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Pontiniaco monasterio exturbare conatur. Quare vir sanctus veritus ne sua causa Cisterciensis familia pateretur, sponte discessit, et Ludovicum Galliæ regem, ejus invitatu convenit: ubi tamdiu fuit, quoad, Pontifice Maximo, et ipso Rege agentibus, ab exilio summa totius regni gratulatione revocatur. Qui dum boni pastoris officium securus exsequitur, ecce calumniatores ad regem deferunt eum multa contra regnum et publicam quietem moliri: ut propterea sæpius conquereretur rex, se in suo regno cum uno sacerdote pacem habere non posse. .

Ex qua regis voce nefarii satellites sperantes gratum se regi facturos, si Thomam e medio tollerent; clam convenientes Cantuariam, Epis. copum in templo vespertinis horis operam dantem aggrediuntur. Qui clericis templi aditus præcludere conantibus accurrens, ostium aperuit, illis usus verbis ad suos: Non est Dei Ecclesia custodienda more castrorum; et ego pro Ecclesia Dei libenter mortem subibo. Tum ad milites: Vos Dei jussu cavete ne cuipiam meorum noceatis. Deinde flexis genibus, Deo, beatæ Mariæ, sancto Diony

General Chapter of Citeaux. Whereupon, the holy man, fearing lest the Cistercian Order should be made to suffer on his account, left the Monastery of his own accord, and betook himself to the hospitable shelter to which he had been invited by Louis, King of France. There he remained, until, by the intervention of the Pope and Louis the King, he was called home from his banishment, to the joy of the whole kingdom. Whilst resuming the intrepid discharge of the duty of a good Shepherd, certain calumniators denounced him to King Henry as one that was plotting sundry things against the country and the public peace. Wherefore, the King was heard frequently complaining, that there was only one Priest in his kingdom with whom he could not be in peace.

Certain wicked satellites concluded from this expression of the King, that he would be pleased at their ridding him of Thomas. Accordingly, they stealthily enter Canterbury, and finding the Bishop was in the Church, officiating at Vespers, they began their attack. The Clergy were using means to prevent them from entering the Church, when the Saint, coming to them, forbade their opposition, and, opening the door, thus spoke to them: The Church is not to be guarded like a citadel, and I am glad to die for God's Church. Then turning to the soldiers, he said: I command you, in the

name of God, that you hurt not any of them that are with me. After this, he knelt down, and commending his Church and himself to God, to the Blessed Mary, to St. Denis, and to the other Patron Saints of his Cathedral, with the same courage that he had shown in resisting the King's execrable laws, he bowed down his head to the impious murderers, on the Fourth of the Calends of January (December 29th), in the year of our Lord 1171. His brains were scattered on the floor of the entire Church. God having shown the holiness of his servant by many miracles, he was canonised by the same Pope, Alexander 3rd.

sio, et reliquis Sanctis, ejus Ecclesiæ patronis, Ecclesiam et seipsum commendans, sacrum caput eadem constantia, qua iniquissimi regis legibus restiterat, impio ferro præcindendum obtulit, quarto Kalendas Januarii, anno Domini millesimo centesimo septuagesimo primo, cujus cerebro respersum est totius templi pavimentum. Quem multis postea illustrem miraculis idem Alexander Pontifex retulit in Sanctorum numerum.


The solemn Introit of to-day's Mass shows the transport of joy, wherewith the Church celebrates the Feast of our holy Martyr. The words, and the chant, which accompanies them, are only used about four times in the year. Both words and music bespeak enthusiasm and joy: and the Church on earth is elated at the thought, that she and the Angels are making one choir to the praise of the victory of Thomas of Canterbury.


Let us all rejoice in the Lord, and celebrate this festival in honour of Blessed Thomas the Martyr for whose martyrdom the Angels rejoice, and praise the Son of God.


Gaudeamus omnes in Domino, diem festum celebrantes sub honore beati Thomæ Martyris: de cujus passione gaudent Angeli, et collaudant Filium Dei.

