And G.K. Chesterton wrote a book about him too. Here are a few of G.K.C.'s words to prime the pump so to speak,
St. Thomas was a huge heavy bull of a man, fat and slow and quiet; very mild and magnanimous but not very sociable; shy, even apart from the humility of holiness; and abstracted, even apart from his occasional and carefully concealed experiences of trance or ecstasy. St. Francis was so fiery and even fidgety that the ecclesiastics, before whom he appeared quite suddenly, thought he was a madman. St. Thomas was so stolid that the scholars, in the schools which he attended regularly, thought he was a dunce. Indeed, he was the sort of schoolboy, not unknown, who would much rather be thought a dunce than have his own dreams invaded, by more active or animated dunces. This external contrast extends to almost every point in the two personalities. It was the paradox of St. Francis that while he was passionately fond of poems, he was rather distrustful of books. It was the outstanding fact about St. Thomas that he loved books and lived on books; that he lived the very life of the clerk or scholar in The Canterbury Tales, who would rather have a hundred books of Aristotle and his philosophy than any wealth the world could give him. When asked for what he thanked God most, he answered simply, "I have understood every page I ever read."
And now, a few words from the Angelic Doctor,
Zion, To Thy Savior Singing
Zion, to Thy Savior singing,
To thy Prince and Shepherd bringing,
Sweetest hymns of love and praise,
Thou wilt never reach the measure
Of His worth, by all the treasure
Of thy most ecstatic lays.
Of all wonders that can thrill thee,
And, with adoration fill thee,
What than this can greater be,
That Himself to thee He giveth?
He that eateth ever liveth,
For the Bread of Life is He.
Fill thy lips to overflowing
With sweet praise, His mercy showing
Who this heav'nly table spread:
On this day so glad and holy,
To each longing spirit lowly
Giveth He the living Bread.
Here the King hath spread His table,
Whereon eyes of faith are able
Christ our Passover to trace:
Shadows of the law are going,
Light and life and truth inflowing,
Night to day is giving place.
O Good Shepherd, Bread life giving,
Us, Thy grace and life receiving,
Feed and shelter evermore;
Thou on earth our weakness guiding,
We in Heaven with Thee abiding,
With all saints will Thee adore.
|Last Supper by Salvador Dali|
National Gallery of Art