05 March 2009

Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas at St. Francis de Sales Oratory

Good morning, everybody-- lots happening today on the news front, but I first wanted to post the upcoming schedule at the Oratory for the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelic Doctor, the best systematic theologian who doesn't have both a human and a Divine nature, litmus test against modernism, and one of the patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Saturday, March 7

Low Mass, 8am

Solemn High Mass, 12:10 pm

Because St. Thomas is a principal patron of the Institute, the faithful who assist at Mass at any Institute Oratory such as SFdS may receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Saturday's feast also marks the second anniversary of the great day when, through the pastoral care of Archbishop Burke, the Cathedral Basilica ended its 35+ year drought of the traditional Mass. The image above of Canon Karl Lenhardt is taken from that Mass.

Canon Michael Wiener, Rector of the Oratory, sent a couple of brief passages from the Popes about the great Saint that are worth reflecting on:

“The Light of Orthodoxy”

Pope Leo XIII. Aeterni Patris of 1879:
Among the Scholastic Doctors, the chief and master of all towers Thomas Aquinas, who, as Cajetan observes, because "he most venerated the ancient doctors of the Church, in a certain way seems to have inherited the intellect of all."(34) The doctrines of those illustrious men, like the scattered members of a body, Thomas collected together and cemented, distributed in wonderful order, and so increased with important additions that he is rightly and deservedly esteemed the special bulwark and glory of the Catholic faith. With his spirit at once humble and swift, his memory ready and tenacious, his life spotless throughout, a lover of truth for its own sake, richly endowed with human and divine science, like the sun he heated the world with the warmth of his virtues and filled it with the splendor of his teaching. Philosophy has no part which he did not touch finely at once and thoroughly; on the laws of reasoning, on God and incorporeal substances, on man and other sensible things, on human actions and their principles, he reasoned in such a manner that in him there is wanting neither a full array of questions, nor an apt disposal of the various parts, nor the best method of proceeding, nor soundness of principles or strength of argument, nor clearness and elegance of style, nor a facility for explaining what is abstruse.

Pope Pius XI. Studiorum Ducem 1923:
That humility was the foundation upon which the other virtues of Thomas were based is clear to anyone who considers how submissively he obeyed a lay brother in the course of their communal life; and it is no less patent to anyone reading his writings which manifest such respect for the Fathers of the Church that "because he had the utmost reverence for the doctors of antiquity, he seems to have inherited in a way the intellect of all" (Leo XIII, ex Card. Caietano, litt. Encycl. Aeterni Patris, 4th August, 1879); but the most magnificent illustration of it is to be found in the fact that he devoted the faculties of his divine intellect not in the least to gain glory for himself, but to the advancement of truth. Most philosophers as a rule are eager to establish their own reputations, but Thomas strove to efface himself completely in the teaching of his philosophy so that the light of heavenly truth might shine with its own effulgence.


Anonymous said...


The post quoted Pope Pius XI: "humility was the foundation upon which the other virtues of Thomas

Consider these lyrics from the famous Broadway musical of 1965 called "Man of La Mancha":

Hear me now
Oh thou bleak and unbearable world,
Thou art base and debauched as can be;
Hear me, heathens and wizards
And serpents of sin!
All your dastardly doings are past,
For a holy endeavor is now to begin
And virtue shall triumph at last!

You can hear this inspiring song at



Anonymous said...

The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign priest is such a blessing to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

I will be attending for the first time this Saturday.

thetimman said...

Anon, welcome!

I don't know how many people will show for a Saturday noon High Mass. For a full house, come back Sunday, too. Either way, the Mass is so beautifully celebrated.

Unknown said...

For those of us who are a bit behind the curve on ecclesiology, please reiterate the "usual conditions" for plenary indulgence. Thanks.