Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 7 March

photograph of a Saint Thomas Aquinas roundel, Convento de Las Duenas, Salamanca, Spain; swiped with permission from the flickr account of Father Lawrence Lew, OPSaint Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, O.P.

Saint Thomas, justly praised by the doctors of all ages under the title of the “Angel of the Schools,” took the habit of Saint Dominic at the age of sixteen, against the wishes of his family, whose efforts to prevent him he put aside with modest but heroic courage. When asked by Saint Bonaventure whence he derived the beautiful thoughts so admired in his writings, he replied, pointing to his crucifix: “There is my book.” He knew perfectly how to read this book, approaching it with great humility, keeping himself in perfect purity and maintaining a serenity of soul which nothing could disturb. This humility did not prevent him from energetically defending the right of the religious orders to occupy themselves with the work of teaching, to devote themselves to the apostolic ministry and to receive the offerings of the faithful in order to be more free for their holy work. Although his “Summa,” according to one of the Popes, contains “as many miracles as articles,” it is surpassed by his exposition of the mysteries of the Incarnation and of the Holy Eucharist. No less than forty Constitutions or Papal Encyclicals exalt his doctrine in terms of admiration. Leo XIII has gone further than all his predecessors and has declared Saint Thomas the Patron of Catholic Schools. At the end of his life, being almost always in ecstasy, he exclaimed: “My writings seem as mere straw compared to what I now see, but the time of writing is past for me.” (1274)

Prayer

Give me grace, O my Saviour, to rejoice only in what leads to Thee, and to grieve only over that which separates me from Thee.

Practice

Pray to Saint Thomas for all who teach and who study the science of theology.