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Tuesday in the Second Week of Lent


Martyrology - 7th of March

Upon the 7th day of March, were born into the better life:

In the monastery of Fossa Nuova, near Terracina, the holy Confessor Thomas of Aquino, [in the year 1274,] of the Order of Friars Preachers, Doctor of the Church, illustrious for the nobility of his birth, the holiness of his life, and the depth of his knowledge of theology. Leo XIII declared him the patron in heaven of all Catholic schools.

At Tuburbe, in Morocco, under the Emperor Severus, the holy martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas. Felicitas was with child, and therefore was respited, in accordance with the law, until after she was delivered. Holy Augustine saith that when she was in travail she had sorrow, but when she was set before the wild beasts she rejoiced. There suffered along with them Revocatus, Saturninus, and Secundolus, of whom the last died in prison, but the others were all killed by beasts.

At Caesarea, in Palestine, the holy martyr Eubulus. He was a Companion of holy Hadrian, and two days after him was mangled by the lions and then despatched with the sword, being the last of all those who received the crown of martyrdom in that city, [in the year 308.]

At Nicomedia, holy Theophilus, Bishop of that see, who for his honouring of holy images was sent into exile and there died, [in the year 845.]

At Pelusium, in Egypt, holy Paul, Bishop of that see, who likewise died in exile for the same cause.

At Brescia, [in the year 445,] the holy Confessor Gaudiosus, Bishop of that see.

In the Thebaid, [in the fourth century,] holy Paul, surnamed the Simple.

And elsewhere many other Holy Martyrs, Confessors and Holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God

Hagiography - St Thomas Aquinas

7 March: St Thomas Aquinas

That splendid adornment of the Christian world and light of the Church, blessed Thomas of Aquino, was the son of Landulph, Earl of Aquino, and Theodora of Naples, his wife, being nobly descended on both sides. He was born in the year of salvation 1226, and even as an infant gave token of the love which he afterwards bore to the Mother of God. He found a little bit of paper upon which was written the Angelic Salutation, and held it firm in his hand in spite of the efforts of his wet-nurse; his mother took it away by force, but he cried and stretched out for it, and when she gave it back to him, he swallowed it. When he was only four years old, he was given into the keeping of the Benedictine monks of Monte Cassino. He was thence sent to Naples to study, and there, while very young, entered the Order of Friars Preachers. This displeased his mother and brothers, and he left Naples for Paris. When he was on his journey his brothers met him, and carried him off by force to the castle of Monte San Giovanni, where they imprisoned him in the keep. Here they used every means to break him of his intention, and at last brought a woman into his room to try to overcome his purity. The lad drove her out with a fire-brand. When he was alone he knelt down before the figure of the Cross, and there he fell asleep. As he slept, it seemed to him that angels came and girded his loins and from this time he never felt the least sexual inclination. His sisters came to the castle to beseech him to give up his purpose of leaving the world, but he so worked on them by his godly exhortations, that both of them ever after set no value on earthly things, and busied themselves rather with heavenly things.

Being let down from a window, Thomas escaped out of the castle of Monte San Giovanni, and returned to Naples. Thence he went first to Rome, and then to Paris, in company of Brother John the German, then Master-General of the Friars Preachers. At Paris he studied Philosophy and Theology under Albert the Great Doctor. At the age of twenty-five years he took the degree of Master, and gave public disquisitions on the Philosophers and Theologians with great distinction. He never set himself to read or write till he had first prayed, and when he was about to take in hand a hard passage of the Holy Scriptures, he fasted also. Hence he was wont to say to Brother Reginald his comrade, that whatever he knew, he had learnt, not so much from his own labour and study, as from the inspiration of God. At Naples he was once kneeling in very earnest prayer before an image of Christ Crucified, when he heard a voice which said Thomas, thou hast written well of Me what reward wilt thou that I give thee? He answered: Lord, thyself. He studied most carefully the works of the Fathers, and there was no kind of author in which he was not well read. His own writings are so wonderful, both because of their number, their variety, and the clearness of his explanations of hard things, that his rich and pure teaching, marvellously consonant with revealed truth, is an admirable antidote for the errors of all times.

