Lent Madness: Thomas Becket vs. Constance

One of the beauties of Lent Madness is the odd matchups of saints with seemingly nothing in common except a passion for Jesus Christ. Thomas Becket vs. Constance is a perfect example as they vie for the last spot in the Final Four. So far we have C.S. Lewis, Perpetua, and Clare. Is it possible that three of the eight women who started this tournament will end up in the Final Four?

In recent action, Clare managed to hold off William Tyndale 54% to 46% to advance. Click Lent Madness 2011 for the updated tournament bracket and get ready for the Final Four to begin on Monday with C.S. Lewis taking on the winner of this matchup. On to the saintly kitsch!

Thomas Becket has a distinct advantage in the kitsch department. The Archbishop of Canterbury who was killed in his own cathedral quickly became a popular martyr in England after his death. Pilgrims went to Canterbury specifically to honor Becket. And I’d venture to say that Becket kitsch originated in the years following.

We begin with this rather odd sculpture of Becket commissioned by the Roman Catholic Community of St. Thomas Becket in Eagan, Minnesota. The sculpture portrays Becket preaching at a lectern pierced by the sword that killed him. Not really kitsch but odd enough to include.

Next up is the Becket key chain. What better way to hold your car keys as you walk through a dark parking lot late at night wondering if a mugger will attack you? It’s even better if you’re paranoid about being killed in your own driveway.

Then we get two related items, the Thomas Becket Pub in Canterbury and Becket Beer. I’m not sure what it is about sainthood and alcoholic beverages but they seem to go together. We’ve seen Perpetua Chardonnay and St. Vincent Pinot Noir and now this. Perhaps there’s a St. Budweiser?

Finally, there was a Becket movie starring Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton. I’ve never seen it and can’t vouch for its quality but according to the poster it was nominated for 12 Academy Awards. If only Becket had a love interest I’m sure she would have been played by the late Elizabeth Taylor.

Of all the saints gunning for the Final Four, Constance hands down has the least amount of kitsch. Having been martyred in Memphis I guess all the kitsch was reserved for that guy who inhabited Graceland.

All I have is a measly piece of pottery that was turned into an icon and a bad painting that includes a map. So I’m tossing in a mosquito to symbolize the Yellow Fever that caused her death and those of countless others she ministered to.



2 Comments on “Lent Madness: Thomas Becket vs. Constance”

  1. KMAnderson says:

    Actually, it’s not a map: in the painting Constance is pointing to the grave marker she shares with three other sisters who died about the same time, working with her.

  2. Penny Nash says:

    You know for whom I voted. But meanwhile, get thee to Netflix or Blockbuster or something and see Becket. Yes, it has that 1960’s set feel and you can see that it was a play first (by Jean Anouilh no less), and there are some small inaccuracies – as there always are – but, well, you just gotta see it.

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