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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Corpus Domini: In Primis Vesperis








Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni), (1394 - 1450)
St Thomas Inspired by the Dove of the Holy Ghost
From the Arte della Lana Altarpiece (Altar of the Eucharist)
1423
Tempera on wood 25 x 28,8 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest











Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni), (1394 - 1450)
St Thomas Before the Cross
From the Arte della Lana Altarpiece (Altar of the Eucharist)
1423
Tempera on wood Panel, 25 x 28,8 cm
Pinacoteca, Vatican

For the then new feast of Corpus Christi St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the liturgy for it.

It included the magnificent sequence Laude Sion, Pange Lingua with Tantum Ergo, Sacris Solemnis (Panis Angelicus), and Verbum Supernum Prodiens (O Salutaris Hostia)

One night, in the chapel of the Dominican priory in Naples where St. Thomas was then living, the sacristan concealed himself to watch the saint at prayer. He saw him lifted into the air, and heard Christ speaking to him from the crucifix on the chapel wall:

"Thomas, you have written well of me. What reward will you have?"

"Lord, nothing but yourself."

His request was soon answered. On December 6, 1273, St. Thomas Aquinas was saying Mass for the feast of St. Nicholas in the chapel where the crucifix had spoken to him. He showed few external signs of the change at first; but he declared to his long- time secretary that he could write no more. "All that I have written," he said, "seems like straw to me."

He died shortly after. He was forty nine years of age.

From Breviary.net, the First Vespers of The Commemoration of the Most Holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ Commonly Called The Feast of Corpus Christi: