St. Thomas of Villanova


ST. THOMAS, the glory of the Spanish Church in the sixteenth century, was born in 1488. A thirst for the science of the Saints led him to enter the house of the Austin Friars at Salamanca.

Charles V listened to him as if an oracle, and appointed him Archbishop of Valencia. On being led to his throne in church, he pushed the silken cushions aside, and with tears kissed the ground. His first visit was to the prison.  The money which the chapter presented him for his palace, he devoted to the public hospital.

As a child he had given his meal to the poor, and two thirds of his episcopal revenues were now annually spent in alms. He daily fed five hundred needy persons, supported the orphans of the city, and sheltered the neglected foundlings with a mother’s care. During his eleven years’ episcopate not one poor maiden was married without alms from the Saint. Spurred by his example, the rich and the selfish became liberal and generous; and when, on the Nativity of Our Lady, 1555, St. Thomas came to die, he was well-nigh the only poor man in his see.

Reflection.—”Answer me, O sinner!” St. Thomas would say, “what can you purchase with your money better or more necessary than the redemption of your sins?”

Also honored this day:  St. Joseph of Cupertino.


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