheless, he did not hesitate as Archbishop of Canterbury to resist his friend, King Henry II, in order to reclaim lands that belonged rightly to the Church and to oppose with great courage the imposition of unjust taxes upon her by the civil state. Moreover, Saint Thomas asserted the right of the Church to try clerics charged with civil crimes in ecclesiastical courts as opposed to their being tried in civil courts.

Unlike the "bishops" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the United States of America who have sought to shield priests guilty of perverted behavior from all real punishments, whether ecclesiastical or civil, Saint Thomas a Becket meant to deal severely with clerics adjudged guilty of having committed crimes. He was simply asserting the right of the Church and not the civil state to do so, recognizing that the civil state might abuse its prosecutorial power to trump up totally bogus charges against priests so as to extort silence from them in the pulpit about matters of civil governance contrary to the demands of objective justice and thus the good of souls. It was in no way the intention of Saint Thomas a Becket to do what Bernard "Cardinal" Law and Roger "Cardinal" Mahony and countless other conciliar "bishops" have done, that is, to protect perverted priests by transferring them to other assignments without either punishing them for their perversity or seeking their spiritual reform for having the predilection to engage in unnatural acts indicative of grave mental disorders. Saint Thomas a Becket was willing to be charged with a bogus charge of "contempt of court" rather than yield for one instant to King Henry II's demands to bring the Church in England to heel under his power.

For the good of the Church, however, and for the sake of civil peace Saint Thomas was willing to absent himself from Canterbury for a time in order to calm King Henry's anger and to foster the Church's liberties. It was the prayerful hope of Saint Thomas while he was in exile in France, chiefly under the protection of King Louis VII of France, that the rights of the Church to be free from any and all threats imposed by the civil state would be respected anew. Alas, he had to pay with his life for his defense of the liberties of Holy Mother Church against the unjust exercise of civil authority by a fellow Catholic, falling under the blows imposed upon his body during vespers on December 29, 1170, becoming a new kind of martyr: one killed by fellow Catholics who viewed an archbishop's loyalty to Christ the King as disloyalty to the civil state. Coming as it did during the Octave of Christmas eight hundred forty-sven years ago, the martyrdom of Saint Thomas a Becket reminds us that there will be those from the household of the Faith itself--and not just from the world-at-large--who will tempt us even during the solemnities of the Church's liturgical year to surrender to the exigencies of the moment rather than to remain steadfast at all times and in all places to the fullness of the Catholic Faith without one moment's hesitation.

Dom Prosper Gueranger provided a moving account of Saint Thomas a Becket's life in The Liturgical Year:

Another Martyr comes in today to take his place round the Crib of our Jesus. He does not belong to the first ages of the church: his name is not written in the Books of the New Testament, like those of Stephen, John, and the Innocents of Bethlehem. Yet does he stand most prominent in the ranks of that Martyr-Host, which has been receiving fresh recruits in every age, and is one of those visible abiding proofs of the vitality of the Church, and of the undecaying energy infused into her by her divine Founder. This glorious Martyr did not shed his blood for the faith; he was not dragged before the tribunals of Pagans or Heretics, there to confess the Truths revealed by Christ and taught by the Church. He was slain by Christian hands; it was a Catholic King that condemned him to death; it was by the majority of his own Brethren, and they his countrymen, that he was abandoned and blamed. How, then, could he be a Martyr? How did he gain a Palm like Stephen’s? He was the Martyr for the Liberty of the Church.

Every Christian is obliged to lay down his life rather than deny any of the Articles of our holy Faith: it was the debt we contracted with Jesus Christ when he adopted us, in Baptism, as his Brethren. All are not called to the honor of Martyrdom, that is, all are not required to bear that testimony to the Truth, which consists in shedding one’s blood for it: but all must so love their Faith as to be ready to die rather than deny it, under pain of incurring the eternal death from which the grace of our Redeemer has already delivered us. The same obligation lies still more heavily on the Pastors of the Church. It is the pledge of the truth of their teachings. Hence we find, in almost every page of the History of the Church, the glorious names of saintly Bishops who laid down their lives for the Faith they had delivered to their people. It was the last and dearest pledge they could give of their devotedness to the Vineyard entrusted to them, and in which they had spent years of care and toil. The blood of their Martyrdom was more than a fertilizing element—it was a guarantee, the highest that man can give, that the seed they had sown in the hearts of men was, in very truth, the revealed Word of God.

