For the first time in 800 years the relic of St. Thomas Becket normally kept in Eztergom, Hungary is returning to England in a week long tour of London & Canterbury. Several dignitaries from Hungary will be accompanying the relics including His Eminence Péter Cardinal Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and Primate of Hungary. The relic is believed to be a piece of St. Thomas Becket’s arm bone and will displayed for public veneration along with the relics of several other Saints.
May 23, 2016
- 4pm Relics from Esztergom (Hungary), St Magnus the Martyr (London), St Thomas of Canterbury (Fulham), St Thomas Church (Canterbury), and Stonyhurst arrive at Westminster Cathedral.
- 5pm Vespers, sung by Westminster Cathedral Choir.
- 5.30pm Solemn Mass in Westminster Cathedral, celebrated by Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, and Cardinal Vincent Nichols.
May 24, 2016
- 4pm Relics from Esztergom (Hungary), St Magnus the Martyr (London), St Thomas of Canterbury (Fulham), St Thomas Church (Canterbury), Stonyhurst and Westminster Cathedral arrive at Westminster Abbey.
- 5pm A service of Solemn Evensong sung jointly by the Cathedral and Abbey Choirs in the presence of János Áder, President of the Republic of Hungary.
May 25, 2016
- The relic held in Esztergom will be displayed throughout the morning in St Margaret’s Church (Westminster Abbey).
- 2.30pm The relic will be transferred to St Magnus the Martyr Church.
- 4pm Service for the public in St Magnus the Martyr Church (Lower Thames Street, London EC3R 6DN).
May 26, 2016
- The relic held in Esztergom (Hungary) will be on display in St Margaret’s Church (Westminster Abbey) throughout the day.
- 6.30pm Eric Symes Abbot Lecture on St Thomas Becket in Westminster Abbey (Roger Scruton).
May 27, 2016
- The relic from Esztergom (Hungary) will be on display in St Margaret’s Church (Westminster Abbey) until 2pm.
- 4pm The relic from Esztergom will be transferred to Rochester.
- 5.30pm A service of solemn Evensong in Rochester Cathedral.
May 28, 2016
- 10.30am The relic from Esztergom will be displayed in Rochester Cathedral.
- 2pm The relic will be transferred to Canterbury.
- 2.45pm Pilgrims assemble at St Michael’s Church, Harbledown (Summer Hill, Harbledown CT2 8NW)
- 3pm Pilgrims set off on foot from St Michael’s to Canterbury Cathedral via Westgate Towers. The pilgrimage takes about 1 hour (1.5 miles).
- 4pm Pilgrims arrive at Canterbury Cathedral (the Precincts). The relic and pilgrims pass through the main entrance. The Dean and the leadership of the Cathedral receive pilgrims at the nave. Welcome service, speeches by religious and civic leaders.
May 29, 2016
- 1.30pm Mass at Canterbury Cathedral (in the crypt)
Schedule courtesy of the Diocese of Westminster. Please check for updates before finalizing your plans.
St. Thomas Becket was favored by Henry II and was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 1162. He fell out of favor and was murdered on December 29, 1170 in Canterbury Cathedral by knights who were followers of King Henry II.
St. Thomas Becket, pray for us!