Blessed Thomas of Dover

Nova Legenda Anglie” has his story in Volume 2. He’s an unofficial saint, never canonized, but lots of miracles happened at his tomb and many ships in danger out on the Channel were saved by his prayers.

He was just a normal Benedictine monk who lived his whole life in the Dover abbey. But on August 2 or August 5, 1295, the French raided Dover. All the other monks got the heck out of Dodge, but Thomas de la Hale (or Thomas de Halys, or Thomas Hales — it gets spelled different ways) was sick and stayed in the monastery.

Well, apparently the French sailors were not happy with the lack of plunder, so they threatened him with torture and death unless he revealed where the monks kept the good vestments and altar vessels, as well as any money they might have around the place.

Thomas didn’t say a thing.

They put a sword through his guts and left him to die.

Well, the English Benedictines called him a martyr, and various English people begged the Pope to canonize him. But apparently this was no go. This didn’t stop the English from regarding him as a saint or making much of his relics. At least until the Reformation.

(This is not the same guy as the famous devotional writer, Brother Thomas of Hales of the Franciscans, who wrote the “Luve Ron” in Middle English.)

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