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Jan. 28, St. Thomas Aquinas

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Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, O.P., (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church.

"On 6 December 1273 he celebrated the Mass of St Nicholas. Then he suddenly abandoned his usual routine and neither wrote nor dictated anything else. His long-serving companion (socius), Reginald of Piperno, urged him to return to work. The reply given was: 'Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me.'

"Exactly what had happened is uncertain, though the explanation normally given nowadays is that Aquinas suffered a stroke or a physical and emotional breakdown caused by overwork. It is sometimes suggested that he underwent a 'mystical experience'. Whatever the truth of the matter is, the crisis of 1273 was clearly the beginning of the end for Aquinas. By the afternoon of 7 March 1274 he was lying dead in the Cistercian abbey of Fossanova, south of Rome."

--The Thought of Thomas Aquinas, by The Rev. Dr. Brian Davies, O.P., formerly Regent of Studies, Blackfriars, Oxford, and Tutor in Theology at St. Benet's Hall, Oxford, currently Professor of Philosophy at Fordham, published by Oxford University Press, 1993.

The Liturgy of the Hours for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest, Doctor.

Thomas Aquinas in English: A Bibliography.

"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."

--St. Thomas Aquinas.

Pange Lingua, by St. Thomas Aquinas. (Remember singing it at Holy Thursday processions? And the final two stanzas at Benediction?)

More about Pange Lingua, with a translation. (A marching song of Caesar's Legions?)

A map of Paris as it was in Thomas's time. (Notre Dame was finished.)

Some images of St. Thomas, including The Apotheosis of Thomas Aquinas by Francisco Zurbarán. (One of his paintings of St. Dorothy is expected to bring between 3 and 4 million at an auction at Sotheby's today.)

Treasure Chest ran a story of "The Angelic Doctor" for parochial school children in March, 1955.

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