St Thomas and St Agnes


Today being the feast of St Agnes, I remembered Fr. Romanus Cessario O.P. mentioning that St Thomas Aquinas carried a relic of the virgin martyr at his breast. I looked it up, and found that he also once sponsored a meal for his students on her feast:

One of Aquinas’s early biographers tells us that he also kept relics of St. Agnes on his person: “reliquias dicte sancte, quas ad pectus suspensas ex deuotione portabat.” In other words, Aquinas piously wore the relics of St.Agnes at his breast. On one occasion we know that St.Thomas used these relics to obtain the intercession of the young saint in order to cure his sick socius or priest-companion, Friar Reginald of Piperno.When St. Agnes’s mediation was discovered to have been successful, and Reginald’s health had improved, Aquinas spontaneously promised to sponsor a special meal for his students on every twenty-first of January. This cure took place in 1272, and thus it happened, as a contemporary chronicler observes, that Aquinas was able to fulfill his votive promise only once— namely, in the winter of 1273. (“Circa res . . . aliquid fit,” p. 74)

2 thoughts on “St Thomas and St Agnes

  1. Another connection between them is that 28th January is the day when St Thomas’s relics were translated to Toulouse, where they still remain, and so the day on which his feast is kept in the new rite; and also the day when St Agnes is celebrated ‘for the second time’ in the traditional calendar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! Thank you so much for telling us about this! A lovely way to prepare from this feast to the one many of us will celebrate in 8 days…and so edifying and encouraging to know we are not alone in needing the intercession of saints of yore — in fact, saints of yore needed saints of even further yore! God is so good!

    Liked by 1 person

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