Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas
Short Name: Thomas Aquinas
Full Name: Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225-1274
Birth Year: 1225
Death Year: 1274

Thomas of Aquino, confessor and doctor, commonly called The Angelical Doctor, “on account of," says Dom Gueranger, "the extraordinary gift of understanding wherewith God had blessed him," was born of noble parents, his father being Landulph, Count of Aquino, and his mother a rich Neapolitan lady, named Theodora. The exact date of his birth is not known, but most trustworthy authorities give it as 1227. At the age of five he was sent to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino to receive his first training, which in the hands of a large-hearted and God-fearing man, resulted in so filling his mind with knowledge and his soul with God, that it is said the monks themselves would often approach by stealth to hear the words of piety and wisdom that fell from the lips of the precocious child when conversing with his companions. After remaining at Monte Cassino for seven years, engaged in study, St. Thomas, "the most saintly of the learned, and the most learned of the saints," returned to his family, in consequence of the sack of the abbey by the Imperial soldiers. From thence he was sent by his parents to the University of Naples then at the height of its prosperity, where, becoming intimate with the Fathers of the Dominican Order, and being struck, probably, by the devotedness and ability of the Dominican Professors in the University, he was induced to petition for admission into that order, though he was at that time not more than seventeen years of age. This step gave such umbrage to his mother that she caused him to be waylaid on the road to Paris (whither he was being hurried to escape from her), and to be kept for more than two years in prison, during which time his brothers, prompted by their mother, used all means, even the most infamous, to seduce him from religion.

At last the Dominicans' influence with the Pope induced the latter to move the Emperor Frederick to order his release, when St. Thomas was at once hurried back to Naples by the delighted members of his order. He was afterwards sent to Rome, then to Paris, and thence to Cologne. At Cologne his studies were continued under the celebrated Albertus Magnus, with whom, in 1245, he was sent by the Dominican Chapter once more to Paris for study, under his direction, at the University. In 1248, when he had completed his three years' curriculum at Paris, St. Thomas was appointed, before he was twenty-three years of age, second professor and “magister studentium,” under Albertus, as regent, at the new Dominican school (on the model of that at Paris), which was established by the Dominicans in that year at Cologne. There he achieved in the schools a great reputation as a teacher, though he by no means confined himself to such work. He preached and wrote; his writings, even at that early age, were remarkable productions and gave promise of the depth and ability which mark his later productions. His sermons also at that time enabled him to attract large congregations into the Dominican church. In 1248 he was directed to take his degree at Paris; and though his modesty and dislike of honour and distinction made the proposal distasteful to him, he set out and begged his way thither; but it was not until October 23rd, 1257, that he took his degree. The interval was filled by such labours in writing, lecturing, and preaching, as to enable him by the time he became a doctor to exercise an influence over the men and ideas of his time which we at this time can scarcely realise. So much was this the case that Louis IX. insisted upon St. Thomas becoming a member of his Council of State, and referred every question that came up for deliberation to him the night before, that he might reflect on it in solitude. At this time he was only thirty-two years of age.

In 1259 he was appointed, by the Dominican Chapter at Valenciennes, a member of a Commission, in company with Albertus Magnus and Pierre de Tarentaise, to establish order and uniformity in all schools of the Dominicans. In 1261 the Pope, Urban IV., immediately upon his election to the Pontifical throne, sent for St. Thomas to aid him in his project for uniting into one the Eastern and Western Churches. St. Thomas in that same year came to Rome, and was at once appointed by the General of his Order to a chair of theology in the Dominican College in that city, where he obtained a like reputation to that which he had secured already at Paris and Cologne. Pope Urban being anxious to reward his services offered him, first the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, and then a Cardinal's hat, but he refused both. After lecturing, at the request of the Pope, with great success at Vitervo, Orvieto, Perugia, and Fondi, he was sent, in 1263, as "Definitor," in the name of the Roman Province, to the Dominican Chapter held in London. Two years later Clement IV., who succeeded Urban as Pope, appointed him, by bull, to the archbishopric of Naples, conferring on him at the same time the revenues of the convent of St. Peter ad Aram. But this appointment he also declined. In 1269 he was summoned to Paris—his last visit— to act as "Definitor" of the Roman Province at the General Chapter of his Order, and he remained there until 1271, when his superiors recalled him to Bologna. In 1272, after visit¬ing Rome on the way, he went to Naples to lecture at the University. His reception in that city was an ovation. All classes came out to welcome him, while the King, Charles I., as a mark of royal favour bestowed on him a pension. He remained at Naples until he was summoned, in 1274, by Pope Gregory X., by special bull, to attend the Second Council of Lyons, but whilst on the journey thither he was called to his rest. His death took place in the Benedictine Abbey of Fossa Nuova in the diocese of Terracina, on the 7th of March 1274, being barely forty-eight years of age.

