Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Doctor of the Church, patron saint of universities and students, and the greatest teacher of the medieval Catholic Church. Alternately referred to as the Angelic Doctor and the Universal Doctor, the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas greatly influenced not only Church doctrine, but schools of theological and philosophical thought. Candidates for the priesthood are instructed to model themselves after this holy man, and Pope Benedict XV declared that his teachings were the teachings of the Church, herself. By universal consent, this holy man is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation.
Below, a prayer of adoration to Our Blessed Mother, written by Saint Thomas Aquinas:
0 most blessed and sweet Virgin Mary,
Mother of God, filled with all tenderness,
Daughter of the most high King,
Lady of the Angels,
Mother of all the faithful,
On this day and all the days of my life,
I entrust to your merciful heart my body and my soul,
all my acts, thoughts, choices,
desires, words, deeds,
my entire life and death,
So that, with your assistance,
all may be ordered to the good
according to the will of your beloved Son,
our Lord Jesus Christ.
From your beloved Son,
request for me the grace to resist firmly
the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil.
My most holy Lady,
I also beseech you to obtain for me
true obedience and true humility of heart
So that I may recognize myself truly
as a sinner, wretched and weak,
without the grace and help of my Creator
and without your holy prayers.
Obtain for me as well,
O most sweet Lady,
true charity with which
from the depths of my heart
I may love your most holy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
and, after Him,
love you above all other things.
Grant, O Queen of Heaven,
that ever in my heart
I may have fear and love alike
for your most sweet Son.
I pray also that, at the end of my life,
you, Mother without compare,
Gate of Heaven and Advocate of sinners,
will protect me with your great piety and mercy.
And obtain for me,
through the blessed and glorious Passion of your Son
and through your own intercession,
received in hope,
the forgiveness of all my sins.
When I die in your love and His love,
may you direct me
into the way of salvation and blessedness.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."