Showing posts from December, 2021

St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury

It takes a special kind of martyr to get assassinated at the orders of one king and have your tomb desecrated by another three centuries later. Even more so when you're then venerated as a saint by the very church the latter king founded! But St. Thomas Becket of Canterbury is just such a special martyr. Lifetime:  1119 to 1170 Region:  London and Canterbury, England Patronages:  Diocesan priests and deacons; London Iconograpy:  Sword in head; Archbishop vestments Feast Day: December 29 Thomas Becket was born in London on the feast day of St. Thomas the Apostle. His father was a property-owning merchant, making Thomas part of the rising middle class. Thomas attended various schools as a youth, but he was no standout pupil. When his father’s wealth dried up as Thomas was a young adult, Thomas became a clerk in relative’s business, and he later moved on to a position in the Archbishop’s household. While serving the Archbishop, Thomas learned canon law and was sent to Rome several tim

St. Barbara

St. Barbara is one of the fourteen holy helpers , a group of ancient saints who were venerated together starting in the middle ages. She is also well-known as a patron saint for anyone who works with explosives including miners, artillerymen, military engineers, and armorers.  Lifetime:  Mid to late 200s Region:  Lebanon Patronages:  Lightning; Miners; Chemical engineers; Prisoners Iconograpy:  Chalice; Tower; Lightning; Artillery; Crown Feast Day: December 4 Barbara, like many of the early saints, was the daughter of a rich pagan man. After the death of Barbara's mother, her father had her locked in a tower to keep her protected from the outside world until he could find a suitable husband for her. Sort of like Rapunzel, but without the long hair. However, while she was locked up, Barbara secretly converted to Christianity and pledged her virginity to Christ. Thus when her father did come back with men he had selected for her to marry, she rejected them all. Her father thought tha