This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18 -- Feast of Saint Thomas of Villanova

 An Augustinian friar, Thomas was the prior for the whole province as well as a university professor.  He had a knack for administration, but like so many of the saints, he did not want to be promoted to a higher church office.  Like so many others, he was ordered to accept the Archbishop's mitre for Valencia (after successfully declining it for Granada.  Once in the spot, he organized a system for charitable support and a college for Moorish converts to Christianity. 

"Charity is not just giving, rather removing the need of those who receive charity and liberating them from it when possible."  Thomas was very generous with his personal resources, even selling his own straw bed in order to give money to the poor, but he preferred to advance their interests by securing wok for them so they could sustain themselves. 

He was rated very highly as a preacher.  Charles V heard him deliver a sermon and said, "This monsignor can even move the stones."  Thomas became a counselor and confessor to Charles. 

In 1842, two Augustinian friars named their new school, the first Catholic university in Pennsylvania, after him.  In 1845 the school was burned down by anti-Catholic nativists (terrorists).  It reopened in 1846, but closed again for the Civil War.  It reopened once again in 1865 and has operated continuously ever since. 

Veritas.  Unitas.  Caritas. 


  1. "In 1845 the school was burned down by anti-Catholic nativists (terrorists)." Protestant terrorists?

    I don't understand the options below, "Comment as: _____

  2. Yup. Protestant terrorists, though they were identified by their politics, not their religion, so Nativism became the label.

    The Philadelphia riots killed at least fourteen people, and burned down homes, churches, and even a fire station. On Charlestown, Massachusetts, these terrorists burned down a convent (no deaths). In Lexington, Kentucky, they killed 22 people during election day riots.

    As for the comment options, no worries, I don't mind anonymous posts.