Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.*
Glorious Mother of the King of kings,*
Saint Thomas of Aquin,*
Worthy child of the Queen of Virgins,*
St. Thomas most chaste,*
St. Thomas most patient,*
Prodigy of science,*
Silently eloquent,*
Reproach of the ambitious,*
Lover of that life which is hidden with Christ in God,*
Fragrant flower in the parterre of Saint Dominic,*
Glory of the Friars Preachers,*
Illumined from on high,*
Angel of the Schools,*
Oracle of the Church,*
Incomparable scribe of the Man-God,*
Satiated with the odor of His perfumes,*
Perfect in the school of His Cross,*
Intoxicated with the strong wine of His charity,*
Glittering gem in the cabinet of the Lord,*
Model of perfect obedience,*
Endowed with the true spirit of holy poverty,*


Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.


Antiphon: Oh, how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory, for the memory thereof is immortal, because it is known with God and man, and it triumpheth crowned forever.

V. What have I in heaven, or what do I desire on earth!
R. That art the God of my heart, and my portion forever.


Let us pray:

O God, Who hast ordained that blessed Thomas should enlighten Thy Church, grant that through his prayers we may practice what he taught. Through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.




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Novena Prayer to St. Thomas Aquinas


May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and all the Saints intercede with God for us. The Lord hath made His Saints wonderful. And heard them when they cried unto Him.

LET US PRAY


Preserver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all dangers to soul and body, and by the intercession of the Blessed and Glorious Mary ever Virgin, Mother of God, of St. Joseph, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, of St. Thomas Aquinas and all the Saints, in Thy mercy, grant us health and peace, that after all adversity and error is removed, Thy Church may serve Thee in freedom and safety, through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the union of the Holy Ghost world without end. Amen.


St. Thomas Aquinas pray for us.


(Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory, etc. 3 times)




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Prayer to Obtain All Virtues
by St. Thomas Aquinas

O merciful God, grant that I may eagerly desire, careful search out, truthfully acknowledge, and ever perfectly fulfill the things which are pleasing unto Thee. Order all my state for the glory and honor of Thy Name alone; and grant me to know what Thou dost require me to do, and give me to do it as is fitting, and profitable to my salvation.

Grant that I may not fail or swerve either in prosperity or in adversity; that I be not lifted up by the one, nor cast down by the other. Let me joy in nothing but what leads to Thee, nor grieve for any thing but what leads away from Thee ; let me neither seek to please, nor fear to displease, any but Thee alone. May all transitory things grow vile in my eyes, O Lord, and may all that is Thine be dear to me for Thy sake, and Thou, O my God, dear above them all. May all joy be irksome to me that is without Thee, nor may I desire any thing that is apart from Thee. May all labour and toil delight me which is for Thee, and all rest be weariness which is not in Thee.

Grant me, O Lord, continually to lift up my heart towards Thee, and to bring sorrowfully to my mind my many shortcomings, with full purpose of amendment. Make me, O Lord, obedient without demur, poor without repining, chaste without stain, patient without murmur, humble without pretense, joyous without frivolity, fearful-without abjectness, truthful without disguise, given to good works without presumption, faithful to rebuke my neighbor without arrogance, and ever careful to edify him both by word and example without pretension.

Give me, O Lord God, an ever-watchful heart, which no subtle speculation may lure from thee; a noble heart, which no unworthy affection can draw downwards to the earth; an upright heart, which no insincere intention can warp aside; Ďan unconquerable heart, which no tribulation can crush or quell; a free heart, which no perverted or impetuous affection can claim for its own.

Bestow on me, O Lord, my God, understanding to know Thee, diligence to seek Thee, wisdom to find Thee, a life and conversation which may please Thee, persevere in waiting patiently for Thee, and in hope which may embrace Thee at the last. Grant me to be pierced with compunction by Thy sorrows through true repentance, to improve all Thy gifts and benefits during this my pilgrimage through Thy grace, and so at length to enter into Thy full and consummate joy in Thy glory. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth, Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be etc.



