December 30, 2008

6th Day of Christmas & Thomas Becket

Today is the 6th day of the 12 Days of Christmas - 6 geese a-laying. My version I posted last year suggests it representing six days of creation: God speaking the world into existence and always saying, "It is good."

Yesterday was Thomas Becket of Canterbury's calendar day. In the Canterbury Tales, the pilgrims are on the way to the tomb of the martyred Saint Thomas Becket.

Thomas wasn't especially religious when King Henry II made him the 39th archbishop of Canterbury in the twelfth century. He was a drinking buddy, and companion in arms - but he got religion at this post. This changed everything, and soon Thomas' friends and the King started grumbling, and quarreling over the separation of church and state. Hearing they wanted to be rid of this troublesome priest that stood in their way, overzealous soldiers stormed the cathedral and bashed out Thomas' brains on this day in 1170.

The drama, "Murder in the Cathedral" by TS Eliot is based on these events. And then Richard Burton plays Thomas in the movie "Becket".

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