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The relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas revealed for the first time since the Middle Ages


IN PICTURES – Moved out of Toulouse for the first time since 1369 on the occasion of the triple jubilee of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the chest containing the relics of his skull was renovated and entrusted to the Dominicans of Bordeaux until February 27.

Le Figaro Bordeaux

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Since the Revolution, the relics had been hidden: we all needed to see them

," says Brother David Perrin, a member of the Dominican order in Bordeaux.

Its convent welcomes since February 12 and until February 27 the relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

An exceptional exhibition for the veneration of the faithful: this is a first since 1369. That year, one year after a decree from Pope Urban V, the relics of the only common Doctor of the Church since 1923 were entrusted to the Jacobin convent. of Toulouse, cradle of the Dominican order.

Briefly moved to the Toulouse church of Saint-Sernin during the Revolution to ensure their protection, they rested under the altar of the Jacobins in a sealed wooden chest where they had been replaced in 1974.

Entered the Dominican order where he was the author of a doctrine of which his living brothers are disciples, Saint Thomas Aquinas, born on January 28, 1225, died of intellectual exhaustion in the odor of holiness on March 7, 1274. He was canonized by Pope John XXII on July 18, 1323. This year 2023 therefore marks the beginning of a triple jubilee: The 700th anniversary of his canonization will follow the 750th anniversary of his death, in 2024, and the 800th anniversary of his birth, in 2025. An event that inspired Brother Philippe-Marie Margelidon, director of the

Revue Thomiste

and president of the Association for the centenary of Thomas Aquinas (Acta).

On January 23, the saint's skull was therefore placed in a new reliquary which allows it to be presented to the public.

When we opened the box for the transfer, I had a moment of emotion

Brother Philippe-Marie Margelidon, president of the Association for the Thomas Aquinas centenary

An operation as delicate as “


”, which Augustin Frison-Roche, who directed its production, will remember all his life.

I had to manipulate the skull of Saint Thomas!

Whether you're a believer or not, it's incredible

, ”says the artist, however accustomed to sacred art.

At 35, he is aware that the life of this object estimated at 26,000 euros, and which required hundreds of hours of work (goldsmithing, carpentry, cabinetmaking, sculpture or even sewing), "totally exceeds"



To place the relic in its new resting place - covered in gold leaf, decorated with angels, a vine, a tree of life and architectural details "

inspired by heavenly Jerusalem

(the abode of the Saints, Editor's note) "-, the seal melted in wax in 1974 to authenticate it was broken.

When we opened the box for the transfer, I had a moment of emotion because it is Saint Thomas

”, admits Brother Philippe-Marie Margelidon, who concedes having held back his tears.

Relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas

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Crucial, a new seal of the bishopric of Toulouse and a signature dated January 23 have been added to the certificate of authenticity of the relics.

If these old documents are traced without stopping, the order of the Dominicans concedes that these relics do not escape disputes.

Already a leg, shoulder, arm and vertebrae were missing from the remains of the saint when it returned from the Italian monastery in Naples, where it had been kept since his death.

Moreover, the Italians also claim to be custodians of the skull of Saint Thomas.


They found a new head and they assigned it long after 1368

", sweeps aside Brother Philippe-Marie, who insists on the quality of the canonical order at the time.


They have arguments, but the transfer of the relics was decreed by the pope

,” says Brother Marie-Arnaud Gualandi, organizer of the jubilee.

Read alsoPreserved “by a miracle” since the 19th century, the heart of a pious Lyonnaise intrigues science

The relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas are on display for the veneration of the faithful at the Dominican convent in Bordeaux from February 12 to 27 from 6:20 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Le Figaro / Marie-Helene Herouart

A recognition of the Holy See still valid.

On the occasion of this triple anniversary of Saint Thomas, the Apostolic Penitentiary, by decree of Pope Francis, granted a plenary indulgence to the faithful who venerate his relics.

In other words, by presenting a particular devotion “

to the body and therefore to the soul which is in heaven of Saint Thomas, they see themselves granted by the Church the grace that their sorrows may be forgiven

”, specifies Brother David Perrin.

A forgiveness of sins on four "


" conditions, he explains: "

to ask for it with a pure and sincere heart, to confess at a time close to veneration, to receive Eucharistic Communion before or after and to pray for the intentions of the Pope.

» Reasons why the director of the


de philosophie in Bordeaux insisted that the student brothers and the young people they accompany to the Saint Thomas school of life, via the


route , can see these relics in Bordeaux.

On this Ash Wednesday, the day when Catholics enter Lent, the invitation to pray to Saint Thomas Aquinas to benefit from this plenary indulgence becomes even more pressing.


Faced with this skull which contained the brain from which all these magnificent pages emerged, we are invited to take inspiration from the model of his life

", explains Brother Timothée Lagabrielle.

Moreover, in these times when Christians are invited to penance, Brother Marie-Arnaud Gualandi encourages them to take a new path of Salvation, embodied by the patron saint of students.

Thinking and reflecting is also an asceticism

,” he concludes.

An extraordinary plenary indulgence has been granted by decree of Pope Francis by the Apostolic Penitentiary to those who devoutly venerate the relics of Saint Thomas Aquinas during his Jubilee.

Dominican Order / Apostolic Penitentiary

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-02-22

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