The Supreme Pontiff Urban IV sent for him to Rome, and at his command he composed the Church Office for the feast of Corpus Christi. The Pope could not persuade him to accept any dignity. Pope Clement IV also offered him the Archbishopric of Naples, but he refused it. He did not neglect the preaching of the Word of God. Once while he was giving a course of sermons in the Basilica of St Peter, during the octave of Easter, a woman who had an issue of blood was healed by touching the hem of his garment. He was sent by blessed Gregory X to the Council of Lyons, but fell sick on his way to the Abbey of Fossa Nuovo, and there during his illness he made an exposition of the Song of Songs. There he died on the 7th day of March, in the year of salvation 1274, aged fifty years. He was distinguished for miracles even after his death, and on proof of these Pope John XXII added his name to those of the Saints in the year 1323. His body was afterwards carried to Toulouse by command of blessed Urban V. He has been compared to an angel, both on account of his innocency and of his intellectual power, and has hence been deservedly termed the Angelic Doctor. The use of which title as applied to him was approved by the authority of holy Pius V. Leo XIII cheerfully agreeing to the prayers and wishes of nearly all the bishops of the Catholic world, and in conformity with a vote of the Congregation of Sacred Rites, by his Apostolic letters declared and recognised Thomas of Aquino as the patron in heaven of all Catholic schools, as an antidote to the plague of so many false systems, especially of philosophy, for the increase of scientific knowledge, and for the common good of all mankind.


Morning Prayer

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Place Yourself in the Presence of God, and adore His holy Name.

Most holy and adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I believe that Thou art here present: I adore Thee with the deepest humility, and render to Thee, with my whole heart, the homage which is due to Thy sovereign majesty.

An Act of Faith

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.

An Act of Hope

O my God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

An Act of Love

O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbour as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Thank God for All Favours and Offer Yourself to Him.

O my God, I most humbly thank Thee for all the favours Thou hast bestowed upon me up to the present moment. I give Thee thanks from the bottom of my heart that Thou hast created me after Thine own image and likeness, that Thou hast redeemed me by the precious blood of Thy dear Son, and that Thou hast preserved me and brought me safe to the beginning of another day. I offer to Thee, O Lord, my whole being, and in particular all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day. I consecrate them all to the glory of Thy name, beseeching Thee that through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ my Saviour they may all find acceptance in Thy sight. May Thy divine love animate them, and may they all tend to Thy greater glory.

Resolve to Avoid Sin and to Practice Virtue.

Adorable Jesus, my Saviour and Master, model of all perfection, I resolve and will endeavour this day to imitate Thy example, to be, like Thee, mild, humble, chaste, zealous, charitable, and resigned. I will redouble my efforts that I may not fall this day into any of those sins which I have heretofore committed (here name any besetting sin), and which I sincerely desire to forsake.

Ask God for the Necessary Graces.

O my God, Thou knowest my poverty and weakness, and that I am unable to do anything good without Thee; deny me not, O God, the help of Thy grace; proportion it to my necessities; give me strength to avoid anything evil which Thou forbiddest, and to practise the good which Thou hast commanded; and enable me to bear patiently all the trials which it may please Thee to send me.

The Lord’s Prayer...

The Hail Mary...

The Apostles’ Creed...

At this point, please go to the relevant text of Fr Hamon’s Meditation. Once I have read and meditated on the text, and its various points . I complete my meditation by saying:

Evening Prayer


Tuesday in the Second Week: The Greatness of Jesus Revealed on Thabor

Summary of the Morrow’s Meditation

The mystery of the Transfiguration upon which we are meditating this week makes three marvellously beautiful truths to shine forth: first, the greatness of Jesus Christ; second, the power of His mediation; third, the authority of His teaching. After considering these things we will make the resolution: first, to entertain within ourselves a great reverence for Jesus Christ, and a great confidence in His mediation; second, to imitate Jesus Christ and obey His inspiration. Our spiritual nosegay shall be the words of the Gospel: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him” (Matt. xvii:5).