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St. Thomas Aquinas, Confessor
by Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger, 1877

St. Thomas, one of the most learned and holy doctors of the Church, was born, in 1225, at the castle of Rocca Sicca, in the kingdom of Naples. His father was Landulph, Count of Aquino, and his mother Theodora, a daughter of the Count of Chieti. At the age of five he was entrusted to the Benedictines at Monte Cassino to be educated. When he was ten years old, he was sent to Naples to perfect himself in the liberal arts. While sojourning here, he formed acquaintance with a priest belonging to the order of St. Dominic, in consequence of which he sought and obtained admission into that order at the age of fourteen.

His mother, Theodora, was very much displeased, and hastened to Naples with the intention of forcibly taking Thomas from the monastery. St. Thomas had, however, already left Naples for Rome before his mother arrived; and from Rome he had been sent to Paris. His two brothers, who were in the service of the Emperor, at the instance of Theodora, intercepted him on his way to Paris and sent him back a prisoner. The mother exerted all her influence to make him forsake the ecclesiastical state; his sisters likewise opposed his project. All was in vain, for the Saint remained firm, and answered: "In this matter I am bound to obey God before man." His brothers had, in the meanwhile, returned from the wars, and, finding him unshaken in his resolution, were exasperated against him, and heaped injury and abuse on him, even going so far as to tear the clerical dress from his person. They shut him up in a room of the castle and deprived him of the necessary food; in their wickedness they even introduced a dissolute woman to him, who, by her caresses and allurements, should rob him of his purity. The holy youth, as soon as he saw the courtezan entering, understood her purpose, and endeavored to escape from the danger by flight; but, the door being barred on the outside, he was unable to flee. In this extremity he called to heaven for aid. "Do not, O Jesus, and you, purest of Virgins, suffer me to fall into this detestable sin." He shouted for assistance, but all access to him had been shut off. Seeing no other means, the chaste youth seized a burning brand, attacked the abandoned woman, and drove her away. After accomplishing this, he fell on his knees and humbly thanked God for his escape from this peril, renewed his vow of chastity, and implored the Almighty to extend further assistance to him. During the sleep which overtook him during his prayer, he beheld two angels, who congratulated him on his victory, and, as a sign that his petition had been heard, girded his loins with a band, and tightened it so much that the pain awoke him and forced him to I cry out. From this moment he was unmolested by temptations or stings of impurity. Still he never neglected the means necessary to preserve his purity, and, according to the testimony of his I confessor, he carried his baptismal innocence unsullied to the grave.

After an imprisonment of two years, his sisters, whom he had persuaded to enter religion, lowered him by a rope from the castle. He hastened to the monastery at Naples, where, after having completed the year of noviceship, he was admitted to the solemn profession. He then continued his studies at Rome, Paris and lastly at Cologne, under the directions of the renowned Albert the Great. At the last-mentioned city his classmates, for a while, called him the "dumb ox," because he always listened in silence to his professor and never entered into any dispute. Albert, however, once said to them: "You call him a dumb ox, but this dumb ox will one day open his mouth and the whole world will hear his voice." This prophecy was fulfilled; for St. Thomas made such progress in his studies that his fame soon spread over the whole world. Scarcely twenty-five years old, he received the degree of Doctor of Holy Scripture at Paris, where he taught the higher sciences with great success. In this city sprung up that holy friendship between him and St. Bonaventure, of the Order of St. Francis who resembled St. Thomas in virtue and holiness. The many works written by St. Thomas, even on the most difficult subjects, are not only admired by all Christendom, but also much studied and highly prized. They contain a depth of wisdom unsurpassed, which he acquired not by his own application but rather from Divine inspiration, as he himself avowed. Hence, also, is he called the Angelic Doctor. Before beginning to study, to explain the Holy Scriptures, or to preach, or if he met with any difficulty, he always had recourse to prayer, as also fasting and other mortifications.

