According to the website for the Cathedral (http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org), the Cathedral's history goes back to 597AD when St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary, established his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
|Tom and Rob outside the Canterbury Cathedral|
|Thomas Beckett's Tomb surrounded by teenage visitors|
WHO WAS THOMAS BECKETT?
Thomas Becket (also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury) 1118 – 29 December 1170) was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral.
The monks were afraid that Becket's body might be stolen. To prevent this Becket's remains were placed beneath the floor of the eastern crypt of the cathedral.
In 1220, Becket's remains were relocated from this first tomb to a shrine in the recently completed Trinity Chapel where it stood until it was destroyed in 1538, on orders from King Henry VIII. The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated.
ENCOUNTER WITH THOMAS BECKETT'S GHOST:
We went into the area of the Cathedral that has "Thomas" engraved on the floor, that marked his tomb (despite his bones being destroyed on Henry VIII's command). As I (Rob) was standing there I immediately got a headache in the back left side of my head, indicating that there was a ghost present. I immediately knew it was Thomas Beckett, and Beckett's ghost walked right through me! I was chilled and I told him I don't appreciate that.
Immediately, I sensed his personality and could understand why he was slain, and why Henry VIII had his bones crushed. He was very headstrong and very stubborn. Despite the church sainting him, I can tell you that he wasn't someone I cared to know. His ghost was bad energy.
We walked away from the tomb and under the church into the crypt. The crypt was the original part of the building, and it was built in 1070. There were a lot of bad feelings down there as well, and I couldn't wait to get outside.
|Thomas Beckett's Tomb|