Daily Martyrology for December 29

The commemoration of the prophet Nathan and King David.

In 1170, in England, St. Thomas Becket. He was a Norman educated by the Canons Regular of Merton Abbey. He became archdeacon under Archbishop Theobald of Canterbury. He was sent to Rome to secure approval of Pope Eugene III for the succession of Henry II to the throne. Henry made Thomas his chancellor. He lived in splendid fashion, though he was also generous to the poor. Thomas tried to warn the king not to make him archbishop of Canterbury, because inevitably he would be required to resist the king’s encroachments on the rights of the church. The king appointed him anyway, and Thomas changed his way of life. He wore a hair shirt, rose early to read the Scriptures, said or attended Mass daily, and distributed alms. When conflict with the king became too intense, Thomas went into exile for six years. He returned to England, aware he would probably die. Four knights, who heard the king denounce Thomas, murdered him in his cathedral.

About 485, near Constantinople, St. Marcellus. He was abbot of a monastery near Constantinople. The monks there akoimetoi, that is, they sang the office continuously day and night.

In Normandy, in 596, St. Evroult. He was an official at the court of King Childebert I. He entered a monastery at Bayeux, but found the esteem he received there a temptation, and so left with three others to become a hermit. A community grew up around him and over the course of the time he established fifteen other monasteries.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.