Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wednesday in 2nd Week of Lent, Sancte Thomas Aquinas!

Today's the commemoration of the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, being in the 2nd week of Lent.

Here's a little more about St. Thomas Aquinas:


St. Thomas Aquinas (1225 - 1274)

St. Thomas Aquinas was born in 1225, in the Castle of Rocca Secca, high up in the mountains near the town of Aquinas, in Italy. His Father was Count of Aquinas and his Mother was Countess.

Before St. Thomas was born, a holy hermit known as Buono, went to the Castle of Rocca Secca and made a great prophecy to his Mother. While speaking to the Countess he pointed to a picture of St. Dominic, saying, "Lady be glad, for you are about to have a son whom you will call Thomas. You and your husband will think of making him a monk in the Abbey of Mount Cassino (Benedictines), where lies the founder, St. Benedict, in the hopes that your son will attain to its honours and wealth. But God has disposed otherwise, because he will become a Friar of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). And so great will be his learning and sanctity, that there will not be found in the whole world, another person like him!"
Countess Theodora was amazed at the prophecy and falling on her knees exclaimed, "I am most unworthy of bearing such a son, but God's will be done according to His good pleasure!"
A few miles to the south of Rocca Secca, stands the Abbey of Mount Cassino. From the age of five to about the age of thirteen, Thomas went to school there. The Benedictine Monks liked his modest, sweet and gentle nature. They realized that Thomas had special talents and virtues, and encouraged his Father to send him to University.
Thomas was brought home from Mount Cassino for a short vacation, before going to University. At home Thomas did not become spoiled, because the Monks had trained him well. He remained the same gentle boy: serious, studious, and prayerful. His greatest delight was to give alms to the poor. He even gave his own food to the poor! The Countess feared that Thomas might loose his innocence at University but his Father thought differently, and sent him to the University of Naples. His only joy was study and prayer. He really wanted to become a saint and longed to give himself more completely to God. Gradually the desire grew in his heart, to join the Dominicans. As soon the Count heard about his son's plans, he commanded Thomas to put the idea out of his head. But Thomas had his mind made up to do the Holy Will of God, so one day when he was seventeen, he took the habit in the Dominican Monastery of Naples.

His Mother used tears, promises and threats, to make her son leave the Dominicans but Thomas had made up his mind to remain in the Order. He was then imprisoned in one of the castle towers, where he had to suffer cold and hunger, and had to do without many things. Thomas was kept a prisoner for over one year, and during this time, he memorized the whole Bible as well as the four books of the "Sentences", (Theological textbook of the time).

When Thomas' two brothers came home from the army, they decided to teach their brother a lesson. They sent an evil woman into the tower to tempt him towards sin! But Thomas grabbed a piece of burning wood from the fireplace, and drove the wicked woman from the tower. He then traced a cross upon the wall with the burning wood and kneeling down, begged God to grant him the gift of Purity until his death. Suddenly, Thomas went into ecstasy! Two Angels appeared and tied a cord tightly around his waist saying, "We have come from God to give you this cord of Chastity and God has heard your prayer. God has granted you the gift of Purity until your death!" This cord, which was worn by St. Thomas until his death, is now kept as a relic, in the Monastery of Chieri in Piedmont, Italy.

After a year or two passed, the Pope and Emperor learned about Thomas. They were very displeased at the way he had been treated. At last the Countess became more merciful. The Dominicans came to rescue Thomas, and one of his sister's helped him to escape by letting him down in a basket, from the tower. In 1244, the General of the Dominican Order took Thomas to Cologne, Germany, where St. Albert Magnus was teaching. Thomas gave full attention to his studies, seeking to learn all he could for the greater honour and glory of God. He even went without sleep, in order to have more time to study his books.Because of his humility, St. Thomas hid his learning from others. But one day St. Albert found a paper that Thomas had written, explaining the answer to a very difficult question. The next day, Albert asked Thomas some questions in public and then exclaimed, "We call Br. Thomas the Dumb Ox! But I tell you that one day he will make his bellowing (loud voice), heard through the whole world!" In 1245, St. Albert went to the University of Paris, to obtain the Degree of Doctor, taking St. Thomas along as his companion. They set out on foot and in time reached the Dominican Monastery of St. James, in Paris. Here, St. Thomas became the model of the whole Monastery because of his deep Humility, his Spirit of Prayer, his perfect Obedience, and his great Charity. Heavenly grace glowed from St. Thomas, and some said they only had to look at him to become more fervent!