Though his learning was great, still it was surpassed by his sanctity, and his zeal for the salvation of souls. He was most assiduous in his devotion to the Sacrament of the Altar, and, whenever his health permitted, he offered up the Holy Sacrifice with an awe and piety which resembled an angel's more than that of a man. After his own Mass he served another. Whenever he himself could not celebrate, he assisted at the adorable Sacrifice with so great a fervor as to cause him to shed abundant tears. The office recited by the Priest on the feast of Corpus Christi is the work of his piety. The Saint laid this, as well as his other writings, at the foot of the cross, begging a sign from God that his works were acceptable to the Divine Majesty. He heard these consoling words from the Crucifix: "Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what recompense dost thou desire?" The Angelical replied: " None other but thyself, Lord." His burning zeal for the salvation of souls led the Saint, even while filling a professor's chair, to devote himself to preaching for the good of many a sinner. It was a wonderful thing to see a man whose body had been weakened by penance and reduced by sickness, especially a weakness of the stomach, able to compose so many works, teach in the schools, and, besides this, announce the Word of God in His holy temple. His humility, likewise, was most edifying; for though the most learned man, still he always esteemed himself below everybody. He never spoke of himself nor could he bear to hear any one praising him. Repeatedly did the Popes desire to bestow ecclesiastical dignities on him, but the humility of the Saint always knew how to avoid them.

Being called by Gregory X. to attend the General Council at Lyons, he was taken sick on the road, in the Cistercian Abbey of Fossa Nova. The good monks received and treated him with motherly tenderness, and begged him, in imitation of St. Bernard, to dictate an exposition of the Canticle of Canticles. St. Thomas replied: "Give me the spirit of Bernard and I will comply with your request." Being urged, he began the exposition, but he was obliged to interrupt his work, on account of the severity of his illness, on the sixth of March. He then received the last Sacraments, and prepared for death by fervent acts of virtue. When the holy Viaticum was brought to him, he adored his Saviour on bended knee, and after making his profession of faith he added: "I wish to die in the Roman Church, to whose judgment I submit all my writings." Extreme Unction! was then administered to him, after which, raising his eyes to heaven, he departed this life at the age of fifty. "How is it possible to live in a world full of dangers and perils without committing sin," some one asked St. Thomas, shortly before his I death; and this was the answer: "Often recall to mind the account which God requires on the Judgment Day, and live in a manner to have no dread of that day." He was asked, on some other occasion, how a person could be saved: "By earnestly wishing it," said he. Often did he express his surprise that a man, knowing himself to be in a state of mortal sin, could I yet sleep quietly or even laugh, considering that he was exposed to eternal perdition. The Most High, who had rendered St. Thomas so famous during his lifetime for his extraordinary wisdom, glorified him also after death by many great miracles. Many visions which he enjoyed during life are recorded; also his ecstasies, some of them lasting several days, and usually beginning while the Saint was engaged in prayer. To prayer he joined a mortification which extended over all his senses. In his last illness, his stomach craved after a certain kind of fish rare in the neighborhood. It happened that the physician met with one and brought it to St. Thomas; but the holy man, remembering the example of David, who, in his burning thirst, emptied the proffered cup, sacrificing the draught to the Almighty, also refused to accept the fish out of love for God. This mortification, though it appears small to worldly people, still shows the ardent desire in the Saint to embrace every occasion of self-abnegation. It deserves no less praise than David's act, which is so highly spoken of by the holy fathers. Thus, in the very practice of penance, did St. Thomas end his life.


Practical Considerations

I. How nobly did not Saint Thomas battle when tempted to impurity! Oh, that every man and woman would imitate his example whenever they are enticed or, as it were, forced into it! Shout for assistance, resist in every way possible, if flight be impossible. Alas! many do neither. And why? Because they do not wish to create a disturbance at night; they are unwilling to dishonor or disgrace the monster who tempts them. Would they act in this way if the miscreant were a murderer or a thief? I am positive they would shout for help, were the murderer or the thief even the noblest and greatest man in the country. Now, why is their conduct so different when there is a question of sin? Is he not a murderer who takes away the life of the soul and eternal salvation? Is he no robber who steals the precious treasure of the grace of God? Does such an individual deserve polite treatment? Thieves and murderers are not to be treated according to the rules of politeness. We must fearlessly resist these tempters and imitate St. Thomas in this respect.

II. Wonderful indeed are the answers of St. Thomas to two questions. "How can a person assure himself of his salvation?" was the first question, and the answer: "By earnestly willing it." Hence it depends altogether on the will whether we are saved or lost. St. Chrysostom already, centuries before, had said: "In order to be saved it is only necessary to will it, not carelessly, but earnestly." It is true all men, even the greatest sinners, desire to be saved, but, alas! they have no earnest and determined will. He who desires to learn any science, applies the means adapted to its acquisition. If he takes the necessary steps, then, we see that his intention is earnest. Again, if one intends learning a trade, he must apply the necessary means. It is the same with the work of salvation; without employing the requisite means we shall never be able to reach the end. He is a liar, therefore, who, whilst declaring that he wishes to be saved, still neglects to make use of means for that purpose. Be serious in your endeavors, and recall what was said in the month of January on this head.

