Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas

Tomorrow, January 28th, marks the feast of one of the greatest Doctors of the Church, St. Thomas Aquinas. It is also the date on which The Summa Theologica, written by St. Thomas, was originally published. Before 1969, and in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, his feast was (and is) observed on March 7th, the anniversary of his death.
St. Thomas Aquinas is the Dominican order's greatest glory. He taught philosophy and theology with such genius that he is considered one of the leading Christian thinkers. His innocence, on a par with his genius, earned for him the title of "Angelic Doctor". Read the rest here...

In her book My Nameday Come for Dessert, author Helen McLoughlin shares a number of ideas for celebrating the feast of this amazing saint (I've added links where applicable):
The star, St. Thomas Aquinas' symbol, signifies the divine guidance given him in his work. A chalice and host are also used as symbols. A star cake-tin and a star cookie-cutter, or a sunburst dessert mold are a delight to a child who likes to help prepare nameday dessert; small children may cut out stars or stick gummed stars on place-mats or paper plates.

For dessert you might make a book cake inscribed with our Lord's words: "You have written well of Me, Thomas" (this can be done with "Cake-Mate"). A dove on a book cake, a rosary cake, or a crown cake are other suggestions.

Our week is pretty busy, but it shouldn't be too hard to find time to let the children cut-out and bake some star shaped cookies in honor of St. Thomas. I have a bag of Betty Crocker Cookie Mixin the cupboard left over from Epiphany, but here is a yummy recipe from the archives in case any of you would like to join us!

Also from the aforementioned book is this beautiful prayer which may be said (or sung) as a family on his feast:
Father: This is St. Thomas' festal day,
Celestial doctor of the King;
Let Mother Church in prayerful lay
Devoutly all his praises sing.

All: While all the Church enjoys the aid
The Angelic Doctor doth bestow,
St. Dominic's fold by him is made
To share with glory's special glow.

Father: O Doctor of the faithful here below,
Fair blossom of virginity unstained,
St. Thomas, grant that we may come to know
The joys which thy triumphant state hath gained.

All: St. Thomas, Doctor of the Church divine,
Italia's star, to all the world a light,
A virgin with chaste lily shining bright,
The twofold crown of glory now is thine.

Father: Let us pray. O God, You enlightened Your Church with the wonderful learning of blessed Thomas, Your confessor, and made it fruitful by his holy works; grant us, we pray, both to understand what he taught and to follow the example of his life. Through Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!

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  1. I just have to say, that I love your blog, and if my kids knew where I was getting all these great ideas, they'd love you too. God bless you all for sharing such tasty treats!

  2. This is my son's name day, but we typically make lightning cake. There is a story that when Aquinas was young, his sister was struck my lightning while they lay together in the castle tower. It was a formative moment, and forever changed him.

  3. Thank you Michelle! =)

    Happy nameday to your son Deb! I would have never thought to make lightning cake, in fact, I have never even heard of it! Thanks for sharing!

    God bless!

  4. My sophomore religion class is having a Nameday party tomorrow!! St. Thomas Aquinas is our class' patron saint for the year! We're brainstorming ideas for our celebration and these are very helpful! We'll let you know how it goes! God bless.