The Top of St. Thomas Becket’s Skull

Weird Catholic

The martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket has a been a popular subject for artists from the middle ages to the 20th century, but one detail of the murder stands out in a few depictions. These show the top of the saints skull being shorn off by the first blow, like so:

becket Master Francke, 1424.




English_-_Martyrdom_of_Saint_Thomas_Becket_-_Walters_W3415V_-_Open_Reverse.jpg Carrow Psalter, 1250.

Medieval art was partly representational and partly narrative, meaning the depiction of people and events was in a unique zone between literal and symbolic. Lopping off the top of a bishop’s head, complete with mitre and tonsure, was a symbolic act of defiance against his authority and holiness. The horror of the crime is being emphasized: this was God’s anointed, and in striking at him they struck at God Himself.

But … was there more to this than symbolism?

Indeed there was, because a man named Edward Grim wrote this influential…

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Mourning the Pierced One

A prophecy of Zechariah offers a powerful point of meditation as we near the final phase of Lent. The Book of Zechariah can be difficult in places, partly due to some obscure language, but also because there are two distinct textual traditions. Chapters 1-8 are the work of the prophet Zechariah himself, written before the inauguration of the Second Temple, possibly around the year 520BC. These initial chapters contain a sequence of visions that are explained to Zechariah by an angel in a series of questions and answers.

Read the rest at the National Catholic RegisterFra_Angelico_027-medium.

14 Reasons I Stay Catholic

1. Jesus is Lord

The incarnation is the pivot point of history. God became man so that man could become God. Once you understand and accept this it’s like a thunderclap.


Durer’s “Adoration of the Trinity” captures some of the grandeur of Catholic faith

I spent a long time not believing it. When I found myself no longer able to deny it, it was like door being opened to a new understanding of reality. I now had to measure everything in my life and my mind and my world against the certainty that the immaterial and transcendent Origin of all that is had chosen to bridge the gap between Himself and His creation in order to heal the broken bond with man and give us a very simple message: Love one another as I have loved you. God showed us his face.

And then he left us a Church, and Himself in the Eucharist.


Real the rest at the National Catholic Register.