Ps. Exsultate justi in Domino; rectos decet collaudatio.. Gloria Patri. Gaudeamus.

Ps. Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just, praise becometh the upright. V. Glory, &c. Let us, &c.

In the Collect, the Holy Church emphasises the merit of the glorious Martyr, by saying, that it was for the very Spouse of the Son of God that he shed his blood. After this, she expresses the special confidence she has in his intercession.


Deus, pro cujus Ecclesia, gloriosus Pontifex Thomas gladiis impiorum occubuit; præsta quæsumus: ut omnes, qui ejus implorant auxilium, petitionis suæ salutarem consequantur effectum. Per Dominum.

O God, in defence of whose Church the glorious Pontiff Thomas fell by the swords of wicked men: grant, we beseech thee, that all who implore his assistance, may find comfort in the grant of their petition. Through, &c.

If the Commemorations of the four Octaves are to be made, they will be found in the Mass of Holy Innocents, page 314.

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the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was. So, also, Christ did not glorify himself that he might be made a High-Priest: but he that said to him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. As he saith, also, in another place: Thou art a Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.


et pro semetipso offerre peccatis. Nec quisquam sumat sibi honorem, sed qui vocatur a Deo, tamquam Aaron. Sic et Christus non semetipsum clarificavit ut Pontifiex fieret: sed qui locatus est ad eum: Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te. Quemadmodum et in alio loco dicit: Tu es Sacerdos in æternum, secundum ordinem Melchisedech.

When we meet, in the Annals of the Church, with the names of those great Bishops, who have been the glory of the Christian Pontificate, we are at once sure, that these men, the true images of the great High-Priest Jesus our Lord, did not intrude themselves, uncalled, into the dread honours of the Sanctuary. The history of their Lives shows us, that they were called by God himself, as Aaron was; and when we come to examine, how it was that they were so great-we soon find, that the source of their greatness was their humility, that led them to refuse the honourable burden, which others would put upon them. God assisted them in the day of trouble and trial, because their exaltation to the episcopacy had been his own work.

Thus was it with St. Thomas, who sat on his episcopal throne of Canterbury, the dignified and courageous Primate. He began by declining the high honour that was offered him. He boldly tells the King, (as St. Gregory the Seventh, before ascending the Papal Throne, told the Emperor who fain would see him Pope,) that, if forced to accept the proffered dignity, he is determined to oppose abuses. He thought by this to frighten men from putting him into the honours and responsibilities of the Pastoral charge, and hoped that they would no longer wish him


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to be a Bishop, when they suspected that he would be a true one :-but, the decree of God had gone forth, and Thomas, called by God, was obliged to bow down his head, and receive the holy anointing. And what a Bishop he, that begins by humility, and the determination to sacrifice his very life in the discharge of his duty! He is worthy to follow, and that to Calvary, the God-Man, who, being called, by his Father, to Priesthood and to Sacrifice, enters this world, saying: Behold! I come to do thy will, o God! 1

The Gradual, in its first Versicle, applies to St. Thomas, the encomium given by the Sacred Scripture to Abraham. These words, which speak the praises of one, who surpassed all others in merit, are singularly applicable to our illustrious Martyr, whose glory exceeds that of most other holy Bishops, whose memory is celebrated by the Church.

The Alleluia-Verse repeats the words of our Saviour, in which he declares himself to be the Good Shepherd. Why does the Church use them on this Feast? She would, thereby, tell us, that St. Thomas

a faithful representation of Him, whom St. Peter calls the Prince of Pastors.2


Ecce Sacerdos magnus, Behold a great Prelate, who qui in diebus suis placuit in his days pleased God. Deo.

. Non est inventus similisilli, qui conservaret legem Excelsi.

Alleluia, alleluia.

. Ego sum Pastor bonus: et cognosco oves meas, et cognoscunt me meæ. Alleluia.

■ Heb. x. 9.

. There was none found like him in keeping the law of the Most High.

Alleluia, alleluia.

V. I am the Good Shepherd: and I know my sheep, and my sheep know me. Alleluia.

I. St. Pet. v. 4.

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