Whatever you do, think not of yourself, but of God. —St. Vincent Ferrer

Main Menu

What lost bible commentary did St. Thomas want more than an entire kingdom?

Started by Geremia, March 02, 2023, 05:56:08 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I've heard it claimed that St. Thomas Aquinas desired to obtain a manuscript of a biblical commentary (by St. John Chrysostom?) more than he desired to posses an entire kingdom. What is the source of this story?


G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas (1933) ch. 4:
QuoteAs he entered Paris, they showed him from the hill that splendour of new spires beginning, and somebody said something like, "How grand it must be to own all this." And Thomas Aquinas only muttered, "I would rather have that Chrysostom MS. I can't get hold of."
Brian Davies, O.P., The Thought of Thomas Aquinas (2015) p. 7:
QuoteAccording to one story he is said to have been asked if he would like to be lord of Paris. He is supposed to have replied that he would not know what to do with the city and that he would rather have the (presumably lost) homilies of St John Chrysostom (c.347–407) on the Gospel of St Matthew.29

29. Cf. Ferrua, Thomae Aquinatis ..., 318.


Interesting. It expresses that the Word of God is more important than our mere earthly goods.


Quote from: Kephapaulos on March 06, 2023, 10:14:58 PMInteresting. It expresses that the Word of God is more important than our mere earthly goods.
And an entire city is a great, common (thus spiritual) good.

Reminds me (tangentially) of how St. Jerome says (Letter 22 to St. Eustochium §19):
Quote from: St. JeromeI do not detract from wedlock when I set virginity before it. No one compares a bad thing with a good. Wedded women may congratulate themselves that they come next to virgins.

or how despite the common good being greater than an individual's good, St. Thomas Aquinas argues that an individual religious person (monk or nun) cannot be called back to the world, no matter the human good that may result (II-II q. 88 a. 11 "Whether it is possible to be dispensed from a solemn vow of continency?" arg./ad 1; Freddoso transl. PDF pp. 2395,7); cf. "Has any monk or nun ever left a monastery to be married to a king or queen?"