St. Thomas was a most voluminous writer, his principal work being the celebrated Summa Theologiae, which, although never completed, was accepted as such an authority as to be placed on a table in the council-chamber at the Council of Trent alongside of the Holy Scriptures and the Decrees of the Popes. But it is outside the province of this work to enlarge on his prose works. Though not a prolific writer of hymns, St. Thomas has contributed to the long list of Latin hymns some which have been in use in the services of the Church of Rome from his day to this. They are upon the subject of the Lord's Supper. The best known are:—
Pange lingua gloriosi Corporis Mysterium; Adoro te devote latens Deitas; Sacris sollemniis juncta sint gaudia; Lauda Sion Salvatorem; and Verbum supernum prodiens. The 1st, 3rd, and 5th of these are found in the Roman Breviary, the 2nd, 4th, and 5th in Newman's Hymni Ecclesiae; the 4th in the Roman Missal; all of them appear in Daniel; the 2nd and 4th in Mone; and the 2nd, 4th, and 5th in Königsfeld.
Of these hymns numerous translations have been made from time to time, and amongst the translators are found Caswall, Neale, Woodford, Morgan, and others. [Rev. Digby S. Wrangham, M.A.]

-- Excerpts from John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Texts by Thomas Aquinas (101)sort descendingAsAuthority LanguagesInstances
A tan alto Sacramento (Tantum ergo Sacramentum)Thomas Aquinas (Author)Latin, Spanish2
Adoro te devote, latens DeitasThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin17
Godhead here in hidingSt. Thomas Aquinas, ca. 1227-1274 (Author)14
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas (Truth whom we adore though hidden you may beThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin, English2
Al augusto Sacramento (Tantum ergo Sacraméntum)Thomas Aquinas (Author)Latin, Spanish2
Ante ti me postro (Adoro te devote)Thomas Aquinas (Author (attributed to))Latin, Spanish2
At this, our solemn feastThomas Aquinas (Author)1
Before time was, O Word divineThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Bread of angels, we receive youSt. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author (Latin))English, Latin3
Break forth, O Zion [Sion], thy sweet Savior singThomas Aquinas (Author)6
Come adore this wondrous presence (Tantum ergo Sacramentum)Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author)English, Latin11
Condevoto anhelo vengo a ti, Señor (Adóro te devóte, latens Déitas)Santo Tomás de Aquino, 1224-1274 (Author)Latin, Spanish2
Deinem Heiland, deinem Lehrer, deinem Hirten und ErnährerThomas v. Aquino (Author)German3
Down in adoration fallingThomas Aquinas (Author)8
Ecce panis angelorumThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin11
Glory let us give, and blessingThomas Aquinas (Author (attributed to))English1
God with hidden majesty, lies in presence here (Adoro te devote, latens Deitas)Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author (attributed to))English, Latin3
Hail Angelic Bread of HeavenSt. Thomas of Aquin (Author)1
Hail our Savior's glorious BodyThomas Aquinas (Author)English7
Heavenly food for men wayfaringSt. Thomas Aquinas (Author (attributed to))English1
Here proclaim the glorious mysterySt Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) (Author)2
Hidden here before me (Adoro te devote) (Ante ti me postro)St. Thomas Aquinas, c. 1227-1274 (Author)English, Spanish3
Humbly I adore thee, Verity unseenThomas Aquinas (Author)English7
Humbly I adore Thee, blessed Savior nowSt. Thomas Aquinas (Author)2
Humbly let us voice our homageThomas Aquinas, c. 1225-1274 (Author)English, Latin7
Humbly we adore Thee, Christ Redeemer KingThomas Aquinas, c. 1225-1274 (Author (attributed to))English2
I adore thee humbly, O thou hiddenSt. Thomas Aquinas (Author)1
Humbly I adore Thee, Hidden DeityThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Jesu, we adore theeThomas Aquinas (Author)1
Laud [Praise], O Zion, thy salvationSt Thomas Aquinas, c. 1225-74 (Author)English7
Lauda Sion salvatorem, lauda Ducem et PastoremThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin15
Let the hungry come to meThomas Aquinas (Author (stanzas 4–5, attributed))English1
Let us with hearts renewedThomas Aquinas (Author)3
Lo upon the altar liesThomas Aquinas (Author)English13
Milde menniskornas vänThomas frän Aquino, d. 1274 (Author)Swedish1
Now, my tongue, the mystery telling, Of the glorious Body singThomas Aquinas (Author)English36
O bread of angels made bread of menThomas Aquinas (Author)2
O bread to pilgrims givenThomas Aquinas, c. 1227-74 (Author)English5
O esca viatorum, o panis angelorumThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin15
O Food of men wayfaringThomas Aquinas (Author (attributed to))English6