In Paris, St. Thomas met another holy monk known now as St. Bonaventure, who was a Franciscan. They studied together for three years and became the closest of friends. They both obtained the Degree of Bachelor of Theology in 1248.In November 1248, Albert went back to Cologne and took St. Thomas with him.

Thomas became a teacher under the direction of St. Albert, and the new school in Cologne soon overflowed with students. Thomas always used these five basic ideals, when he was teaching; (1) Clearness (2) Brevity {Short} (3) Utility {Useful} (4) Sweetness (5) Maturity {Complete}.

Soon after his return to Cologne, Thomas became a priest. He became yet closer to the good God, and spent many hours of the day and night, praying in Church. He loved God so much, that he would shed many tears while saying Holy Mass. In 1252, St. Thomas was ordered by the General Chapter (special meeting) to go to Paris to obtain his degree as a Doctor. In those days, one had to be at least thirty-five to teach Theology, but his learning was so extraordinary, that he was allowed to be a Professor at twenty-five. When he was in Paris, his success in teaching was so great, that crowds of people came to the Monastery of St. James to hear him. Later on St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure were asked to defend the truths of the Faith in the Papal Courts, because someone had written a heretical book. They were victorious and on October 23, 1257, both monks received their Doctor's degree.St. Thomas taught in Rome for a while and in 1269, he went to Paris to teach. At the time, here was a disagreement among the Doctors at the University, about the Holy Eucharist. They presented their questions to Thomas. After praying for a long time about the question, he wrote his opinion on paper. In great Humility he brought it to the Church and laid it on the Altar of the Blessed Sacrament. Thomas then prayed, "Lord Jesus, Who art truly present and who works wonders in the adorable Sacrament, I beg Thee, if I have written the truth, please enable me to teach it. But if some of the things I have written are not true, then please do not allow me to talk about it." Then the Monks who were watching, saw Our Lord Himself come down and stand upon the written paper, They heard Jesus say these words: "Thomas, thou hast written well concerning the Sacrament of My Body." St. Thomas suddenly went into ecstasy! His soul was filled with joy and he floated in the air, eighteen inches above the ground! In 1271, St. Thomas returned to Italy and began to teach in Rome. During the following Holy Week he preached in St. Peter's on the Passion of Our Lord, and those who heard him were moved to tears, and cried until Easter Sunday. And at Easter, a miracle took place when a sick woman kissed the hem of his mantle, and was immediately cured! The whole soul of St. Thomas was filled with love for the Holy Eucharist. He only wanted God, and one day as he was praying at Naples after he had finished writing the first part of the Summa, Jesus spoke from the Crucifix: "Thou hast written well of me, what recompense dost thou desire?" Thomas humbly answered, "None other than Thyself, O Lord." He wished to continue having Our Lord, as his greatest love forever! One of his fellow Dominican's once asked him, what he considered to be the greatest gift that God had given him after Sanctifying grace itself. After a few moments St. Thomas replied: "I think that of having understood whatever I have read." He had an ability to remember all that he heard, so that his mind was like a well stocked library. On December 6, 1273, St. Thomas stopped writing. That day while saying Mass, he went into ecstasy and received a revelation. Fr. Reginald urged Thomas to continue to write, but he replied, "The end of my labours is come. All that I have written appears to me as so much straw, after the secrets that have been revealed to me! I hope in the Mercy of God that the end of my life may soon follow the end of my labours." He wanted to give himself entirely to God and prayer. St. Thomas was suffering from some illness, when he was ordered by Pope Gregory X to attend the General Council at Lyons, France. The purpose of the Council was to unite the Greek and Latin Churches. So on January 28, 1274, Thomas set out with some of his Dominican Brothers. On the way his condition became much worse, and he was taken to the home of his niece. However, the Cistercian Monks of Fossa Nuova urged Thomas to come to their Monastery. Upon arrival at the Monastery, St. Thomas went straight to the Church, to adore Jesus. Thomas was very ill for a month. During this time, the monks were very kind to him. There was no hope for the holy monk to get better, so he made his General Confession. He then received the Last Rites and when Holy Communion was brought to him, tears came to his eyes as he made this Profession of Faith. "I firmly believe Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, is in this Sacrament. I receive Thee the price of my Redemption, for whose love I have watched, studied and laboured, preached and taught." He died a little after midnight March 7, 1274.


