Thursday, 29 December 2011

St Thomas of Canterbury...

As you know St Thomas was actually murdered as he was about to celebrate Vespers (''Vespera erat, nox longissima instabat,'' as William Fitzstephen's account has it), but perhaps the artist who produced this exquisite Book of Hours sought deliberately to equate the martyrdom of St Thomas with the Passion of our Lord in the context of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Whatever floats your boat, as the saying goes.


  1. But why's the poor chap only a commemoration...? Grrr!

  2. In England he is a double, the liturgical colour is the blood red hue of the Martyrs, and before the reforms of Pius X, you had commemorations of the Nativity, St Stephen the Protomartyr, St John the Evangelist and the Holy Innocents.

  3. Oh, but this poor chappie's not in England: I'm north of Hadrian's Wall.

    I was tempted to misread the directions in my Breviary this morning... ;)

  4. In England St. Thomas is a Double of the Second Class, in Northampton Double of the First Class - and somewhere else too but I cannot remember where.

  5. And specially from every shire's end.
    Of Engelond to Caunterbury they wende

    The hooly blisful martir for to seke,

    18. That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke. (sick)