Meditation for the Morning

Let us transport ourselves in spirit upon Thabor, and let us listen with great devotion to the panegyrics which God the Father pronounces upon His Son. Let us love the Father who thus praises, and the Son who is thus praised.

The greatness of Christ revealed upon Thabor

If we have preached to you, says St Peter to the faithful in his second epistle, the power and the coming of Christ, it is that “we have not followed cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ: but having been made eye-witnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honour and glory, this voice coming down to Him from the excellent glory: This is My beloved Son, in whom I have pleased Myself; hear ye Him” (II Pet. i:16–17). Oh, how great He is, He whom we adore in our tabernacles! And with what holy trembling, what profound religion, ought we to appear in presence of His infinite grandeur, not less real when He veils it through love and humility beneath the Eucharistic species than when He reveals it on Thabor before the dazzled eyes of His apostles! It is the Son of God, not by adoption, by resemblance, by elevation, like the just, but by nature, by identity of essence, equal in all things to His Father; like Him, all-powerful, eternal, immense, infinite in all perfection, holy of holies, God of the universe, Creator of all things. Let us prostrate ourselves before so much greatness, and ask pardon of Him for having been so often wanting in respect in church, in prayer, in the habitual disposition of our heart.

The power of Christ’s mediation revealed on Thabor

Jesus Christ had already declared Himself to be Our mediator with His Father by those sweet words which He said to His apostles: Ask My Father in My name; but upon Thabor God the Father reveals to us the power of this mediation by proclaiming Him to be His only Son, His well-beloved, the object of all His complaisance, and, consequently, not only possessed of all power over His heart, but the only one by whom all prayers must be presented; the only one who infallibly obtains a gracious answer to them. It was the design of the Father that we should be redeemed and sanctified by this well-beloved Son; it is also His design that all our prayers should be offered through Him and always answered by Him, on account of the great reverence He bears Him (Heb. v:7). What a consolation for us to have such mediation! With what fullness of confidence we ought to address all our prayers to Heaven through Him! Do we not often forget these means of assuring the effect of our prayers?

The authority of Christ’s teachings revealed on Thabor

It ought to be an immense consolation for us to be the disciples of a Master and Doctor respecting whom Heaven proclaims the divine mission in a manner so lofty and solemn. Hear ye Him, said the heavenly voice; listen to His teachings, not only because they reveal to you the dogmas of faith, which it is your duty to believe, in spite of what the senses and reason seem to you to contradict; but also when He preaches moral and practical truths to you, telling you that the happiness of this life consists in poverty, in contempt, and in suffering, that we must renounce and hate ourselves, oppose and do violence to ourselves, deprive and crucify ourselves without pity. Hear ye Him when He teaches you by the language of His examples (II Pet. i:17). He always led a laborious and hidden life, all His days were passed in suffering; He placed Himself below all others, even at the feet of His disciples; He was meek and humble of heart, accepting as His portion poverty, opprobrium, humiliation, and suffering. Hear ye Him when He speaks to you by the secret voice of His inspiration. His grace is always at the door of your heart, urging you to lead a better life, and to put aside the life which is only according to nature, entirely human, the life of frivolity and dissipation, the life of routine and habit, the life which is eternally the same, void of any reformation of defects as well as of any progress in virtue. Submit yourselves, in a word, to the expostulations of the grace which urges you. Happy he who listens to it in the peace and silence of the soul, and who, after having listened, generously obeys it

(III Imit. i:1). Is it thus that we act?

Resolutions and spiritual nosegay as above.


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