It had escaped my notice that today is the 850th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket.
Remarkably, the courageous stand this statesman, scholar, and priest took in defense of religious liberty is recounted, admired, and related to current affairs in this proclamation from the President of the United States.
When the furious King Henry II threatened to hold him in contempt of royal authority and questioned why this “poor and humble” priest would dare defy him, Archbishop Becket responded “God is the supreme ruler, above Kings” and “we ought to obey God rather than men.”
Thomas Becket’s death serves as a powerful and timeless reminder to every American that our freedom from religious persecution is not a mere luxury or accident of history, but rather an essential element of our liberty. It is our priceless treasure and inheritance. And it was bought with the blood of martyrs.
I strongly recommend reading the entire statement, which is informative as well as inspirational.
Yet another proof that the Light shines brightest in the darkest of times!
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