St. Thomas Aquinas, patron
of students and Catholic schools, I thank God for the gifts of
light and knowledge he bestowed on you, which you used to build
up the Church in love. I thank God, too, for the wealth and richness
of theological teaching you left in your writings. Not only were
you a great teacher, you lived a life of virtue and you made holiness
the desire of your heart. If I cannot imitate you in the brilliance
of your academic pursuits, I can follow you in the hu mility and
charity which marked your life. As St. Paul said, charity is the
greatest gift, and it is open to all. Pray for me that I might
grow in holiness and charity. Pray also for Catholic schools,
and for all students. In particular, please obtain the favor I
ask during this novena (mention your request). Amen.
St. Thomas, called by God
"Whoever loves father
or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves
son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" (Mt 10:37).
St. Thomas, as a young man you became convinced
that God was calling you to religious life. Although your family
was opposed to it, you were determined to follow God's call. Even
when your brothers kidnapped you and forced you to remain a prisoner
in your own house, you did not give up but waited patiently for
God's hour. St. Thomas, pray for all young people who are considering
their vocation in life. Help them to be open to the call of God.
Inspire them to make choices motivated by love for God and an
unselfish love for other people. Whatever their state in life,
help them to see their chosen path as a call to service. May all
married couples, single persons, priests and religious build up
the Church through lives of unselfish devotion and love. (Recite
the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, lover of purity
"For God did not call us to impurity
but in holiness" (1 Thes 4:7).
St. Thomas, you had a great esteem for
the virtue of purity. When your family tried to deter you from
entering the Dominicans by sending a woman to lead you into sin,
you resisted the temptation and deter mined to consecrate your
chastity to God forever.
Today we are immersed in a culture that
degrades the gift of human sexuality. Human persons are viewed
as objects of pleasure and their human dignity is devalued. As
a consequence, society tolerates abortion, disregarding human
life at the very outset. Children suffer abuse and families are
damaged by infidelity.
Pray that our society may once again value
the virtue of chastity. Pray that those in the media will work
to promote a Christian view of marriage and family life. May the
plague of pornography in all its forms be eliminated. May Christian
moral standards act as a leaven in society and bring about a greater
respect for human life. (Recite the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, example of humility
"All who exalt themselves will
be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted"
St. Thomas, when you were a young student
some of your classmen called you the "dumb ox." Al though
you were more intelligent than all of them, you bore their insults
patiently without retaliating. You were endowed with a keen mind
but recognized that God is the source of all gifts. You humbly
acknowledged your dependence on God, and begged him to enlighten
you so that you would act only for his glory.
St. Thomas, pray for me that I too learn
to act out of humility and never from the empty desire for esteem
in the sight of others. Help me to seek only God's glory and to
act with a right intention. May I seek to humble myself now, so
that in heaven I will shine like the stars for all eternity. (Recite
the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, devoted to truth
"But speaking the truth in love,
we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ"
St. Thomas, you devoted your life to seeking
the truth and explaining it to others. You dedicated your mind
to God, and used it to probe the Word of God more deeply. Your
gifts as a theologian and philosopher make you stand out as one
of the greatest doctors of the Church. In your discussions, you
made truth your primary aim, while treating respectfully anyone
who differed with you.
Obtain for me too a great love of truth.
Help me to ponder God's word so as to draw from it the light I
need to nourish myself spiritually. Keep me firmly rooted in the
truth, and never let me be swayed by false teachings. I pray also
for those who are lost in darkness; please bring them into the
light of truth. (Recite the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, afire with love
for the Blessed Sacrament
"So Jesus said to them, 'Very
truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and
drink his blood, you have no life in you"' (Jn 6:53).
St. Thomas, you had a great love for Jesus
in the Holy Eucharist and spent many hours in adoration be fore
the Blessed Sacrament. You once said that you learned more from
prayer before the tabernacle than from many hours of study. The
Church owes you a debt of gratitude for the beautiful Eucharistic
hymns you wrote at the request of Pope Urban IV, for the newly-established
feast of Corpus Christi.