O God, who neath these mystic forms dost lieThomas Aquinas (Author)2
O Godhead hid, devoutly I adore TheeThomas Aquinas (Author)English13
O King Exalted, savior of nationsThomas Aquinas (Author (refrain))English2
O salutaris Hostia, Quae coeli pandis ostiumSt. Thomas of Aquinas (Author)Latin1
O salutaris hostia, Quae coeli pandis ostiumThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin38
O saving host, O heavenly breadThomas Aquinas (Author)2
O saving Victim from on highThomas Aquinas (Author)2
O Saving Victim, opening wideThomas Aquinas, 1225-1284 (Author)English70
O saving Victim, pledge of loveThomas Aquinas (Author)6
O thou who thine own Father's breastThomas Aquinas (Author)3
Of the glorious body tellingSt. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-74 (Author)English10
¡Oh Victima de salvación! (O salutaris Hostia)Thomas Aquinas (Author)Latin, Spanish3
On the night of that last supperSt. Thomas of Aquino (Author)English3
Pange lingua gloriosi, Sing, my tongue, in glory, singSt. Thomas of Aquinas (Author)English, Latin, Spanish2
Pange, lingua, gloriosi, corporis mysteriumThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin39
Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory, Of His flesh the mystery singSt. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author)English37
Panis angelicus fit panis hominumThomas Aquinas (Author)14
Panis angelicus, fit panis hominum (Holy and living bread, wondrous food from heaven sent)St. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author (Latin))English4
Panis angelicus fit panis hominum (Jesus, our living bread, Great gift from heaven sent)Thomas Aquinas (Author)English, Latin2
Praise, O Zion, praise thy SaviorThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Praise, O Zion, voices raisingThomas Aquinas, c.1225-1274 (Author)English3
Praise we Christ's immortal BodyThomas Aquinas (Author)English5
Quod in coena Christus gessitThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin2
Rise, royal Zion [Sion], rise and singThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Sacris solemnis juncta sint gaudiaThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin8
Sing, and the mystery declareThomas Aquinas (Author)English1
Sing, my joyful tongue, the mysteryThomas Aquinas (Author)5
Sing, my tongue, acclaim Christ presentThomas Aquinas (Author)3
Sing, my tongue, the mystic storyThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Sing, O my tongue, adore and praiseThomas Aquinas (Author)English5
Tantum ergo sacramentumThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin34
Tantum ergo Sacramentum (Holy sacrament, most holy)St. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author)English4
The bread of angels bread of man is madeThomas Aquinas (Author)3
The heavenly Word proceeding forthSt Thomas Aquinas, 1227-1274 (Author)English11
The Lord no longer will delayThomas Aquinas (Author)4
The period's come, and lo, todayThomas Aquinas (Author)2
The very angels' bread dothThomas Aquinas (Author)1
The Word, descending from aboveThomas Aquinas (Author)6
The Word of God proceeding forthSt. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-74 (Author)English4
The Word proceeding from aboveThomas Aquinas (Author)2
The Word, which issued forth on highThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Thee, prostrate I adore, the Diety that liesThomas Aquinas (Author)English2
Thee, we adore, O Savior, God most trueThomas Aquinas (Author)English2
Thee we adore, O hidden Savior, TheeThomas Aquinas, 1227-74 (Author)English41
Therefore, so great a sacrament let us worshipThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Therefore we, before Him bendingS. Thomas Aquinas, 1227-74 (Author)English12
This is the truth to Christians givenSt. Thomas of Aquin (Author)1
To solemn rites let sacred joys be joinedThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Unto this solemn feastThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Verbum supernum prodiens, nec patris linquensThomas Aquinas (Author)Latin2
Very Bread, good Shepherd, tend usSt. Thomas Aquinas (Author)English6
With all the powers my poor heart hathThomas Aquinas (Author)English8
With joy this festal dayThomas Aquinas (Author)2
Wondrous theme of mortal singingSt. Thomas Aquinas (1264) (Author)1
Word of God to earth descendingThomas Aquinas (Author)4
Zion, lass dein Loblied schallenThomas v. Aquino (Author)German4
Zion, lift thy voice, and singThomas Aquinas (Author)5
Zion, praise thy Savior, singingThomas Aquinas, 1225?-1274 (Author (attributed to))English6
Zion, pris din SaliggjørerThomas Aquinas (Author)Norwegian3
Zion, to thy Savior singingThomas Aquinas (Author)English16
Zion, thy Redeemer praisingThomas Aquinas (Author)1
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