The second question put to St. Thomas was this: "How can a person, surrounded by the goods of this world, escape from sin? " and the reply: "Remember the account to be rendered to the just Judge on the Day of Judgment." There is a salutary truth contained in this answer. If you are anxious to avoid sin, as it is absolutely necessary to obtain salvation, often think of the Day of Judgment. Faith teaches that we will be tried at the tribunal of God's justice for all our thoughts, words, deeds, and omissions. "Know that for all these God will bring thee to judgment" (Eccl. xi.). "Every one of us shall render account to God for himself" (Rom. xiv.). Mark it well,every one; there is no exception. Kings and emperors must stand before the same Judgment-seat. You cannot appear by proxy before God, the All-wise, the All-powerful, the just and inexorable Judge. "From Him," says St. Bernard, "you can conceal nothing; He will accept no excuses; neither can you flee from Him, nor appeal to a higher judge." The account will be severe and exact, even of an idle word, as our Saviour tells us. If you cannot stand this scrutiny, the sentence of eternal damnation will be passed on you. Often recall this saving truth, especially in time of temptation. "For what shall I do when God shall rise to judge ? And when He shall examine, what shall I answer Him?" (Job xxxi.) Often say to yourself: "Shall I dare to answer to God for what I am about to do or omit?" "We ought," says Thomas-a-Kem-pis, "to regulate our lives as if we were to be immediately judged." Put this lesson into practice, and you will avoid sin amidst all the perils to which you may be exposed.




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Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas
which he was accustomed to recite every day
before the image of Christ


Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to Thee, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly, for the praise and glory of Thy name. Amen

(Indulgence of 300 days, Leo XIII.)




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Thanksgiving After Communion


I give Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, that Thou hast vouchsafed, for no merit of my own, but of the mere condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me, a sinner and Thine unworthy servant, with the Precious Body and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I implore Thee, let not this Holy Communion be to me an increase of guilt unto my punishment, but an availing plea unto pardon and forgiveness. Let it be to me the armor of faith and the shield of good will. Grant that it may work the extinction of my vices, the rooting out of concupiscence and lust, and the increase within me of charity and patience, of humility and obedience. Let it be my strong defense against the snares of all my enemies, visible and invisible; the stilling and the calm of all my impulses, carnal and spiritual; my indissoluble union with Thee the one and true God, and a blessed consummation at my last end. And I beseech Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, sinner as I am, to that ineffable banquet where Thou, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy saints true and unfailing light, fullness of content, joy for evermore, gladness without alloy, consummate and everlasting bliss. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Thomas Aquinas



The Cross is my sure salvation.
The Cross it is that I worship evermore.
The Cross of our Lord is with me.
The Cross is my refuge.


Saint Thomas Aquinas

(Indulgence of 300 days)



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A Students Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary


O Mary, Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope, by whose loving care and intercession many, otherwise poor in intellect, have wonderfully advanced in knowledge and in holiness, thee do I choose as the guide and patroness of my studies; and I humbly implore, through the deep tenderness of thy maternal love, and especially through that eternal Wisdom who deigned to take from thee our flesh and who gifted thee beyond all the saints with heavenly light, that thou wouldst obtain for me by thy intercession the grace of the Holy Spirit that I may be able to grasp with strong intellect, retain in memory, proclaim by word and deed, and teach others all things which bring honor to thee and to thy Son, and which for me and for others are salutary for eternal life. Amen.


Saint Thomas Aquinas



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For The Practice of Virtue


It is easy to remember Aquinas the theologian and to forget Aquinas the saint. He refused worldly honors and ecclesiastical preference; he never began to write or to study without first begging God's blessing on his work. He was a humble servant of God before he was an intellectual giant. This prayer that reflects his humility, should reflect ours also.