But beyond the debt which every Christian has of shedding his blood rather than deny his Faith, that is, of allowing no threats or dangers to make him disown the sacred ties which unite him to the Church, and, through her, to Jesus Christ—beyond this, Pastors have another debt to pay, which is that of defending the Liberty of the Church. To Kings and Rulers and, in general, to all Diplomatists and Politicians, there are few expressions so unwelcome as this of the Liberty of the Church; with them, it means a sort of conspiracy. The world talks of it as being an unfortunate scandal, originating in priestly ambition. Timid temporizing Catholics regret that it can elicit anyone’s zeal, and will endeavor to persuade us that we have no need to fear anything, so long as our Faith is not attacked. Notwithstanding all this, the Church has put upon her altars and associated with St. Stephen, St. John, and the Holy Innocents, this our Archbishop, who was slain in his Cathedral of Canterbury, in the 12th century, because he resisted a King’s infringements on the extrinsic Rights of the Church. She sanctions the noble maxim of St. Anselm, one of St. Thomas’ predecessors in the See of Canterbury: Nothing does God love so much in this world, as the Liberty of his Church; and the Apostolic See declares by the mouth of Pius the 8th, in the 19th century, the very same doctrine she would have taught by St. Gregory the 7th, in the 11th century: The Church, the spotless Spouse of Jesus Christ the immaculate Lamb is, by God’s appointment, Free, and subject to no earthly power (Litterae Apostolicae ad Episcopos Provinciae Rhenance, 1830).

Here is the account of our Saint's life as found in the readings for Matins in today's Divine Office:

Thomas was born in London, in the year of our Lord 1117, and succeeded Theobald in the Archbishopric of Canterbury (in 1162). He had previously filled with great distinction the office of Lord Chancellor, and showed an indomitable firmness in his duty as Primate. When Henry II., King of England, in an assembly of the Bishops and great men of his realm, endeavoured to pass laws detrimental to the advantage and dignity of the Church, he opposed himself so steadily to the king's wishes, that, neither promises, nor threats availing to shake him, he was about to be cast into prison, had he not made good his escape in time. The whole of his kinsfolk without regard to age or sex, his friends, and his advisers, were then banished the kingdom, and those who were able, were bound by an oath to make their way to the presence of Thomas, in the hope that though careless of his own sufferings, he might yield at the sight of their misery. But neither flesh and blood, nor the pleadings of natural affection could make him swerve from the line of his pastoral duty.

He betook himself to Pope Alexander III., by whom he was graciously received, and who committed him to the care of the Cistercians at Pontigni. As soon as this came to the knowledge of King Henry, he sent threatening letters to the monks, in order to drive Thomas from this shelter. The saint was unwilling that the Cistercian Order should suffer on his account, and therefore voluntarily withdrew from Pontigni, and accepted the invitation of Lewis VII., King of France, to go to his court. He remained here, until his banishment was recalled at the intercession of the Pope and of the King of France, and he returned to England amid great public joy. He was quietly continuing the work of a faithful shepherd of souls, when certain calumniators denounced him to the king as a plotter against the crown and the public peace. Henry, deceived by these libels, cried out that it was hard that one priest should never let him have quiet in his kingdom. 

