“Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?”

Today is a favorite feast day of mine: St. Thomas Becket.  That probably has to do with the fact that, back in the day, I used to watch the classic movie every year on this day. 

I was always struck by the Becket portrayed by the movie: not so admirable perhaps in faith, but a hero of the simple virtue of integrity.  The guy was given a job to do, handed a responsibility.  It wasn’t one that he asked for, and not even one that he was particularly suited to.  But dammit, he was going to live up to its responsibilities, whatever it took.  He was entrusted with a family to look after (the Church, that is), and he died looking after it.

Nowadays I still try to watch it this day, but I’m rarely able.  We’re on the road visiting family this year, for example.  So I’ll settle for the original trailer for the film. 

 (It was produced in 1964 — right on the edge of the changes in society that would make the production of such a movie all but unthinkable just a handful of years later.  In fact, just by viewing the trailer you can already see signs of using sex to snatch people’s interest in selling the movie.)

If you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity, consider watching it today.  Either way, take a moment to invoke his prayers:

St. Thomas Becket, pray for us!


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