Pray that I too might be inflamed with
an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist. Help me to always esteem
and reverence this wonderful sacrament. Pray for me that I might
always participate devoutly in Mass, receive Holy Communion with
great fervor, and often visit Jesus in the tabernacle. Through
con tact with the Eucharistic Lord, may my heart overflow with
love for God and for my neighbor. (Recite the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, filled with charity
"Love is patient; love is
kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does
not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it
does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth"
(1 Cor 1 3 :4-6).
St. Thomas, you were noted during your
life for the charity you showed to others. During debates at the
university, you did not ridicule those who argued with you but
treated them with respect and love. You showed consideration for
the needs of other people.
Help me also to be more deeply rooted in
love of God and neighbor, keeping in mind Jesus' words, "By
this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have
love for one another" (Jn 13:35). Help me to practice this
same charity in a concrete way that does not stop at words, but
is shown with sacrifice. May it begin first of all in my family,
and then radiate to everyone I meet. (Recite the novena
St. Thomas, defender of the church
"...the Church of the living God,
the pillar and bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).
St. Thomas, from your youth you learned
to love the Church, your spiritual home. In your teaching, you
sought to explain and defend the doctrine of the Church, making
it known through your writings. You understood that true wisdom
means to let oneself be instructed by the Church, for Jesus guaranteed
that the Holy Spirit would always be with the Church, to lead
it into all truth. At the end of your life you said, "I have
taught and written much...according to my faith in Christ and
in the holy Roman Church, to whose judgment I submit all my teaching."
Intercede for the Church today, that it
might grow stronger and more spiritually fruitful in the world.
Raise up holy priests, religious and laity, that they may all
be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Bless the
pope in his efforts to guide the Church, witnessing to the power
of the Gospel to renew the face of the earth. May all theologians
work to explore the richness of Catholic teaching so as to show
forth its truth and benefit the faithful. Pray for missionaries
as they work to spread the Gospel. May the whole Church be renewed
by the power of the Spirit to more effectively witness to Christ
in the world today. (Recite the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, teacher of prayer
"Devote yourselves to prayer,
keeping alert in it with thanksgiving" (Col 4:2).
St. Thomas, you knew that prayer is the
source of wisdom and you spent long hours in conversation with
God. Prayer became your very life. Whenever you pondered over
a problem in theology, you turned to prayer to seek God's enlightenment.
Now in heaven you see God face to face. Pray for me, too, that
I might become a person of profound prayer. Obtain for me the
grace that I might always pray with humility, confidence and perseverance.
Help me to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer, so that
my whole life may become a prayer. May I always seek the face
of the living God. (Recite the novena prayer.)
St. Thomas, patron of students
"For in every way you have been enriched in him, in
speech and knowledge of every kind" (1 Cor 1:5).
St. Thomas, God called you to spend most of your life in academic
pursuits, first as a student, and then as a professor of theology.
In your work as a teacher, you desired to help your students apply
what they learned to their lives, in order to grow in holiness.
You realized that knowledge is meant to draw people closer to
God. In your teaching you sought to communicate the truth, desiring
to help your students become better Christians.
Pray for all students. Pray for those who may have difficulty
in their studies, as well as for those who can study with ease.
Pray that they may all be open to the truth, and always seek to
better under stand it. May they grow in knowledge so as to know
God better and to be able to serve their brothers and sisters
as the Lord desires. St. Thomas, pray especially for theologians,
that in their studies and research they may come to a deeper knowledge
of revealed doctrine in keeping with the mind of the Church. May
their lives reflect the holiness of the Word of God which they
seek to more fully under stand. (Recite the novena prayer.)
to St. Thomas Aquinas
Patron of Students
Wonderful theologian and Doctor of the Church, you learned more
from the Crucifix than from books. Combining both sources, you
left us the marvelous Summa of theology, broadcasting most glorious
enlightenment to all. You always sought for true light and studied
for God¹s honor and glory. Help us all to study our religion
as well as all other subjects needed for life, without ambition
and pride in imitation of you.
the Roman Missal
Aquinas, priest and doctor
God our Father, you made Thomas Aquinas known for his holiness
and learning. Help us to grow in wisdom by his teaching, and in
holiness by imitating his faith. Grant this through our Lord Jesus
Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.