Come wicked servants of the king, hearing his words, and thinking to do him pleasure, betook themselves to Canterbury to rid him of the Archbishop. They entered the cathedral in the evening as Thomas was proceeding to assist at Evensong. The clergy in attendance on him, conscious of the attempt about to be made, wished to bolt the doors. But the saint caused them to be again opened, saying, The Church of God is not to be made a castle of, and for the cause of God's Church I am willing to die. He then said to his murderers, I charge you in the name of the Almighty God to hurt none of my people. With these words he fell on his knees, and commended himself to God, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to St Denis, and to the other holy Patrons of the Church of Canterbury. He presently offered his sacred head for the stroke of death, and received it from the swords of those wicked men with the same constancy with which he had withstood the commands of the unrighteous king. The murderers pulled out his brains and strewed them all about the floor of the Church. He testified on the 29th day of December, in the (53rd) year of (his own age and of) our Lord 11 70, and, being afterwards honoured with many miracles, was canonised by Pope Alexander IIL (in 1173). (Matins, The Divine Office, Feast of Saint Thomas a Becket.)

Saint Thomas a Becket's witness to the rights of God and His Holy Church against the unjust exercise of civil authority by a Catholic potentate was one of the first instances of Catholic Cains shedding the blood of Catholic Abels, following by ninety-one years the murder of Saint Stanislaus by King Boleslaus in Poland in the year 1079 A.D., and following within that same ninety years or so the plots of Emperor Henry IV against the rights of the Church during the reign of Pope Saint Gregory VII. Catholics were doing the bidding of the adversary by spilling the blood of their brother Catholics to advance the goals of the civil state over moral reform and the rights of God and His Holy Church.

The adversary, who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls and to do as much damage to the Church Militant on earth as possible before Our Lord's Second Coming in glory at the end of time on the Last Day, had done likewise with many of the Prophets of the Old Testament, men who had dared to challenge the kings of Israel and Judah to reform their own lives and to govern according to God's laws rather than the dictates of their own disordered wills. It was to be expected, therefore, that some Catholic kings would lose sight of Whose Kingship they were meant to imitate. If King David, of whose royal house Our Lord was born, could arrange the murder of Urias, the husband of his paramour, then it should not be too terribly surprising that men such as Saint Stanislaus and Saint Thomas a Becket would suffer at the hands of their own co-religionists, friends, and relatives for the sake of remaining steadfast to the Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the rights of Holy Mother Church.

King Henry II was forced to do public penance for the role he played in uttering the words that led to the murder of his friend-turned-adversary, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Saint Thomas a Becket. Although  prompted in large part by the overwhelming public outrage over the murder of the beloved Archbishop, a friend to the poor and the downtrodden in the kingdom, King Henry did submit in 1174 to the Papal decree that he be scourged at the tomb of Saint Thomas to make reparation for his stubborn insistence on his own rights rather than those of God and His Church. King Henry II walked barefoot from London to Canterbury in order to be scourged! Largely as a result of the outcry engendered by the murder of Saint Thomas a Becket, King Henry's son, John I, was forced forty-one years later, in the year 1215, to recognize that there are indeed limits that exist in the nature of things upon the exercise of civil power. The Church's own rights were guaranteed at the very beginning and at the end of the Magna Carta:

In the first place we have conceded to God, and by this our present charter confirmed for us and our heirs for ever that the English church shall be free, and shall have her rights entire, and her liberties inviolate; and we wish that it be thus observed. This is apparent from the fact that we, of our pure and unconstrained will, did grant the freedom of elections, which is reckoned most important and very essential to the English church, and did by our charter confirm and did obtain the ratification of the same from our lord, Pope Innocent III., before the quarrel arose between us and our barons. This freedom we will observe, and our will is that it be observed in good faith by our heirs for ever. . . .

Thus, we wish and we firmly ordain that the English church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these previously determined liberties, rights, and concessions, well and in peace, freely and quietly, in their fullness and integrity, for themselves and their heirs, from us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever, as is previously described here. (The Magna Carta.)


As Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., noted in The Liturgical Year:

But in what does this sacred liberty consist? It consists in the Church's absolute independence of every secular power in the ministry of the Word of God, which she is bound to preach in season and out of season, as St. Paul says, to all mankind, without distinction of nation or race or age or sex: in the administration of the Sacraments, to which she must invite all men without exception, in order to the world's salvation: in the practice, free from all human control, of the Counsels, as well as the Precepts, of the Gospel: in the unobstructed intercommunication of the several degrees of her sacred hierarchy: in the publication and application of her decrees and ordinances in matters of discipline: in the maintenance and development of the Institutions she has founded: in holding and governing her temporal patrimony: and lastly in the defence of those privileges which have been adjudged to her by the civil authority itself, in order that her ministry of peace and charity might be unembarrassed and respected.

Such is the Liberty of the Church. It is the bulwark of the Sanctuary. Every breach there imperils the Hierarchy, and even the very Faith. A Bishop may not flee, as the hireling, nor hold his peace, like those dumb dogs of which the Prophet Isaias speaks, and which are not able to bark. He is the Watchman of Israel: he is a traitor if he first lets the enemy enter the citadel, and then, but only then, gives the alarm and risks his person and his life. The obligation of laying down his life for his flock begins to be in force at the enemy's first attack upon the very outmost of the City, which is only safe when they are strongly guarded. 

The consequences of the Pastor’s resistance may be of the most serious nature; in which event, we must remember a truth, which has been admirably expressed by Bossuet, in his magnificent Panegyric on St. Thomas of Canterbury, which we regret not being able to give from beginning to end: “It is an established law,” he says, “that every success the Church acquires costs her the life of some of her children, and that in order to secure her rights, she must shed her own blood. Her Divine Spouse redeemed her by the Blood he shed for her; and he wishes that she should purchase, on the same terms, the graces he bestows upon her. It was by the blood of the Martyrs that she extended her conquests far beyond the limits of the Roman Empire. It was her blood that procured her both the peace she enjoyed under the Christian, and the victory she gained over the Pagan, Emperors. So that, as she had to shed her blood for the propagation of her teaching, she had also to bleed for the making her authority accepted. The Discipline, therefore, as well as the Faith, of the Church, was to have its Martyrs.”
Hence it was that St. Thomas, and the rest of the Martyrs for Ecclesiastical Liberty, never once stopped to consider how it was possible, with such weak means as were at their disposal, to oppose the invaders of the rights of the Church. One great element of Martyrdom is simplicity united with courage; and this explains how there have been Martyrs amongst the lowest classes of the Faithful, and that young girls, and even children, can show their rich Palm-branch. God has put into the heart of a Christian a capability of humble and inflexible resistance, which makes every opposition give way. What, then, must that fidelity be, which the Holy Ghost has put into the souls of Bishops, whom he has constituted the Spouses of his Church, and the defenders of his beloved Jerusalem? “St. Thomas,” says Bossuet, “yields not to unjustice, under the pretext that it is armed with the sword, and that it is a King who commits it; on the contrary, seeing that its source is high up, he feels his obligation of resisting it to be the greater, just as men throw the embankments higher when the torrent swells.” 
But the Pastor may lose his life in the contest! Yes, it may be so—he may possibly have this glorious privilege. Our Lord came into this world to fight against it and conquer it—but he shed his blood in the contest, he died on a Cross. So likewise were the Martyrs put to death. Can the Church, then, that was founded by the Precious Blood of her Divine Master, and was established by the blood of the Martyrs—can she ever do without the saving laver of blood, which reanimates her with vigor, and vests her with the rich crimson of her royalty? St. Thomas understood this: and when we remember how he labored to mortify his flesh by a life of penance, and how every sort of privation and adversity had taught him to crucify to this world every affection of his heart, we cannot be surprised at his possessing, within his soul, the qualities which fit a man for martyrdom—calmness of courage, and a patience proof against every trial. In other words, he had received from God the Spirit of Fortitude, and he faithfully corresponded to it.
“In the language of the Church,” continues Bossuet, “Fortitude has not the meaning it has in the language of the world. Fortitude, as the world understands it, is the undertaking great things; according to the Church, it goes not beyond the suffering every sort of trial, and there it stops. Listen to the words of St. Paul: Ye have not yet resisted unto blood; a though he would say: ‘You have not resisted your enemies unto blood.’ He does not say, ‘You have not attacked your enemies and shed their blood;’ but, ‘Your resistance to your enemies has not yet cost you your blood.’
“These are the high principles of St. Thomas; but see how he makes use of them. He arms himself with this sword of the Apostle’s teaching, not to make a parade of courage, and gain a name for heroism, but simply because the Church is threatened, and he must hold over her the shield of his resistance. The strength of the holy Archbishop lies not, in any way, either in the interference of sympathizers, or in a plot ably conducted. He has but to publish the sufferings he has to patiently borne, and odium will fall upon his persecutor: certain secret springs need only to be touched by such a man as this, and the people would be roused to indignation against the King! but the Saint scorns both plans. All he has on his side is the prayer of the poor, and the sighs of the widow and the orphan: these, as St. Ambrose would say, these are the Bishop’s defenders, these his guard, these his army! He is powerful, because he has a soul that knows not either how to fear or how to murmur. He can, in all truth, say to Henry, King of England, what Tertullian said, in the name of the whole Church, to a magistrate of the Roman Empire, who was a cruel persecutor of the Church: We neither frighten thee, nor fear thee: we Christians are neither dangerous men, nor cowards; not dangerous, because we cannot cabal, and not coward, because we fear not the sword.  (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

