FEAST OF SAINT THOMAS BECKET, BISHOP AND MARTYR
In 1982, Pope John Paul II became the first reigning pope to visit the United Kingdom. The visit was almost canceled after fighting broke out in the Falkland Islands. Among the many powerful moments during the trip, perhaps the most extraordinary was the moment of prayer shared in Canterbury Cathedral by the pope and the archbishop of Canterbury. Together they knelt, side-by-side, at the Place of the Martyrdom: the spot where Thomas Becket was martyred. In his address in the cathedral, Pope John Paul II said, “On this first visit of a pope to Canterbury, I come to you in love — the love of Peter to whom the Lord said, ‘I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren’” (Lk 22:32). May the faith of Peter, the faith which formed and nourished Becket, flourish in our hearts!
Come, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with faith. Make me your instrument, that I may never be distracted from your purpose, laboring always to build up the Church. Amen.
Make a visit to a nearby church today and kneel for a moment of prayer. Pray for the unity of the Church.