Grant me to impart willingly to others whatever I possess that is good, and to ask humbly of others that I may partake of the good of which I am destitute; to confess truly my faults; to bear with equanimity the pains and evils which I suffer. Grant that I may never envy the good of my neighbor, and that I may always return thanks for Thy graces. Let me always observe discipline in my clothing, movements, and gestures. Let my tongue be restrained from vain words, my feet from going astray, my eyes from seeking after vain objects, my ears from listening to much news; may I humbly incline my countenance, and raise my spirit to heaven. Grant me to despise all transitory things, and to desire Thee alone; to subdue my flesh and purify my conscience; to honor Thy saints, and to praise Thee worthily; to advance in virtue,; and to end good actions by a happy death.

Plant in me, O Lord, all virtues: that I may be devoted to divine things, provident in human affairs, and troublesome to no one in bodily cares.

Grant me, O Lord, fervor in contrition, sincerity in confession, and completeness in satisfaction.

Deign to direct my soul to a good life: that what I do may be pleasing to Thee, meritorious for myself, and edifying to my neighbor.

Grant that I may never desire to do what is foolish, and that I may never be discouraged by what is distasteful; that I may never begin my works before the proper time, nor abandon them before they are completed. Amen.


Saint Thomas Aquinas



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Prayer for Purity


O good Jesus, I know that every perfect gift and, above all others, that of chastity depends on the powerful action of Thy divine Providence; I know that without Thee a creature can do nothing. This is why I beseech Thee to defend, by Thy grace, the purity of my soul and of my body. And if I have ever received any impression whatsoever of a sentiment capable of soiling this ineffable virtue, do Thou, O supreme Master of my faculties, blot it out from my soul, that with a clean heart I may advance in Thy love and in Thy service, offering myself chaste all the days of my life on the most pure altar of Thy divinity. It is the Cross that I adore. The Cross of the Lord is with me. The Cross is my refuge. Amen.


Saint Thomas Aquinas



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Prayer for Grace to do God's Will


Grant me grace, O merciful God, to desire ardently all that is pleasing to Thee, to examine it prudently, to acknowledge it truthfully, and to accomplish it perfectly for the praise and glory of Thy name. Amen.


Saint Thomas Aquinas



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Quotes of St. Thomas Aquinas


St. Thomas Aquinas: "I answer that, As stated above (A6,9) wherever there occurs a special kind of deformity whereby the venereal act is rendered unbecoming, there is a determinate species of lust. This may occur in two ways: First, through being contrary to right reason, and this is common to all lustful vices; secondly, because, in addition, it is contrary to the natural order of the venereal act as becoming to the human race: and this is called "the unnatural vice." This may happen in several ways. First, by procuring pollution, without any copulation, for the sake of venereal pleasure: this pertains to the sin of "uncleanness" which some call "effeminacy" (masturbation). Secondly, by copulation with a thing of undue species, and this is called "bestiality." Thirdly, by copulation with an undue sex, male with male, or female with female, as the Apostle states (Romans 1:27): and this is called the "vice of sodomy." Fourthly, by not observing the natural manner of copulation, either as to undue means, or as to other monstrous and bestial manners of copulation. (Summa Theologica, Pt. II-II, Q. 154, A. 11.)

St. Thomas Aquinas (+ c. 1260): "In accepting or rejecting opinions, a man must not be influenced by love or hatred of him who proffers the opinions, but only by the certainty of the truth." (33 Doctors of the Church, p. 386.)

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 88, A. 5, Reply 1: "With regard to drunkenness we reply that it is a mortal sin by reason of its genus; for, that a man, without necessity, and through the mere lust of wine, makes himself unable to use his reason, whereby he is directed to God and avoids committing many sins, is expressly contrary to virtue."






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St. Thomas Aquinas
by Fr. Prosper Gueranger


The Saint we are to honour today, is one of the sublimest and most lucid interpreters of Divine Truth. He rose up in the Church many centuries after the Apostolic Age, nay, long after the four great Latin Doctors, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory. The Church, the ever young and joyful Mother, is justly proud of her Thomas, and has honoured him with the splendid title of The Angelical Doctor, on account of the extraordinary gift of understanding wherewith God had blessed him; just as his co-temporary and friend, St. Bonaventure, has been called the Seraphic Doctor, on account of the wonderful unction which abounds in the writings of this worthy disciple of St. Francis.