These stirring words of Dom Gueranger, reminiscent of Pope Saint Gregory the Great's Pastoral Guide, have not lost their bite since they were written in the Nineteenth Century. Indeed, they are even more relevant today, especially in light of the fact Jorge Mario Bergoglio himself praises pro-abortion, pro-perversity civil leaders as Barack Hussein Obama/Barry Soetoro and the late Mario Matthew Cuomo, whom the false "pontiff" told his son, Andrew Mark Cuomo, was a "great man," while of most of his "bishops"  refuse to confront the evils done by civil rulers today, partly out of fear of losing some "privilege" bestowed upon them by the State, such as the counterfeit church of conciliarism's tax-exempt status, and partly because they do not see the promotion of baby-killing under cover of law and the promotion of the agenda of perversity in every aspect of our culture as requiring them to raise their voices in protest whatsoever.

Quite to the contrary, these dumb dogs who have abandoned the role of Watchman of Christ's true flock prefer to get the fleas of their civil masters, showing up at their inaugurations, administering what purports to be Holy Communion to them, never once seeking to discipline them with the plenipotentiary powers at their disposal, always choosing to stress their slavish adherence to whatever fashionable trends that are said to be part of the Left's agenda for "social justice." The failure of the "Pope Francis" and his conciliar "bishops" to condemn the powerful of this world who consign the innocent unborn to death and to denounce those who are "tolerant" of perversity stands in very sharp contrast to the heroic witness given to Our Lord and His Holy Church by today's saint and martyr, Saint Thomas a Becket.

Indeed, Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his conciliar "bishops" today are carrying on the very sad legacy of accommodationism that was evident among some of the hierarchy even in the days of Saint Thomas a Becket. There have been in the past nine hundred years or so bishops who were all too willing to play the role of slobbering courtiers at the feet of civil potentates.

All but one of the English bishops knuckled under to the threatenings of King Henry VIII when he took England out of the Catholic Church in 1534. Only Saint John Fisher remained steadfast in his loyalty to the true Church, being one of nearly 72,000 Catholics who remained faithful to Rome who were executed on orders from one of the worst monsters of the Second Millennium, Henry Tudor, between 1534 and the time of his death in 1547. Another thirty or so bishops remained faithful to the Catholic Church when Elizabeth I took England out of the Church for good thirty years later, meaning that most of the bishops were as willing under Elizabeth to abandon Christ's true Church as they were under her relentlessly cruel father. And a bevy of bishops served as the sycophants to King Louis XIV, indemnifying him as he refused to consecrate the whole of France to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus as Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque had said that Our Lord had specifically requested. Oh, yes, what we are experiencing at present has become an all-too-familiar pattern of betrayal on the part of those who have the responsibility to stand up for Our Lord and the rights of His Church at all times, not curry favor with the powerful and with public opinion.

