Saint Thomas

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Aquino, Saint Thomas of (1224-1274)
He was born in Roccasecca, near Aquino, Naples. The youngest of 12 children of Count Landulf of Aquino. His first studies were with the Benedictines in Montecassino, near his parents’ castle.

It continues for five years at the University of Naples. There he surpasses all his companions and his prodigious intelligence is demonstrated. He meets the Dominican Fathers (a newly founded community) and enters with them but his family is against it. He tries to flee to Germany, but on the way his brothers surprise him, they arrest him in the castle of Rocaseca for two years. Take advantage of your time in jail by studying the Bible and theology.

The brothers, seeing that they cannot convince him against his vocation, send him a woman of bad life to make him sin. Tomás confronts her with a burning brand and threatens to burn her face if she dares to approach him. The woman fled in terror.

After his release, Tomas was sent to Cologne, Germany, where he studied under Dominican Father St. Albert the Great. The companions, seeing Tom s so robust and silent, took him for a fool, so they gave him the nickname: “The mute ox.” But one day, one of his classmates read the notes of this young student and presented them to San Alberto. As he read them, he said to the students: “You call it the dumb ox. But this ox will fill the whole world with its lows one day.” Even more so that his wisdom emphasized his devotion. He spent hours in prayer and had a deep love for the Eucharist.

He received a doctorate in theology at the University of Paris and at the age of 27 he is a teacher in Paris (1252-1260). In 1259 the Pope called him to Italy where for seven years he traveled the country preaching and teaching. In Orvieto (1261-1264), in Rome (1265-1267), in Viterbo (1268), in Paris (1269-1271) and in Naples (1272-1274). His theology and philosophy classes are the busiest at the University. King Saint Louis esteems him so much that he consults him on all matters of importance. On one occasion, a discussion broke out at the University about the Eucharist. Failing to reach an agreement, both sides agree to turn to Tom to say the last word. What he says is accepted by all.

In 4 years he wrote his most famous work: “The Theological Sum”, a 14-volume masterpiece. Based on Sacred Scripture, philosophy, theology and the doctrine of the saints, it explains all Catholic teachings. The importance of this work is enormous. The Council of Trent had three main reference books: the Holy Bible, the Decrees of the Popes, and the Theological Sum of Saint Thomas.

Saint Thomas managed to introduce the philosophy of Aristotle in the universities.

His humility: According to the saint, he learned more by kneeling in front of the crucifix than by reading the books. His secretary Reginaldo affirmed that the admirable science of Santo Tomás came more from his prayers than from his ingenuity. Even in the most heated discussions, he presented his ideas with great respect and complete calm; He never allowed himself to be carried away by anger, even though the adversaries strongly offended him. His motto in the deal was: “Treat others as you wish others to treat you.”

Love of the Eucharist
The Pope commissioned him to write the hymns for the Feast of Corpus Christi. Thus he composed the Pangelingua and the Tantumergo and various other classical Eucharistic songs.

Having written Thomas beautiful treatises about the Eucharistic Jesus, Jesus said to him in vision: “Thomas, you have spoken well of Me. What do you want in return?” Tom said: “Sir: the only thing I want is to love you, love you a lot, and please you more and more.”

His devotion to the Virgin Mary was very great. In the margin of his notebooks he wrote: “God save you Mary.” He composed a treatise on the Ave Maria.

The Supreme Pontiff sent him to the Council of Lyons, but he fell ill near Rome and they received him in the Cistercian monastery of Fosanova. When they brought him Holy Communion for the last time he exclaimed: “Now I receive you my Jesus, who paid with your blood the price of the redemption of my soul. All the teachings that I wrote they manifest my faith in Jesus Christ and my love for the Holy Catholic Church, of whom I profess myself an obedient son “. There he died on March 7, 1274 at the age of 49. His remains were solemnly taken to the Cathedral of Tolouse on January 28, the date on which his feast is celebrated.

Canonized in 1323, declared Doctor of the Church in 1567 and patron of Catholic universities and study centers in 1880.


Translation from Latin
Victor Horacio Basterretche

(possibly written in Paris
sometime between 1269 and 1272, according to Mandonnet)

1. Introduction: the topic consulted

Since you asked me to write to you if it is lawful to make use of the judgments of the stars, wanting to satisfy your request, I tried to write about those

that are transmitted by the doctors sacred.

2. What can be

A) Principle

In the first place, then, it is necessary for you to know that the virtue1 of the heavenly bodies produces changes in the lower bodies. Indeed, Agust n says V On the city of God: It can be said, not always foolishly, that certain astral breaths reach the differences of bodies alone 2.

