(ca. 1,000 BC)
+ What we know of King David comes to us from the stories about him found in the Hebrew Scriptures, where he is presented as the God-fearing king of a united Israel.
+ The son of Jesse, and a shepherd in his youth, David was anointed by the Prophet Samuel.
+ During a war with the Phillistines, David slew the giant Goliath and became close friends with Jonathan, the son of King Saul. He would go on to marry Saul’s daughter, Michol. He would later take a second wife, Abigail.
+ After Saul and Jonathan died in battle, David was chosen to be king of Judah and Israel and reigned for 33 years.
+ Honored as a prophet and poet, many of the psalms are attributed to King David.
+ David is presented a complex figure, both chosen by God to rule over Israel, but also a man whose life was marked by grave sins.
+ Following his death, he was succeeded by his son Solomon.
+ The Gospel of Matthew makes several connections between David and Jesus, most notably in the genealogy found in Matthew 1:1-17.
On December 29, the Church celebrates the Commemoration of Saint Thomas a Becket, the archbishop of Canterbury who was martyred in Canterbury Cathedral on December 29, 1170. Before becoming archbishop, Thomas was a close friend of King Henry II and served as Chancellor of England. After being named to the See of Canterbury, he became a staunch defender of the rights of the Church. His shrine at Canterbury became one of the most visited shrines in Western Europe until it was destroyed by King Henry VIII.
“Let us think of and imagine David who dances with all his might before the Lord. Let us think about how beautiful it is to offer the prayer of praise.”—Pope Francis, Homily for January 28, 2014
Almighty and invisible God,
who dispersed the darkness of this world
by the coming of your light,
look, we pray, with serene countenance upon us,
that we may acclaim with fitting praise
the greatness of the Nativity of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for December 29)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.