Although it is certainly true that the "opening up to the world" ushered in by Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII and the "Second" Vatican Council has helped to institutionalize treachery and accommodationism to the State on the part of the false bishops, there were plenty of examples of such treachery and accommodationism to the exigencies of the modern State in the years leading up to the council.

Then Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy's embrace in 1960 of the Judeo-Masonic notion of the "separation of Church and State" was heralded by most of the American bishops. The support of the American bishops for John Kennedy's support of a proposition condemned quite specifically by Pope Saint Pius X as one of the chief goals of Modernism came thirty-two years after the first Catholic nominated by a major political party for the American Presidency, then New York Governor Alfred E. Smith, rejected the binding nature of binding nature of Pope Pius XI's Quas Primas. It is said that the Rhine flowed into the Tiber to helped produce the problems at the "Second" Vatican Council. Yes, this is true. No doubt. It is also true that the Potomac flowed into the Tiber. The ethos of Americanism--and the accommodationism of many of the American bishops over the years to the anti-Incarnational errors of the American founding--played a very large role in such documents as Gaudium et Spes and Dignitatis Humanae.

The result of the failure of most of the true bishops before the "Second" Vatican Council and the false ones "consecrated" since then to confront the unjust exercise of civil power has been to embolden Catholics in public life to make war upon the Church as they seek to enshrine under civil law one evil after another. We have gone from the theoretical embrace by John Kennedy of the Judeo-Masonic ethos of the separation of Church and State to the arrogant promotion of evil by the likes of one Catholic politician after another, both Democrat and Republican, without hardly a word against them being raised by our bishops. The late Mario Matthew Cuomo, who was Governor of the State of New York between 1983 and 1995, was not only content to support evil with his eloquent and passionately-delivered rhetoric. This man had the temerity to telephone Catholic priests who had the courage to denounce his support of baby-killing under cover of law. One priest, the late Monsignor Edward Donnelly, who was the pastor of Holy Family Church in Hicksville, New York, at the time, hung up on Cuomo in the mid-1980s after the governor had gotten wind of a sermon the priest had preached.

The names are really insignificant. Their names are Legion.

These traitors to their Catholic Faith--and each and every person who has ever voted for them despite their support of baby-killing under cover of law and other evils--are following the ignominious traditions of Boleslaus II, Henry II, Henry VIII, Thomas Cranmer, Richard Topcliffe, John Calvin, Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, Maximilian Robespierre, Giuseppe Garibaldi, Otto von Bismarck, all of the Russians czars and their Bolshevik successors (V. I. Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita "The Butcher of Catholic Ukraine" Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Konstantin Chernenko, Mikhail Gorbachev, Wladyslaw Gomulka, Walter Ulbrecht, Edward Giereck, Mao Tse Tung, Deng Xioaping, Ho Chi Minh et. al.), Adolf Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Daniel Ortega, and countless others who have sought either to eradicate the Catholic Church from the face of the earth or to make her subject to their own temporal hegemony. No one can claim to love Our Lord while supporting political potentates who seek to wound Him in the members of His Mystical Body and who seek to circumscribe the ability of the true Church even to denounce evils for what they are in the sight of God. Moreover, the conciliar "bishops" have not only indemnified Catholic politicians and their supporters in this country who support various evils; they have served as apologists for regimes that persecute Catholics, such as Red China and Castro's Cuba and Nicaragua under the Sandinistas.