Thomas of Aquin is an honour to mankind, for perhaps there never existed a man whose intellect surpassed his. He is one of the brightest ornaments of the Church, for not one of her Doctors has equalled him in the clearness and precision wherewith he has explained her doctrines. He received the thanks of Christ himself, for having well written of him and his mysteries. How welcome ought not this Feast of such a Saint to be to us during this Season of the Year, when our main study is our return and conversion to God?

What greater blessing could we have than the coming to know this God? Has not our ignorance of God, and his claims, and his perfections, been the greatest misery of our past lives? Here we have a Saint whose prayers are most efficacious in procuring for us that knowledge, which is unspotted, and converteth souls, and giveth wisdom to little ones, and gladdeneth the heart, and enlighteneth the eyes (1 Ps. xviii. 8, 9.). Happy we if this spiritual wisdom be granted us! We shall then see the vanity of everything that is not eternal, the righteousness of the divine commandments, the malice of sin, and the infinite goodness wherewith God treats us when we repent.

Let us learn from the Church the claims of the Angelical Doctor to our admiration and confidence.

Thomas was born of noble parents, his father being Lanclulph, Count of Aquino, and his mother a rich Neapolitan lady, by name Theodora. When he was five years old, he was sent to Monte Cassino, that he might receive from the Benedictine Monks his first training. Thence he was sent to Naples, where he went through a course of studies, and, young as he was, joined the Order of Friars Preachers.

This step caused great displeasure to his mother and brothers, and it was therefore deemed advisable to send him to Paris. He was waylaid by his brothers, who seized him, and imprisoned him in the castle of Saint John. After having made several unsuccessful attempts to induce him to abandon the holy life he had chosen, they assailed his purity, by sending to him a wicked woman; but he drove her from his chamber with a fire-brand. The young saint then threw himself on his knees before a crucifix. Having prayed some time, he fell asleep, and it seemed to him that two angels approached to him, and tightly girded his loins. From that time forward, he never suffered the slightest feeling against purity. His sisters, also, had come to the castle, and tried to make him change his mind; but he, on the contrary, persuaded them to despise the world, and devote themselves to the exercise of a holy life.

It was contrived that he should escape through a window of the castle, and return to Naples. He was thence taken by John the Teutonic, the general of the Dominican Order, first to Rome, and then to Paris, in which latter city he was taught philosophy ana theology by Albert the Great. At the age of twenty-five, he received the title of Doctor, and explained in the public schools, and in a manner that made him the object of universal admiration, the writings of philosophers and theologians. He always applied himself to prayer, before reading or writing anything. When he met with any difficult passage in the Sacred Scriptures, he both fasted and prayed. He used often to say to his companion, Brother Eeginald, that if he knew anything, it was more a gift from God, than the fruit of his own study and labour.

One day, when at Naples, as he was praying, with more than his usual fervour, before a crucifix, he heard these words: "Well hast thou written of Me, Thomas! What reward wouldst thou have me give thee?" He answered: "None other, Lord, but Thyself."

There was not a book which he had not most carefully read. His favourite spiritual book was the Conferences of the Fathers. He was most zealous in preaching the Word of God. On one occasion, during Easter Week, as he was preaching in the Church of St. Peter, a woman touched the hem of his habit, and was cured of an issue of blood. His writings are so extraordinary, not only for their number and their variety, but also for their clearness in explainiug difficult points of doctrine, that he has received the title of Angelical Doclor. He was invited to Rome by Pope Urban the Fourth, but nothing could induce him to accept the honours which were offered him. He refused the Archbishopric of Naples, which Pope Clement the Fourth begged him to accept. He was sent by Gregory the Tenth to the Council of Lyons; but having got as far as Fossa Nova, he fell sick, and was received as a guest in the Monastery of that place, and wrote a commentary on the Canticle of Canticles. There he died, in the fiftieth year of his age, in the year of our Lord 1274, on the Nones of March (March 7th). His sanctity was made manifest by miracles, both before and after his death. He was canonized by John the Twenty- second, in the year 1323. His body was translated to Toulouse, during the Pontificate of Urban the Fifth.

The Dominican Order, of which St. Thomas is one of the grandest ornaments, has inserted the three following Hymns in its Liturgy of his Feast.



