26 January 2012

The Development of Devotions, Illustrated By the Cult of St. Thomas Beckett

David Miloscia
Vol. 1, No. 1 2012

During the High Middle-Ages, the Catholic Faith was the foundation of society for the majority of people in Europe. The Church was central to peoples’ lives. One of the ways people manifested their faithfulness was in devotion to the Saints. There were many different followings and practices regarding the Saints during this time period. Devotions such as pilgrimages and the veneration of relics and images present in an abundant number of shrines spread rapidly as the Church canonized more holy men and women while at the same time promoting existing devotions. An excellent example of how a new devotion took  root in society at this time is demonstrated in the martyrdom, canonization, and cult of St. Thomas Becket. The example of Thomas Becket displays well the different factors and influences that went into the canonization of a saint; from popular devotion and great piety to political motivations. ...

The full article is available in the printed subscriptions or as individual digital copies. Simply e-mail voxchristi@my.kenrick.edu if interested.

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