Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Aquinas on Chrysostom's Homilies on Matthew

"once, [when Thomas was] coming with his students from Saint Denis, to which he had gone to visit the relics of the saints and that holy collegium of monks, and [given that] he would have seen the Parisian city up close, [his] students, expecting [(credentes)] to hear from him some word of edification, said to him:  'Master, look [(pAI2P)]!  What [(AFS)] a beautiful city [(NFS)] is Paris!  Would you like to be lord of this city?'  He responded:  'I would with greater pleasure prefer [(Libentius uellem)] to have the Homilies of Chrysostom on the Gospel of Saint Matthew.  For this city, if it were mine, would, on account of the care[s] associated with governance, take from me the contemplation of divine things, and prevent the consolation of soul.'"

"semel ueniens de sancto Dyonisio cum suis studentibus,  quo iuerat sanctorum reliquias et sanctum illud monachorum collegium uisitare, et uidisset de propinquo ciuitatem Parisiensem, dixerunt ei studentes:  'Magister, uidete quam pulchra ciuitas est Parisius!  Velletis esse dominus huius ciuitatis?', credentes ab eo aliquod uerbum edificationis audire.  Qui respondit:  'Libentius uellem habere Omelias Chrisostomi super Euangelium beati Mathei.  Ciuitas enim hec si esset mea, propter curam regiminis contemplationem michi diuinorum eriperet et consolationem animi impediret.'"

     William of Tocco, Ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino 42 ("Quod predictus doctor fuit rerum temporalium et honorum contemptiuus")Ystoria sancti Thome de Aquino de Guillaume de Tocco (1323):  ├ędition critique, introduction et notes, ed. Claire le Brun-Gouanvic, Studies and texts 127 (Toronto:  Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1996), 172 (171-173).  Cf. the 1911 edition ed. Pr├╝mmer.
     From the notes provided at this point by Le Brun-Gouanvic:  "De quo dicitur:  Cf. Naples [(Processus canonizationis S.Thomae Neapoli, ed. Laurent, Fontes vitae sancti Thomae Aquinatis 4), p.] 56 (Anthony of Bresica); Naples 78:  Bartholomew of Capua specifies that this anecdote, well-known in Paris, was recounted to him by Brother Nicholas of Mallesort, of Naples, counselor of the King of France, and ambassador of this latter to Charles II of Anjou.  Walz-Novarina ([Saint Thomas d'Aquin (Louvain & Paris, 1962,] p. 170) situates this episode during the second sojourn in Paris.  Foster ([The life of Saint Thomas Aquinas:  biographical documents (London & Baltimore, 1959),] p. 76, note 81) observes that the escort of St. Thomas would not have to have been composed exclusively of Dominicans, nor even of religious, for St. Thomas enjoyed a great popularity with the Faculty of Arts, as the celebrated letter composed at his death shows."  And "Magister . . . impediret:  the dialogue is livelier in the mouth of Bartholomew of Capua.  To the question of St. Thomas:  'Quid facerem ego de ipsa?', a brother responds:  'Venderetis eam regi Francie et de pecunia edificaretis Omnia loca fratrum Predicatorum.'"


"one day, while returning with some students to Paris from a visit to the relics at Saint Denis, as they drew near the city the students said to him, 'Look, Master, what a fine city Paris is!  Wouldn't you like to be the lord of it?'  To tell the truth they expected an edifying answer, and they got one.  'I would rather,' replied Thomas, 'have Chrysostom on Matthew.  If I had to concern myself with Paris, I should lack time for contemplation; it would interfere with the study of Scripture, which gives me such joy.  Besides, it would be dangerous; the more desire for this sort of thing, the less for heaven.'"

     Bernard Gui, Life of St. Thomas Aquinas, chap. 34; The life of Saint Thomas Aquinas:  biographical documents, trans. & ed. Kenelm Foster, O. P. (London:  Longmans, Green and Co.; Baltimore:  Helicon Press, 1959), 52.  76n81:  "Tocco, c. 42.  Calo, c. 23Canonisation Enquiry, LXXVIII.  Walz, pp. 132-3, places this incident in the saint's last period at Paris, 1269-72.  The 'students' with whom St. Thomas made the outing to St. Denis were not necessarily all Dominicans, nor even 'religious'.  We know that he was popular in the faculty of Arts; see Section V."


     "Once Thomas was returning to Paris from St. Denis with a number of brethren, and when the city came into view they sat down to rest a while.  And one of the company, turning to Thomas, said:  'Father, what a fine city Paris is!'  'Very fine,' answered Thomas.  I wish it were yours,' said the other; to which Thomas replied, 'Why, what would I do with it?'  'You would sell it to the king of France, and with the money you would build houses for Friar Preachers.'  'Well,' said Thomas, 'I would rather have Chrysostom on Matthew.'  This story, the witness said, he had fromamong othersbrother Nicholas Malasorte of Naples, who had been an advisor to the French king and a particular friend and pupil of his own; he told it when he came on a mission from the same king of France to King Charles II of noble memory . . . ; saying that it was well known in Paris."

     First Canonization Inquiry 78, Archbishop's Palace, Naples, 21 July-18 September 1319; Ibid., 108-109.  124n72:  "the first King of France must, then, be Philip the Fair, 1285-1314."

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