Hymn I


Let the assembly of the Faithful exult in spiritual joy, and give praise to God, who has made a new sun to shine in our world, and disperse the clouds of error.

It was in the evening of the world that Thomas shed his treasures of heavenly light. Heaven had enriched him with gifts of virtue and wisdom:

From this fountain of light we have derived a brighter knowledge of the Word, the understanding of the Divine Scriptures, and the rules of truth.

The effulgent rays of his wisdom, the light of his spotless life, and the splendour of his miracles, have filled the universe with joy.

Praise, then, be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.



Hymn II


Noble by birth and parentage, Thomas, whilst ln the bloom of youth, embraced the Order of Preachers.

Like to the star of morn, brightly does he shine amidst the luminaries of earth, and, more than any Doctor of the Church, refutes the doctrines of the Gentiles.

He explores the depth of mysteries, and brings to light the hidden gems of truth, for he teaches us what the mind of man had else never understood.

God gives him to the Church as a Fountain of wisdom, like to that four-branched river of Paradise. He made him to be her Gedeon's sword, her Trumpet, her Vase, her Torch.

Praise, then, be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. And may our God, by the intercession and merits of his Saint, admit us into the choir of the blessed in heaven. Amen.



Hymn III


Dear Church our Mother! The happy death of thy Thomas deserves a hymn of praise. By the merits of Him that is the Word of Life, he is now in endless joy.

It was at Fossa Nova that the rich treasury of grace was welcomed as a guest. It was there that he received from Christ the inheritance of eternal glory.

He has left us the fruits of truth; he has left us his glorious relics, which breathe forth a heavenly fragrance, and work cures for the suffering sick.

Right well, then, is honour his due; earth, and sea, and heaven, all may give him praise. May his prayers and merits intercede for us with God.

Praise, then, be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. And may our God, by the intercession and merits of his Saint, admit us into the choir of the blessed in heaven. Amen.



Prayer


How shall we worthily praise thee, most holy Doctor! How shall we thank thee for what thou hast taught us? The rays of the Divine Sun of Justice beamed strongly upon thee, and thou hast reflected them upon us. When we picture thee contemplating Truth, we think of those words of our Lord: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Thy victory over the concupiscence of the flesh merited for thee the highest spiritual delights; and our Redeemer chose thee, because of the purity of thy angelic soul, to compose for His Church the Office whereby she should celebrate the Divine Sacrament of His Love. Learning did not impair thy humility. Prayer was ever thy guide in thy search after Truth; and there was but one reward, for which, after all thy labours, thou wast ambitious, the possession of God.

Thy life, alas! was short. The very master-piece of thy angelical writings was left unfinished. But thou hast not lost thy power of working for the Church. Aid her in her combats against error. She holds thy teachings in the highest estimation, because she feels that none of her Saints has ever known so well as thou, the secrets and Mysteries of her Divine Spouse. Now, perhaps more than in any other age, truths are decayed, they are diminished among the children of men; (1 Ps. xi. 2.) strengthen us in our Faith, get us Light. Check the conceit of those shallow self-constituted philosophers, who dare to sit in judgment over the actions and decisions of the Church, and force their contemptible theories upon a generation that is too ill-instructed to detect their fallacies. The atmosphere around us is gloomy with ignorance; loose principles, and truths spoilt by cowardly compromise, are the fashion of our times; pray for us, bring us back to that bold and simple acceptance of truth, which gives life to the intellect and joy to the heart.

Pray, too, for the grand Order, which loves thee so devoutly, and honours thee as one of the most illustrious of its many glorious children. Draw down upon the family of thy Patriarch Saint Dominic the choicest blessings, for it is one of the most powerful auxiliaries of God's Church.

We are in the holy season of Lent, preparing for the great work of earnest conversion of our lives. Thy prayers must gain for us the knowledge both of the God we have offended by our sins, and of the wretched state of a soul that is at enmity with its Maker. Knowing this, we shall hate our sins; we shall desire to purify our souls in the Blood of the spotless Lamb; we shall generously atone for our faults by works of penance.




