Our wild week of kitschy saintly action comes to a conclusion today. One final spot in the Faithful Four remains up for grabs and, while we won't know for 24 hours who has nabbed the last spot, we do know this: his name will be Thomas. Today, Thomas of Villanova faces Thomas Aquinas. To get here, Thomas of Villanova defeated Aloysius Gonzaga and Hilary of Poitiers, while Thomas Aquinas dispatched Jerome (barely!) and Oscar.
Yesterday, Madeleine Sophie Barat easily slid past Origen 72% to 28% to join Teresa of Avila and José Hernández in the Faithful Four.
Enjoy the weekend of palms and we'll see you first thing Monday morning as Teresa of Avila faces Madeleine Barat. Vote now!
Thomas of Villanova
St. Thomas of Villanova was known for his many gifts offered in love that changed people’s lives. From his deep generosity to his preaching, he gave the church and the world an example of how church leadership can be gracious, generous, and aware of the needs of the world.
Thomas embodied humility. For him, it guided his thoughts, words, and deeds and was the soft place to land when he began to feel the temptation of glory and laud for himself. You can remind yourself of the virtue of humility by tossing this pillow on your bed, and each morning and each night, remember that it’s not all about you, but instead is all about God.
An early legend of Thomas is that as a youngster, he would wander about his village and give food, alms, and even his own clothing to those in need. While we advocate for adhering to local clothing guidelines, we do hope you enjoy your very own dancing baby, wearing a diaper and celebrating Jesus’ love by breaking into dance.
Thomas’s first call was not as a monastic and priest, but as a professor. He was a learned, popular, and beloved professor…but he was also known to be quite absent minded. Recall the absent-minded but lovable professors and teachers in your life by sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and this Disney classic.
Thomas rarely spent any money on himself. Contemporaries noted that he reused and recycled almost everything, even mending his original monastic robes throughout his life. In the spirit of St. Thomas, take this kit and use random bits of paper you were going to toss anyway, some scissors, and glue, and create a beautiful artwork of one of the many churches named in honor of St. Thomas of Villanova.
Thomas was known for his preaching. He moved kings to tears and preached the Gospel with verve and passion. You, too, can have your very own pulpit for a mere $23,000 to practice preaching. For additional fun, the pulpit comes with a set of St. Thomas’ sermons to get you started.
Of all the legacies of St. Thomas, perhaps his most well-known is the university that bears his name. Villanova was founded in the Augustinian legacy of St. Thomas, focusing on wisdom, love, and justice. From its founding, Villanova has followed St. Thomas’ example of living in a community dedicated to open discussion, a commitment to ethical values, and a dedication to social justice and human rights.
But let’s admit that the reason most of us know about Villanova is because of basketball. So to end this article, let’s all enjoy of image of Our Lord playing a pick-up game of hoops and give thanks for the run Villanova had in the NCAA tournament.
You might think that Thomas Aquinas, founder of Western philosophy, would be devoid of kitsch, being so renowned and respected.
You would be wrong.
Aside from the obvious (schools, colleges, books, ontology, philosophy, etc) Thomas also has a wonderful panoply of goodies for your perusal.
First off, do you wish to delight/horrify your Tridentine friends over coffee? I give you Thomas’ Tantum Ergo on a coffee mug! (Helpfully printed with a monstrance). Because sometimes you need that caffeine jolt whilst pondering the mysteries of transubstantiation.
Finally, does your child wander about aimlessly, looking for just the right friend? Someone cuddly, yet with a pedantic air? BEHOLD: An Aquinas-shaped pillow! (I pause here to note that there are a truly amazing number of Thomas Aquinas-shaped pillows available. Your humble blogger dares not contemplate the meaning of this).
Best yet, if your child does form a true friendship with Pillow-Thomas, you can buy a matching t-shirt for your kid! They can be twins in medieval theology, and twins in excellent fashion! (Probably also twins in therapy, because this is going to get some comments at school.)