It was a Wednesday according to the Julian calendar in use at the time. Middle of the week. 1274, March 7. Thomas was travelling with friends to Rome. He was badly injured when a tree branch struck his head. And he died.
We remember him now as St. Thomas Aquinas.
Why mention this in a blog regarding Freemasonry? There are two reasons. First, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote of ‘cardinal virtues’ and ‘theological virtues’. Every Mason will have an understanding of these virtues from his own experience and from our Ritual. I encourage you to make an advancement in your knowledge today by searching for a bit more understanding of these virtues. Even checking Wikipedia for an explanation will either reinforce your own power of intellect, or give you something for earnest consideration.
The second reason is, in fact, reason. St. Thomas Aquinas believed and taught that reason is found in God. I’ve read a biography of his life and I understand that St. Thomas Aquinas studied the ancient philosophers including Aristotle, Plato, and Euclid(!), to appreciate the beauty of reason. He wrote extensively to draw together Christian spirituality and natural reason. I’ve read several parts of his Summa Theologica, particularly his proofs of the existence of God, and his use of simple principles of logic make for very strong proofs.
So as today marks 1876 years since his death, let’s remember his soul, and thank him the next time we hear mention of virtues in our Ritual.