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”Due honor to their relics”: Thomas Aquinas as Teacher and Object of Veneration

Abstract

After his death an intense struggle ensued for ownership of the relics of Thomas Aquinas. There were both pious and political motives for the desire to possess the bones of the saint. This article introduces the topic by describing the places where Aquinas’ relics can now be found. We then outline Aquinas’ own views on the veneration of relics, which is characterized by an appreciation of the practice but with great caution to avoid superstition. An historical overview of the fate of Aquinas’ relics sheds light on their significance, particularly in light of the canonization process. The final reflection considers the fate of Aquinas’ relics in light of his own theology.

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