B) Application of the principle

And for this reason, if someone makes use of the judgments of the stars to know in advance the bodily effects3, such as the storm and the serenity of the air4, the health or disease of the body, or the abundance and sterility5 of fruits6, and others

of this type that depend on bodily and natural causes, it does not seem that there is any sin. For all men, concerning such effects, make use of some observation of the heavenly bodies; For example: farmers sow and harvest at a specific time that is observed according to the movement of the sun; sailors avoid sailing during the full moon or during the lunar eclipse; Physicians, with regard to diseases, observe critical days7, which are determined according to the course of the sun and the moon. For which it is not bad,

3. What you can’t

A) Principle

But it is necessary to fully maintain this: that the will of man is not subject to the necessity of the stars; Otherwise, free will would perish, suppressed which, neither good works for merit nor bad works for guilt would be imputed to man. And for this reason it must be maintained with all certainty by every Christian, whatever it is, that those

that depend on the will of man, as are all human works9, are not necessarily submitted to the stars; And this is why it is said in Jeremiah 10, 2: “ Do not be afraid of the signs from heaven, which people fear. ” 10

B) Explanation

But the devil, to drag everyone into error, interferes in the operations of those who attempt the judgments of the stars; And this is why Augustine says in

II On Genesis according to the literal sense: “ It must be confessed that, when astrologers say are true, they are due to a certain occult Very inspiration that, without knowing it, human minds suffer; which, since it is done to deceive men, is an operation of unclean and seductive spirits, who are allowed to know certain true about temporal affairs. ” 11 And this is why Augustine says, in II On Christian Doctrine, that this type of observations of the stars must be referred to certain pacts celebrated with the demons12. However, Having a pact or society with demons must be absolutely avoided by the Christian, according to that of the Apostle I Corinthians 10, 20: “ I do not want you to become associates of the demons. ” And for this reason it must be taken as a certain that it is a grave sin to make use of the judgments of the stars about those that depend on the will of man.

1 Other possible translations of virtus : force, energy, influence, vigor, efficacy, effect, capacity, potency, power.
2 De Civitate Dei, Book V, Ch. 6. The edition of the BAC, prepared by the RP Friar Jos Mor n, OSA, contains the following Latin text: (…) Cum igitur non usquequaque absurde dici posset, ad solas corporum differentias afflatus quosdam valere sidereos, … (Obras de San Agust n, La Editorial Cat lica, Madrid, 1958, volume XVI-XVII, page 343); Our translation of which is the following: (…) Thus, as it could be said -not always foolishly- that certain astral breaths have efficacy with respect to the differences of the bodies alone , … .
3 The expression “ bodily effects ” refers to all those caused in the bodily or material.
4 That is, the serenity of the weather.
5 ‘Sterility’: (2nd meaning) Lack of harvest.
6 That is to say, of products of the land.
7 “ Critical days ” are the days in which the “ crisis ” of a disease occurs, that is, a considerable mutation in it, either towards healing or towards the aggravation or death of the patient (cf. Lexis 22, Vox Encyclopedic Dictionary, Ed. Biblograf, C rculo de Lectores, Barcelona, ​​1978, volume 6, p. 1497, article crisis ). The astral influence on disease crises is no longer supported by current scientific medicine.
8 The examples of legal uses of observations of the stars that St. Thomas has just given are all observations of the sun and the moon, whose movements are available to everyone. The observations of the stars and other stars, on the other hand, are “ more hidden ”, because, due to their greater distance from the Earth, their movements are not easily observable by anyone. For the latter, the same rule applies as for observations of the sun and the moon: their use is legal only to know the bodily or material effects.
9 The human works mentioned here are specifically human; that is to say, those exclusive to man, which distinguish him from animals: his free acts.
10 In the biblical language, the expression “ the people ” is equivalent to “ the heathen. ”
11 Super Genesim ad litteram, book II, chap. 17, n. 37. The edition of the BAC, prepared by Fr Friar Balbino Mart n, OSA, contains the following Latin text: Ideoque fatendum est, quando ab istis vera dicun-tur, instinctu quodam occultissimo dici, quem nescientes humanae minds patiuntur. Quod cum ad decipi-endos homines fit, spirituum seductorum operatio est: quibus quaedam vera de temporalibus rebus nosse permittitur, … (Obras de San Agust n, La Editorial Cat lica, Madrid, 1957, volume XV, p g. 666); our translation of which is the following: And for this it must be confessed that, when by them are said to be true, they are so due to a certain most occult inspiration that human minds suffer without knowing it. This, since it is done to deceive men, is an operation of seducing spirits, who are
12 De doctrina christiana, book II, chap. 23, n. 36. Santo Tom s summarizes the text of Saint Augustine that, in the edition of the BAC, also prepared by the RP Friar Balbino Mart n, OSA, appears as follows: O-mnes igitur artes huiusmodi vel nugatoriae vel noxiae superstitionis, ex quadam pestifera societate homi-num et daemonum, quasi pacta quaedam infidelis et dolosae amicitiae constituta, penitus sunt repudianda et fugienda christiano: … (Works of San Agust n, La Editorial Cat lica , Madrid, 1957, volume XV, pp. 156 and 158). Our translation of it is: Consequently, all arts of this kind, whether of misleading or harmful divination, of a pestilential alliance of men and demons, established given as certain pacts of unfaithful and fraudulent friendship, must be absolutely rejected and avoided by the Christian: …