Doctor Thomas repletus gratia!
'This is Saint Thomas' festal day, celestial Doctor of the King: Let Mother Church, in prayerful lay, devoutly all his praises sing.'
The medieval rhymed Invitatory of Matins above, translated into metrical form, rightly calls us to sing the praises of St Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor whose Feast we celebrate today. As such, I offer below, the Office Hymn 'Thomas insignis genere' by William of Ada, a fourteenth-century French Dominican who was present at Thomas' canonization in 1323. It has been translated into a metrical form so that it may be sung to any Long Meter tune:
"The scion of a noble race,
Born of a line that well may boast,
Saint Thomas, early led by grace,
Enrolled amid the Preacher-host.
He bore a likeness to the sun
Whose splendour scatters clouds of night,
For more than others he has won
From pagan mist clear rays of light.
The depths of wisdom's sea profound
He searched, and treasures rich revealed:
While rapt above all human bound,
He does unveil things long concealed.
The Father, Son and Holy Ghost
By all the world be duly praised:
God grant that to the angel-host,
By Thomas' merit, we be raised."
In celebration of this great saint and Dominican, over the next three days I shall post a hagiography and brief introduction to the spiritual wisdom of St Thomas Aquinas.