The teaching in philosophy and theology as developed by St. Thomas Aquinas is called Thomism. His philosophy is known as Scholastic philosophy. St. Thomas had a special talent for bringing together human knowledge from the best of sources that had gone before him. Using human reason, this saint helped the Church come to profound conclusions as to understanding in greater depth the true faith of the Church. He teaches us all this necessity to love the truth, to seek it and to put it into practices. Holiness in the mind of St. Thomas was nothing other than the love of God put into practice. In other words, the living out of the reality or truth that we have to come to learn. While faith is a free gift of God, nevertheless faith and reason are two different ways of realizing the knowledge of truth. By using reasoning correctly, we can arrive at a greater understanding of the true faith given us by God. St. Without a correct use of reason, such as shown us by St. Thomas Aquinas, members of the Church can become confused as to what is true faith. Thomas Aquinas did much for the Church, and his work is still of great value today. The authority of the Church exercised by Popes and Church Councils has repeatedly stated that the clear principles of St. Thomas, which give us a solid grasp of both faith and reality, should be what guides us in the education and formation of students.


In the 1962 missal, St. Thomas Aquinas' feast day is celebrated on March 7, the day of his death.
OLRL offers the 37 page booklet "St. Thomas Aquinas - Universal Doctor of the Church" ( for 65 cents ea.
Please review our catalog/order form at


Here's a link from the St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, SSPX, with a very good flash intro I like very much. :)

oh Sancte Thomas Aquinas, ora pro nobis!

Deo gratias et Mariae! :)
From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Ligouri:

The fall of Peter, who denied Him, and even swore that he never knew Him, added to the sufferings of Jesus. Go, my soul, go to that prison where my Lord is sorrowful, mocked, and abandoned; thank Him and console Him by thy repentance, for thou also hast despised and derided Him. Tell Him that thou wouldst wish to die of sorrow, at the thought of having hitherto caused so much bitterness to the sweet heart of a God who has loved thee so tenderly. Tell Him that now thou dost love Him, and dost desire nothing else than to suffer and die for the love of Him.

Ah, my Jesus, forget all the displeasure that I have given Thee, and look on me with that love with which Thou didst look on Peter after he denied Thee; after the look which Thou didst then cast upon him, he did not cease to bewail his sin until he ceased to live. O great Son of God, O Infinite Love, who dost suffer for the very men who hate and maltreat Thee, Thou art the glory of paradise; Thou wouldst have done great honour to men by merely permitting them to kiss Thy feet. But, O God! What has reduced Thee to such a degree of ignominy as to become the sport of the vilest rabble? Tell me, O my Jesus, what I can do in order to compensate the honour which Thy enemies take from Thee by their insults and reproaches. I hear Thee answer: Bear insults for my sake, as I have borne them for the love of thee. Yes, my Redeemer, I wish to obey Thee. My Jesus, despised for the love of me, I am willing, and desire to be despised for Thee as much as Thou pleasest.

Oh dearest Mary, my Mother, all ye Angels and Saints please pray for me!

Amor meus crucifixus est!

Parce Domini, Parce populo tuo: ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.
Have a good LENT!

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