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St Thomas of Villanova. 1486-1555 AD

St Thomas of Villanova

1486-1555 AD

Thomas Garcia, who was born in Villanova, is considered one of the Church's greatest preachers and reformers of his time. He began his career as a university professor before entering an Augustinian monastery at the age of 30 and the priesthood a year later. Thomas's many gifts brought him to the attention of the emperor, Charles V, who appointed him court preacher and then archbishop of Valencia in 1542.

In a sermon on the Presentation in the Temple, Thomas compares Mary’s prayer to the prayer which the priest says at Mass during the offertory.

Text quoted in French by Réné Laurentin (in Maria, Ecclesia, Sacerdotium, Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris 1952, pp. 170) and translated into English by John Wijngaards.

St. Thomas of Villanova

‘After the sacred virgin had arrived at the altar, having knelt down, inflamed by the Holy Spirit more than the seraphim, and holding her son in her hands, she offered him as a gift and acceptable sacrifice to God praying in this way: “Accept, almighty Father, accept the oblation which I offer you for the whole world, I your handmaid. Accept now from the hands of your handmaid this very holy morning sacrifice, which one time will be offered to you in the arms of the cross as the sacrifice of the evening. Look down most pious Father on what I am offering you and pay attention to the purpose for whom I am offering it to you.’
‘Priests, learn from the Virgin how you must offer the Son to the Father!’

‘Concio I in Purificationem’, Opera, Manila 1883, vol. 4, p. 397.

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