The Dominican Order recently opened a double year jubilee celebration in honor of Thomas Aquinas. July 18, 2023 marked 700 years since his canonization and was the beginning of this two year extravaganza. March 7, 2024 will mark 750 years from his death, and the jubilee will conclude on his 800th birthday – January 28, 2025. Read on to learn a bit more about this saint and how you can gain the indulgence.
A few years ago, I wrote an article about some simple Aquinas sayings that you should commit to memory, so my love for this saint is not new, but in learning about this double jubilee, I learned some new facts!
- Did you know that Thomas Aquinas studied alongside St. Bonaventure at the University of Paris? And had St. Albert the Great as his professor. What a time to be alive!
- Thomas’ humility was often perceived as ignorance, so his classmates dubbed him “Dumb Ox” – however, after reading his thesis, St. Albert stated: “We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world!” I suppose that’s a glowing endorsement.
- Thomas was a brilliant poet and Hymnodist – some of the most famous have been sung by Andrea Bochelli and also by the Daughters of Mary. My personal favorite being Adoro te devote – a short poem which I’ve sometimes heard chanted on the Feast of Corpus Christi.
So how can you gain the indulgence? Easy! Simply make a pilgrimage to a holy site connected to the Dominican Order (any church, chapel, or shrine meets the requirements) to either take part in a jubilee celebration or to devote a “suitable time” to prayer once there, concluding by praying the Lord’s prayer, reciting the Creed, and invoking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Thomas Aquinas.
According to a decree from the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, the plenary indulgence is available to “the truly penitent and charitable faithful” under the usual conditions, which require the individual to be in a state of grace, have complete detachment from sin, and pray for the pope’s intentions. One must also visit the Sacrament of Confession and receive Holy Communion 20 days leading up to or following their pilgrimage.
Hopefully you can use these facts and the simple phrases as entertainment on your pilgrimage – Bon voyage! St Thomas Aquinas, pray for us.
Featured Images: Wikimedia Commons.