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Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley - CTS Saints of the Isles

Thomas Becket
CTS Saints of the Isles
J.B. Midgley
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860824760
CTS Booklet B697 


Over the last few years I have read over 100 books from the Catholic Truth Society. This was the thirteenth I have read in the Saints of the Isles Series. And the thirteenth I have read by J.B. Midgley. I have also read many in the CTS Biographies and also Great Saints Series. There are so many great stories about the lives of the saints. Lately I have not been focused more on this series  but more on the works of Midgley, this one just happens to cross over both interests. But back to this specific volume. The description of this book is:

“This fascinating account of one of England’s best known saints reaches beyond the rise to power of a privileged and intelligent man, to reveal a story of holiness, suffering and courage. Set in a turbulent and changing times, the forces of religious freedom and unchecked political power inevitably and fatally clashed – in the person of the King and the Archbishop. ‘Our crime’ said Becket, ‘is the assertion of ecclesiastical liberty; for to profess it is to be guilty of high treason’.”

And the chapters are:
Politics and Religion
Early Life
The king and the Archbishop
Exile and martyrdom
Devotion to Saint Thomas

This is the second time I have read about Saint Thomas Becket, and there is a third coming out next year by Father John S. Hogan I plan on reading. This is an excellent book about a fascinating man. This is a small volume but I feel that it has provided an excellent foundation for further reading and study. One of the things that surprised me most was last section of the book, ‘Destruction of Becket’s shrine by Henry VIII’. In my previous reading and study, I had not known the extent on how wide spread this action was. And the description of the amount of wealth that was stolen from the shrine while it was destroyed. 

Also, of great interest was the section ‘Murder in the Cathedral’, which highlights that five of his early biographers witnessed the events and two others had access to firsthand accounts. 

There is much I can learn from this saint and his example. For many years I had animosity to the English and practically ignored English saints, because of my Irish and Scottish heritage. But reading this book and others in the Saints of the Isles Series have given me a new look, and have inspired and invigorated my faith. It is an excellent volume and well worth a read.

Another excellent volume from the pen of Midgley and from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by J.B. Midgley:

Advent & Christmastide with the Saints
Antonio Rosmini
Benedict - Patron of Europe
Bernard of Clairvaux – CTS Great Saints
Charles Borromeo  - CTS Great Saints
Companion to St. Joseph
Companion to the Feasts of Mary
Companion to Saint Peter
Companion to Saint Paul
Companion to the Angels
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord
Dominic - CTS Great Saints
George: Patron of England - CTS Great Saints
Dewi Sant: St David Patron of Wales
Francis de Sales – CTS Great Saints
John Baptist de La Salle – CTS Great Saints
John Vianney – CTS Great Saints
Lent with the Saints
Nurturing the Young
Robert Bellarmine
Saint John the Baptist 
Stations of the Cross and Resurrection with the Saints
The Eucharist with the Saints
The Four Evangelists
Thomas Becket – CTS Saints of the Isles
Vincent de Paul – CTS Great Saints
Witchcraft, Sorcery and Magic


Contributed to:
First Fridays and First Saturdays The Devotions Explained 
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Books in the Saints of the Isles Series:
Edmund Arrowsmith - John S. Hogan
Margaret Clitherow - Jean Olwen Maynard
Edmund Campion - Alexander Haydon
John Southworth Priest and Martyr - Michael Archer
Saint Thomas More - Alvaro de Silva
John Ogilvie - Eleanor McDowell
Frances Taylor - Eithne Leonard
Mary Potter - Elizabeth Gilroy
John Fisher - Richard L. Smith
Robert Southwell - Fiorella Sultana De Maria
Ignatius Spencer - Fr. Ben Lodge
Sr Elizabeth Prout - Dominic Savio Hamer
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales - James Walsh
Thomas Becket - J.B. Midgley

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Other books about Saint Thomas Becket:
Devotions to St Thomas Becket - John S. Hogan
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