Saint Thomas Becket withstood the unjust exercise of political power by a Catholic ruler. He was willing to lay down his life to be faithful to the Apostolic Mandate he had received when he was consecrated a bishop to serve as a successor of Saint Augustine of Canterbury. He is a model for all bishops at all times. If another saint name Thomas, who suffered martyrdom under another king named Henry, is the "man for all seasons," then truly it can be said that Saint Thomas a Becket is the bishop for all seasons. He understood quite clearly the following exhortation made by Pope Leo XIII in Sapientiae Christianae seven hundred twenty years after his murder to all Catholics, whether in the clerical or the lay states, to stand up boldly to the wicked so as to thwart their schemes:

But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.''] To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.

The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent. (Pope Leo XIII, Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890.)

Dom Prosper Gueranger's prayer to Saint Thomas a Becket is a reminder to all true pastors of souls today not to knuckle under to the unjust rules and ordinances issued by civil potentates, including those currently pushing for the widespread accceptance of vaccines that modifying one's genetic permanently and, in the case of some, derived in part from the cells of aborted babies, which itself diabolical considering that the stem cells of adults are available:

“My Brethren, see what manner of men the Church finds rising up to defend her in her weakness, and how truly she may say with the Apostle: When I am weak, then am I powerful. (2 Corinthians 12:10) It is this blessed weakness which provides her with invincible power, and which enlists in her cause the bravest soldiers and the mightiest conquerors this world has ever seen—I mean, the Martyrs. He that infringes on the authority of the Church, let him dread that precious blood of the Martyrs, which consecrates and protects it.” 
Now, all this Fortitude, and the whole of this Victory, come from the Crib of the Infant Jesus: therefore it is that we find St. Thomas standing near it, in company with the Protomartyr Stephen. Any example of humility, and of what the world calls poverty and weakness, which had been less eloquent than this of the mystery of God made a Little Child, would have been insufficient to teach man what real Power is. Up to that time, man had no other idea of power than that which the sword can give, or of greatness than that which comes of riches, or of joy than such as triumph brings: but when God came into this world and showed himself weak and poor and persecuted—everything was changed. Men were found who loved the lowly Crib of Jesus, with all its humiliations, better than the whole world besides: and from this mystery of the weakness of an Infant God they imbibed a greatness of soul which even the world could not help admiring.
It is most just, therefore, that the two laurel-wreaths of St. Thomas and St. Stephen should intertwine round the Crib of the Babe of Bethlehem, for they are the two trophies of his two dear Martyrs. As regards St. Thomas, divine Providence marked out most clearly the place he was to occupy in the Cycle of the Christian Year by permitting his martyrdom to happen on the day following the Feast of the Holy Innocents; so that the Church could have no hesitation in assigning the 29th of December as the day for celebrating the memory of the saintly Archbishop of Canterbury. As long as the world lasts, this day will be a Feast of dearest interest to the whole Church of God; and the name of Thomas of Canterbury will be, to the day of judgment, terrible to the enemies of the Liberty of the Church, and music breathing hope and consolation to hearts that love that Liberty, which Jesus bought at the price of his Precious Blood.
O glorious Martyr Thomas! courageous defender of the Church of thy divine Master! we come on this day of thy Feast, to do honor to the wonderful graces bestowed upon thee by God. As children of the Church, we look with delighted admiration on him who so loved her, and to whom the honor of this Spouse of Christ was so dear, that he gladly sacrificed his life in order to secure her independence and Liberty. Because thou didst so love the Church, as to sacrifice thy peace, thy temporal happiness, and thy very life, for her; because, too, thy sacrifice was for nothing of thine own, but for God alone;—therefore, have the tongues of sinners and cowards spoken ill of thee, and heaped calumnies upon thee. O Martyr truly worthy of the name! for, the testimony thou didst render was against thine own interests. O Pastor! who, after the example of Jesus the Good Shepherd, didst shed thy blood for the deliverance of thy flock! we venerate thee, because the enemies of the Church insulted thee; we love thee, because they hated thee; and we humbly ask thee to pardon them that have been ashamed of thee, and have wished that thy Martyrdom had never been written in the History of the Church, because they could not understand it!
