“Copyright 1997, Daughters of Saint Paul”
“The Novena to St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron of Students & Catholic Schools” by Marianne Lorriane Trouve, FSP, Published in the USA by Pauline Books & Media, 50 St. Paul’s Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
Pauline Books & Media is the publishing house of the Daughters of Saint Paul, an international congregation of women religious serving the Church with the communications media.
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St. Thomas Aquinas,
patron of students and Catholic schools,
I thank God for the gifts
of light and knowledge he bestowed on you,
which you used to build up the Church in love.
I thank God, too,
for the wealth and richness of theological teaching
you left in your writings.
Not only were you a great teacher,
you lived a life of virtue
and you made holiness the desire of your heart.
If I cannot imitate you
in the brilliance of your academic pursuits,
I can follow you in the humility and charity which marked your life.
As St. Paul said,
charity is the greatest gift,
and it is open to all.
Pray for me that I might grow in holiness and charity.
Pray also for Catholic schools,
and for all students.
In particular, please obtain the favor I ask during this novena.
St. Thomas, called by God
“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me;
and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:37).
St. Thomas, as a young man
you became convinced that God was calling you to religious life.
Although your family was opposed to it,
you were determined to follow God’s call.
Even when your brothers kidnapped you
and forced you to remain a prisoner in your own house,
you did not give up but waited patiently for God’s hour.
St. Thomas, pray for all young people
who are considering their vocation in life.
Help them to be open to the call of God.
Inspire them to make choices
motivated by love for God
and an unselfish love for other people.
Whatever their state in life,
help them to see their chosen path
as a call to service.
May all married couples, single persons,
priests and religious build up the Church
through lives of unselfish devotion and love.
St. Thomas, lover of purity
“For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness” (1 Thes 4:7).
St. Thomas, you had a great esteem for the virtue of purity.
When your family tried to deter you
from entering the Dominicans by sending a woman to lead you into sin,
you resisted the temptation
and determined to consecrate your chastity to God forever.
Today we are immersed in a culture
that degrades the gift of human sexuality.
Human persons are viewed as objects of pleasure
and their human dignity is devalued.
As a consequence, society tolerates abortion,
disregarding human life at the very outset.
Children suffer abuse
and families are damaged by infidelity.
Pray that our society may once again
value the virtue of chastity.
Pray that those in the media will work
to promote a Christian view of marriage and family life.
May the plague of pornography in all its forms be eliminated.
May Christian moral standards act as a leaven in society
and bring about a greater respect for human life.
St. Thomas, example of humility
“All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted” (Mt 23:12).
St. Thomas, when you were a young student
some of your classmen called you the “dumb ox.”
Although you were more intelligent than all of them,
you bore their insults patiently without retaliating.
You were endowed with a keen mind
but recognized that God is the source of all gifts.
You humbly acknowledged your dependence on God,
and begged him to enlighten you
so that you would act only for his glory.
St. Thomas, pray for me
that I too learn to act out of humility
and never from the empty desire
for esteem in the sight of others.
Help me to seek only God’s glory
and to act with a right intention.
May I seek to humble myself now,
so that in heaven
I will shine like the stars for all eternity.
St. Thomas, devoted to truth
“But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph 4:15).
St. Thomas, you devoted your life
to seeking the truth and explaining it to others.
You dedicated your mind to God,
and used it to probe the Word of God more deeply.
Your gifts as a theologian and philosopher
make you stand out as one of the greatest doctors of the Church.
In your discussions,
you made truth your primary aim,
while treating respectfully anyone who differed with you.
Obtain for me too a great love of truth.
Help me to ponder God’s word
so as to draw from it the light I need
to nourish myself spiritually.
Keep me firmly rooted in the truth,
and never let me be swayed by false teachings.
I pray also for those who are lost in darkness;
please bring them into the light of truth.
St. Thomas, afire with love for the Blessed Sacrament
“So Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you,
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you have no life in you”‘ (Jn 6:53).
St. Thomas, you had a great love for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist
and spent many hours in adoration be fore the Blessed Sacrament.
You once said that you learned more from prayer
before the tabernacle than from many hours of study.
The Church owes you a debt of gratitude
for the beautiful Eucharistic hymns you wrote
at the request of Pope Urban IV,
for the newly-established feast of Corpus Christi.
Pray that I too might be inflamed
with an ardent love for the Holy Eucharist.
Help me to always esteem and reverence this wonderful sacrament.
Pray for me that I might always participate devoutly in Mass,
receive Holy Communion with great fervor,
and often visit Jesus in the tabernacle.
Through contact with the Eucharistic Lord,
may my heart overflow with love for God and for my neighbor.
St. Thomas, filled with charity
“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor 1 3 :4-6).
St. Thomas, you were noted during your life
for the charity you showed to others.
During debates at the university,
you did not ridicule those who argued with you
but treated them with respect and love.
You showed consideration for the needs of other people.
Help me also to be more deeply rooted
in love of God and neighbor,
keeping in mind Jesus’ words,
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35).
Help me to practice this same charity
in a concrete way that does not stop at words,
but is shown with sacrifice.
May it begin first of all in my family,
and then radiate to everyone I meet.
St. Thomas, defender of the Church
“…the Church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).
St. Thomas, from your youth you learned to love the Church,
your spiritual home.
In your teaching, you sought to explain
and defend the doctrine of the Church,
making it known through your writings.
You understood that true wisdom
means to let oneself be instructed by the Church,
for Jesus guaranteed that the Holy Spirit
would always be with the Church,
to lead it into all truth.
At the end of your life you said,
“I have taught and written much…
according to my faith in Christ
and in the holy Roman Church,
to whose judgment I submit all my teaching.”
Intercede for the Church today,
that it might grow stronger
and more spiritually fruitful in the world.
Raise up holy priests,
religious and laity,
that they may all be the salt of the earth
and the light of the world.
Bless the pope in his efforts to guide the Church,
witnessing to the power of the Gospel
to renew the face of the earth.
May all theologians work to explore the richness of Catholic teaching
so as to show forth its truth and benefit the faithful.
Pray for missionaries as they work to spread the Gospel.
May the whole Church be renewed by the power of the Spirit
to more effectively witness to Christ in the world today.
St. Thomas, teacher of prayer
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2).
St. Thomas, you knew that prayer is the source of wisdom
and you spent long hours in conversation with God.
Prayer became your very life.
Whenever you pondered over a problem in theology,
you turned to prayer to seek God’s enlightenment.
Now in heaven you see God face to face.
Pray for me, too,
that I might become a person of profound prayer.
Obtain for me the grace
that I might always pray with humility,
confidence and perseverance.
Help me to grow more and more in the spirit of prayer,
so that my whole life may become a prayer.
May I always seek the face of the living God.
St. Thomas, patron of students
“For in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind” (1 Cor 1:5).
St. Thomas, God called you
to spend most of your life in academic pursuits,
first as a student, and then as a professor of theology.
In your work as a teacher,
you desired to help your students apply
what they learned to their lives,
in order to grow in holiness.
You realized that knowledge is meant
to draw people closer to God.
In your teaching you sought to communicate the truth,
desiring to help your students become better Christians.
Pray for all students.
Pray for those who may have difficulty in their studies,
as well as for those who can study with ease.
Pray that they may all be open to the truth,
and always seek to better under stand it.
May they grow in knowledge
so as to know God better
and to be able to serve
their brothers and sisters as the Lord desires.
St. Thomas, pray especially for theologians,
that in their studies and research
they may come to a deeper knowledge of revealed doctrine
in keeping with the mind of the Church.
May their lives reflect the holiness of the Word of God
which they seek to more fully under stand.