Next Saturday is the feast of St Thomas Becket. He had been made the Chancellor in England, appointed by King Henry II. He was a priest and the second most powerful person in England. Although an extravagant and wealthy cleric he was required to abandon his life-style when the Pope appointed him as the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. He became a stoic critic of King Henry and the corruption that surrounded him and his court. One of King Henry’s knights overhead him say “I wish I could get rid of that troublesome piret”. Without the King knowing they raced off and slaughtered Thomas Beckett in his own Cathedral. King Henry was devastated by the slaying of Thomas and spent the remainder of his life doing public penance. The tomb of St Thomas Beckett (St Thomas of Canterbury) became a great pilgrimage site from the Middle Ages.