How great is thy glory, O faithful Pontiff! in being chosen, together with Stephen, John, and the Innocents, to attend on the Infant Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem! Thou didst enter on the battlefield at the eleventh hour; and far from being, on that account, deprived of the reward granted to the earliest of thy brother-combatants, thou art great even amongst the Martyrs. How dear must thou not be to the Divine Babe, whose Birth-Day we are keeping, and who came into the world that he might be the King of Martyrs! What will he refuse to his grand Martyr of Canterbury? Then, pray for us, and gain us admission into Bethlehem. Our ambition is to love the Church, as thou didst—that dear Church, for love of which, Jesus has come down upon the earth—that sweet Church our Mother, who is now unfolding to us such heavenly consolations, by the celebration of the great Mysteries of Christmas, with which thy name is now inseparably associated. Get us, by thy prayers, the grace of Fortitude, that so we may courageously go through any suffering, and make any sacrifice, rather than dishonor our proud title of Catholic.
Speak for us to the Infant Jesus—to Him that is to bear the Cross upon his shoulders, as the insignia of his government (Isaiah 9:6)—and tell him that we are resolved, by the assistance of his grace, never to be ashamed of his cause, or its defenders; that, full of filial simple love for the Holy Church, which he has given us to be our Mother, we will ever put her interests above all others; for, she alone has the words of eternal life, she alone has the power and the authority to lead men to that better world, which is our last end, and passes not away, as do the things of this world; for, everything in this world is but vanity, illusion, and, more frequently than not, obstacles to the only real happiness of mankind.
But, in order that this Holy Church of God may fulfill her mission, and avoid the snares, which are being laid for her along the whole road of her earthly pilgrimage—she has need, above all things else, of Pastors like thee, O Holy Martyr of Christ! Pray, therefore, the Lord of the vineyard, that he send her laborers, who will not only plant, and water what they plant, but will also defend her form those enemies that are at all times seeking to enter in and lay waste, and whose character is marked by the sacred Scripture, where she calls them, the wild boar and the fox. May the voice of thy blood cry out more suppliantly than ever to God, for, in these days of anarchy, the Church of Christ is treated in many lands as the creature and slave of the State.
Pray for thine own dear England, which, three hundred years ago, made shipwreck of the faith through the apostasy of so many Prelates, who submitted to those usurpations, which thou didst resist even unto blood. Now that the Faith is reviving in her midst, stretch out thy helping hand to her, and thus avenge the outrages offered to thy venerable name, by thy country, when she—the once fair Island of Saints—was sinking into the abyss of heresy. Pray also for the Church of France, for she harbored thee in thy exile, and, in times past, was fervent in her devotion to thee. Obtain for her Bishops the spirit that animated thee; arm them with episcopal courage, and, like thee, they will save the Liberty of the Church. Wheresoever, and in what way soever, this sacred Liberty is trampled on or threatened, do thou be its deliverer and guardian, and, by thy prayers and thine example, win victory for the Spouse of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year.)

Alas, our civil minders today want us to be coerced into participating with their worship of baby-killing lest we be denied the right to assist at Holy Mass or to travel on a public conveyance or, quite possibly, even to go to the grocery store, all with the approval of most of today's apostates who worship very willing at the altars of the civil state and of their own one world ecumenical religion.

With love for the newborn Babe of Bethlehem and trusting in the maternal intercession of His Blessed Mother and the patronage of His foster-father, Saint Joseph, may we turn with confidence to Saint Thomas a  Becket, Saint Thomas of Canterbury, so that we will defend and help to make known the immutable doctrine of the Social Reign of Christ the King during this time of apostasy within the ranks of the conciliar church and of rebellion from nominal Catholics who hold the levers of civil power, making sure to remember the restoration of Christendom in the Rosaries that we pray every day.

We pray that the Triumph of Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will make the names of the petty potentates listed above fade into oblivion and to make common once again the likes of Saint Henry, Saint Edward the Confessor, Saint Stephen of Hungary, and Saint Louis IX, working in concert with bishops such as Saint Thomas a Becket.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Thomas a Becket, pray for us.