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January 28 

Saint of the day:

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Patron of students and all universities

Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Story

By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and of divine revelation. He is one of the great teachers of the medieval Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.

At five he was given to the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in his parents’ hopes that he would choose that way of life and eventually became abbot. In 1239, he was sent to Naples to complete his studies. It was here that he was first attracted to Aristotle’s philosophy.

By 1243, Thomas abandoned his family’s plans for him and joined the Dominicans, much to his mother’s dismay. On her order, Thomas was captured by his brother and kept at home for over a year.

Once free, he went to Paris and then to Cologne, where he finished his studies with Albert the Great. He held two professorships at Paris, lived at the court of Pope Urban IV, directed the Dominican schools at Rome and Viterbo, combated adversaries of the mendicants, as well as the Averroists, and argued with some Franciscans about Aristotelianism.

His greatest contribution to the Catholic Church is his writings. The unity, harmony, and continuity of faith and reason, of revealed and natural human knowledge, pervades his writings. One might expect Thomas, as a man of the gospel, to be an ardent defender of revealed truth. But he was broad enough, deep enough, to see the whole natural order as coming from God the Creator, and to see reason as a divine gift to be highly cherished.

The Summa Theologiae, his last and, unfortunately, uncompleted work, deals with the whole of Catholic theology. He stopped work on it after celebrating Mass on December 6, 1273. When asked why he stopped writing, he replied, “I cannot go on…. All that I have written seems to me like so much straw compared to what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” He died March 7, 1274.






Jacobin Convent in Toulouse
Resting place for St. Thomas Aquinas


Saint Thomas Aquinas was known for his writing and quotes, I will leave you with a few.

  1. "Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man’s own will.” 

  2. “A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.”

  3. “Good can exist without evil, whereas evil cannot exist without good.” 

  4. “Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions, but regulates them.” 

  5. “Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables.
     Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” 

  6. “Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.” 

  7. “Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.” 

  8. “The things that we love tell us what we are.” 

  9. “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.” 

  10. “Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community.”

  11. “Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.” 

  12. “How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.” 

  13. “Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality.” 

  14. “Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them,
     while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.” 

  15. “It is possible to demonstrate God’s existence, although not a priori, yet a posteriori from some work of His more surely known to us.” 

  16. “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.” 

  17. “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” 

  18. “The things that we love tell us what we are.” 

  19. “How can we live in harmony? First we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.” 

  20. “Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion.” 

  21. “Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe;
      to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” 

  22. “In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign.
     Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention.”

  23. “Every judgement of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent,
    is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.” 

  24. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” 

  25. “Beware of the person of one book.”

  26. “Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” 

  27. “The theologian considers sin mainly as an offence against God; the moral philosopher as contrary to reasonableness.” 

  28. “How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute
     without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.”

  29. “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” 

  30. “Justice is in subjects as well as in rulers.” 

  31. “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” 

  32. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.”

  33. “Hold firmly that our faith is identical with that of the ancients. Deny this, and you dissolve the unity of the Church.”

  34. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” 

  35. “The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them.” 

  36. “All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said has its origin in the Spirit.” 

  37. “If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ, because He Himself is the way.” 

  38. “Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” 

  39. “As the saints will rejoice in all goods, so will the damned grieve for all goods.” 

  40. “Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in the circumstances confronting him.”

  41. “The knowledge of God is the cause of things. For the knowledge of God is to all creatures what the knowledge of the artificer
    is to things made by his art.” 

  42. “Human salvation demands the divine disclosure of truths surpassing reason.” 

  43. “By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.” 

  44. “All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.” 

  45. “Moral science is better occupied when treating of friendship than of justice.” 

  46. “Man should not consider his material possession his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need.” 

  47. “If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating
    and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.” 

  48. “Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.” 

  49. “As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power…” 

  50. “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.” 

  51. “Everything I have written seems like straw by comparison with what I have seen and what has been revealed to me.” 

  52. “Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.” 

  53. “To live well is to work well, to show a good activity.”

  54. “All that I have written seems like straw to me.”

  55. “Whatever is received is received according to the nature of the recipient.” 

  56. “The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions.
     A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.” 



I little pick me up!


  • 2 cups boiling-hot water

  • 3 tablespoons instant-espresso powder

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

  • 3 tablespoons Tia Maria (coffee liqueur)

  • 4 large egg yolks

  • 1/3 cup dry Marsala

  • 1 pound mascarpone (2 1/2 cups)

  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream

  • 36 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers; from two 7-ounce packages)

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting


  1. Stir together water, espresso powder, 1 tablespoon sugar, and Tia Maria in a shallow bowl until sugar has dissolved, then cool.

  2. Beat egg yolks, Marsala, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water using a whisk or handheld electric mixer until tripled in volume, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from heat. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

  3. Beat cream in a large bowl until it holds stiff peaks.

  4. Fold mascarpone mixture into whipped cream gently but thoroughly.

  5. Dipping both sides of each ladyfinger into coffee mixture, line bottom of a 13- by 9- by 3-inch baking pan with 18 ladyfingers in 3 rows, trimming edges to fit if necessary. Spread half of mascarpone filling on top. Dip remaining 18 ladyfingers in coffee and arrange over filling in pan.

  6. Spread remaining mascarpone filling on top and dust with cocoa. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.

  7. Let tiramisu stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving, then dust with more cocoa.
    *You can substitute 2 cups freshly brewed espresso for the water and instant-espresso powder.
    **I fold in gelatin to the mascarpone cream to help stabilize it.



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