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Wednesday, March 07, 2012

In the midst of life we are in death; of whom may we seek help but you, O Lord?

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Who for our offenses are justly displeased. Yet, O God most holy, O holy and mighty, O holy and merciful Savior, give us not over unto bitter death. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Yet, O God most holy, O holy and mighty, O holy and merciful Savior, give us not over unto bitter death.

Media vita in morte sumus: quem quaerimus adiutorem nisi te Domine? Qui pro peccatis nostris iuste irasceris. Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte misericors Salvator, amarae morti ne tradas nos. Gloria Patri, et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sancte Deus, sancte fortis, sancte misericors Salvator, amarae morti ne tradas nos.

St Thomas is recorded as being often moved to tears by this Lenten responsory. Today is the anniversary of his own death. It is recorded,

His death was revealed to many holy persons, among whom was his beloved master Blessed Albert. This holy old man, now more than eighty years of age. crowned with the glory of white hairs, was seated in the refectory at Cologne with the Community when suddenly tears began to fall from his eyes. The Prior, who observed it, asked him why he wept. "It is sad news I am about to tell you," he answered; "Thomas of Aquino, my son in Jesus Christ, the light of the whole Church, is dead. God has revealed it to me." The Prior carefully took note of the date, and afterwards found that it was the same day on which St. Thomas had died.

Some time after the death of the saint, a holy Dominican, Father Albert of Brescia, who followed the teaching of St. Thomas in all things, being himself a Lector, or Professor of theology, as he was fervently praying to God, the Blessed Virgin and the great St. Augustine saw in spirit St. Augustine, clad in episcopal vestments, and St Thomas by his side, wearing a golden crown blazing with jewels, and bearing two charms, one of gold the other of silver, round his neck, and on his heart a magnificent precious stone, which emitted a brilliant light. His cappa, or cloak, was embroidered with lustrous pearls, and his habit white as the driven snow.

St. Austin spoke to the Father, and said : " I have come to reveal to thee the brightness and glory of Brother Thomas who is with me; for he is my son, having in all things followed my teaching and the doctrine of the Apostles. He has illumined the Church of God by his knowledge, which is symbolized by the precious stones with which he is covered, especially by that upon his breast, which represents the uprightness of intention in all the works he has written in defense of the faith. These diamonds are also the symbols of the books he has written. He is my equal in glory, but he surpasses me by the aureola of chastity.
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