A Young Man and His Lady Love
Sep 29, 2021 / Written by: America Needs Fatima
In twelfth century England, a group of young men had gathered and were bragging of their various feats, as young men have done since the beginning of time.
The lively conversation went from archery to sword fighting to horsemanship, each trying to outdo the accomplishments of the others.
Finally, the young men began to boast of some foolish love affairs. Not to be outdone by his peers, a noble youth named Thomas declared that he, too, loved a great lady, and was beloved by her.
Thomas of Canterbury meant the most holy Virgin as the object of his affection, but afterwards, he felt some remorse at having made this boast. He did not want to offend his beloved Lady in any way.
Seeing all from her throne in heaven, Mary appeared to him in his trouble, and with a gracious sweetness said to him: "Thomas, what do you fear? You had reason to say that you loved me, and that you are beloved by me. Assure your companions of this, and as a pledge of the love I bear you, show them this gift that I make you."
The gift was a small box, containing a chasuble, blood-red in color. Mary, for the love she bore him, had obtained for him the grace to be a priest and a martyr, which indeed happened, for he was first made priest and afterwards Bishop of Canterbury, in England.
Many years later, he would indeed be persecuted by the king, and Thomas fled to the Cistercian monastery at Pontignac, in France.
Far from kith and kin, but never far from his Lady Love, he was attempting to mend his hair-cloth shirt that he usually wore and had ripped. Not being able to do it well, his beloved queen appeared to him, and, with special kindness, took the haircloth from his hand, and repaired it as it should be done.
After this, at the age of 50, he returned to Canterbury and died a martyr, having been put to death on account of his zeal for the Church.
From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.