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Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas at Mass
At the Elevation of the Host

O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore thee,
Who truly art within the forms before me:
To thee my heart I bow with bended knee,
As failing quite in contemplating thee.
Sight, touch, and taste in thee are each deceiv'd;
The ear alone most safely is believ'd:
I believe all the Son of God has spoken,
Than Truth's own word there is no truer token.
God only on the Cross lay hid from view;
But here lies hid at once the Manhood too:
And I, in both professing my belief,
Make the same prayer as the repentant thief.
Thy wounds, as Thomas saw, I do not see;
Yet thee confess my Lord and God to be:
Make me believe thee ever more and more;
In thee my hope, in thee my love to store.
O thou Memorial of our Lord's own dying!
O living Bread, to mortals life supplying,
Make thou my soul henceforth on thee to live:
Ever a taste of heavenly sweetness give.
O loving 'Pelican! O Jesu, Lord!
Unclean I am, but cleanse me in thy Blood:
Of which a single drop, for sinners spilt,
Can purge the entire world from all its guilt.
Jesu! whom for the present veil'd I see.
What I so thirst for, oh, vouchsafe to me:
That I may see thy countenance unfolding,
And may be blest thy glory in beholding.



Another Prayer at the Elevation

Hail to thee! true Body, sprung
From the Virgin Mary's womb!
The same that on the Cross was hung,
And bore for man the bitter doom!
Thou whose side was pierced and flow'd
Both with water and with blood;
Suffer us to taste of Thee
In our life's last agony.
O kind, O loving one!
O sweet Jesu, Mary's Son!

Grant, that as I have now merited to see thee under the form of bread, I may so merit, in joy and security, to see thee in the glory of thy majesty when thou comest to judgment and to enjoy thee perpetually in the kingdom of eternal brightness. Where, with God the Father, and the Holy Ghost, thou livest and reignest God, world without end.




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Prayer Before Communion
by St. Thomas Aquinas

Almighty and everlasting God, behold, I approach the Sacrament of thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I approach, as one sick, to the physician of life; as one unclean, to the fountain of mercy; as one blind, to the light of everlasting brightness; as one poor and needy, to the Lord of heaven and earth. Therefore I implore the abundance of Thy measureless bounty, as far as Thou mayest vouchsafe to heal my infirmity, to cleanse my filth, to enlighten my blindness, to clothe my nakedness, that I may receive the Bread of Angels, the King of kings and Lord of lords, with so much reverence and humility, so much contrition and devotion, so much purity and faith, such a purpose and intention, as is expedient to my soul's salvation. Give me, I beseech Thee, to receive, not the Sacrament only of the Lord's Body and Blood, but also the substance and efficacy of the Sacrament. O most gracious God! give me so to receive the body of Thy only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, which He drew from the Virgin Mary, that I may merit to be incorporated with His mystical body, and to be numbered among its members. O most loving Father! grant that I may at length perpetually contemplate, with face revealed, Thy beloved Son, whom now I purpose to receive veiled on the way. Who lives and reigns with Thee, &c. Amen




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Prayer After Communion
by St Thomas Aquinas

I thank thee, holy Lord, almighty Father, everlasting God, because Thou hast vouchsafed to satisfy me, a sinner, thy unworthy servant, for no merits of my own, but only by the condescension of thy mercy, with the precious Body and Blood of thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ. I entreat thee that this holy Communion may be to me, not guilt for punishment, but saving intercession for pardon. May it be to me the armour of faith, and the shield of good will. May it be to me the evacuation of my faults, the extermination of concupiscence and lust, the augmentation of charity and patience, of humility and obedience; the strong defence against the snares of all my enemies, as well visible as invisible; the perfect quieting of my impulses, both carnal and spiritual; my firm adhesion to Thee my one and true God; and the happy consummation of my end. And I pray Thee that Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, a sinner, to that ineffable feast, where Thou, with Thy Son and the Holy Ghost, art to Thy Saints true light, full contentment, everlasting joy, consummate pleasure, and perfect happiness. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen




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St. Thomas Aquinas is by common consent,"The Poet of the Most holy Sacrament of the Altar." He composed the Mass and Office of the Feast of Corpus Christi and the following sublime hymns in honor of the blessed Sacrament. The underlined pieces below are playing on this page.



Lauda Sion Salvatorum

Pange Lingua

Tantum Ergo

Sacris solemniis juncta sint gaudia

Verbum supernum prodien

Adoro te devote, latens Deitas

O Salutaris Hostia





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