As biographers of St. Thomas have often observed, the personality and interior life of the Angelic Doctor must be judged by signs, stories, and silences, since he himself left us no Confessions, no Apologia Pro Vita Sua. Yet, as recent authors like Jean-Pierre Torrell have demonstrated, a patient search uncovers many clues in the saint's writings, clues that offer valuable insights into his life and work. One subject that has never been closely investigated is the saint's relationship to another famous saint, Nicholas of Myra, on whose feast in 1273 Thomas experienced the mystical vision that led to the definitive cessation of his writings. In this article I argue that the date of the vision was no mere coincidence: a closer look hints at deep connections between the medieval mendicant and the beloved bishop. One fascinating piece of evidence is a Parisian university sermon preached in honor of St. Nicholas by Friar Thomas during his second regency (so, on December 6, 1269, 1270, or 1271) -- a sermon that has only recently been discovered. This sermon is given to the public for the first time, in the form of a translation made from the provisional critical edition and appended to this article.
© Peter Kwasniewski
The Aquinas Translation Project