JMC : Saint Thomas Aquinas / by Raïssa Maritain

XXIV The Pope Inscribes Thomas Aquinas among the Number of the Saints

IN ordering the inquiry upon the virtues and miracles of the great Doctor, Pope John XXII had said:

"We believe that Brother Thomas is glorious in heaven, because his life was holy, and his doctrine alone is a miracle."

Then, before an assembly of cardinals, casting from right to left "a look gentle as a ray of sun," he spoke in these terms:

"Venerable Brethren, it would be a great glory for us and for the Church if we could inscribe this servant of God among the Saints.

"Because alone he has done more to enlighten the Church than all the other Doctors put together.

"And in a single year one may profit more from reading what he has written than by studying for a whole lifetime the other theologians."


The inquiry was finished. Numerous miracles had been proved with certainty. The holiness of the life of Brother Thomas Aquinas was attested by many witnesses.

The story of his life was written, and the inquiry regarding his miracles was conducted by William de Tocco, who in his youth had known Brother Thomas. Tocco, also, took the testimony of Reginald, the faithful companion of the Saint. All was ready. It was for the Sovereign Pontiff to speak.


Then, by a long letter, dated July 18th, 1323, and addressed to the entire Church (such a letter, prescribing the cult of a new saint, is called a bull of canonization), Pope John XXII proclaimed the sainthood of Brother Thomas Aquinas, and he fixed his feast for the seventh of March.

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