Saint Thomas Aquinasof the Order of Preachers
A Biographical Study of the
Fr. Placid Conway, O.P.
with five illustrations
LONGMANS, GREEN AND CO.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
"DIVUS THOMAS QUEM DISCIPULI VIVO
From a Portrait now in Collegio Angelico, Rome, by unknown artist, almost contemporary.
"ST. THOMAS AS JUSTICE."
Roof medallion from Orcagna's "Triumph of Thomas" in the Strozzi Chapel, Church of Sta Maria Novella, Florence. From a Photograph by Alinari.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS.
Lunette Fresco in Cloister of San Marco, Florence, by Angelico da Fiesole. From a Photograph by Alinari.
ALTAR-PIECE BY GUERCINO.
in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas, Church of Dominic, Bologna. From a Photograph by Alinari.
BODY OF ST. THOMAS AQUINAS.
(in châsse above altar) removed from Dominican Church at the Revolution to the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, Church of St. Sernin, Toulouse. From a Photograph.
THE Holy Father has expressed his great pleasure and satisfaction that the "Friar Saints" Series has been undertaken; and wishes it every success. He bestows "most affectionately" His Apostolic Blessing upon the Editors, Writers, and Readers of the whole Series.
"GOD is wonderful in His saints" (Ps. LXVII. 36). A saint's life is one of God's most wonderful products, because it is the development of the Divine life within the natural man, and in no common measure.
Saintliness is the heroism of goodness, or holiness risen to perfection, making its subject to be within and without a man of God. But besides the common perfection which comes of grace, there is stamped on each of God's servants some special feature of the Divine attributes, and this forms the genius of the individual. In St. Thomas Aquinas it is Divine Truth which shines forth within and without, in the lustre of learning and teaching, so that the words of the Psalmist are verified in his life: "Thou hast laid bare to me the deep and hidden things of Thy Wisdom" (Ps. L. 7). He was the hive of the world's honey of all ages.
Years are but as a day with God, hence, a gracious life may be presented for our contemplation as He evolved it, in its periods of Morn, and Noon, and Evening, followed by the Night, when after toil it passed into glory. This memoir is based on the accounts left by two of the saint's brethren, once his disciples, William de Tocco and Ptolomeo de Lucca, who to their personal witness added the Reports of the Commissions held by three Cardinals in Rome, and by the Archbishops of Naples and Capua, and the Bishop of Viterbo in their respective dioceses, on the holy doctor's decease. Further details have been gleaned from the pages of Père Touron, "Vie de Saint Thomas d'Aquin," issued in quarto in 1741 ; also from materials supplied in the life of Blessed Albert, who was the saint's chief teacher.
Such a biography is especially opportune in our day, on the revival of scholastic learning in the domains of Philosophy and Theology, of which St. Thomas was the highest exponent, while he stands supreme as the patron of the Christian Schools.
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