St Thomas Aquinas and the Church – His Intrinsic Authority

“When someone parts company with Thomas, he seems to be parting company with the Church.” – Pope St Pius X

St Thomas Aquinas and the Church
Part I: His Intrinsic Authority

See here for Part II: St Thomas and the Church – His Extrinsic Authority

In this essay…

– St Thomas Aquinas as “The Common Doctor”
– Intrinsic vs extrinsic authority
– St Thomas as the best exponent of Tradition, the Fathers and Scripture
– The universal and providential excellence of his doctrine
– Excursus on the Immaculate Conception
– The power and strength of his doctrine
– The safety of his doctrine and the consequences of departing from it

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Image: The Triumph of St Thomas, Carafa Chapel. Wiki Commons CC

At the start of his short work On Being and Essence, St Thomas Aquinas quotes Aristotle:

“A small error at the outset can lead to great errors in the final conclusions.”[1]

When it comes to difficult questions in theology and philosophy, it is vital that we understand what the Catholic Church means when she uses words, concepts or principles – and that we use them in the same ways ourselves.

If we make mistakes on such things, we can mislead ourselves and others. Today, there is so much confusion over concepts such as law, heresy, and who knows what else: such disagreements can even lead to mutual condemnations and the rupture of the bond of charity between Catholics.

For example, in the post-conciliar situation we see men in good faith condemning others as “disobedient” or even “schismatic” for holding fast to tradition. In such disputes, how can we know who is right, if we have no shared terminology?

This is the very reason that Christ established a living Church, requiring us to accept what she gives us.

Let’s be clear: the promise of Divine assistance was given to this Church, not to any individual Doctor, be it St Thomas or St Augustine or anyone else. But the essence of our current situation in the West and elsewhere is that it is difficult to hear the voice of that authoritative teacher. During this confusion, our duty is to hold fast to what we have received from the Church.

Much light can be found in the texts and authors approved by the Church within living memory. In addition to the theological manuals in use immediately before the chaos of Vatican II, the Church has also appointed certain men as Doctors of the Church. The Church has given us these men to be our teachers – and we are to learn from them.

But above all of his fellow Doctors stands St Thomas Aquinas, “The Common Doctor” of the Church.

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The Common Doctor

First, some caution. Theology did not end with St Thomas – and one cannot start in media res and pluck proof-texts from his writings without appreciation for his work as a whole, and the wider context. The manuals mentioned are useful representations of the received state of theology before the crisis.

Further, those who become devoted to St Thomas sometimes act as if other authorities are irrelevant, or as if later clarifications are secondary, or as if anything not directly addressed in the Summa Theologica is not really certain or important – if they even realise such things exist at all. But even the Summa could be said to have certain lacunae – for example, there is no discrete section on ecclesiology. Some also think that a shallow use of his terms or distinctions is enough to make their ideas “thomist”.

Being faithful to St Thomas does not entail acting in this way.

However, being faithful to St Thomas does mean that we can rest in the knowledge that we have a sure guide who has already addressed many issues, expressed principles, answered objections, found solutions, and been approved by Holy Roman Church. In 1923, Pope Pius XI said of St Thomas:

“We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest.”[2]

St Thomas is not just one Doctor of the Church amongst all of the others. As well as being the Common Doctor, Pius XI calls him “Guide of Studies”, because of his method and ability to systematise knowledge. This same Pope created the motto, “Go to Thomas“, telling the Church to “ask him to give you from his ample store the food of substantial doctrine wherewith to nourish your souls unto eternal life.”[3]

Elsewhere, Pius XI writes:

All the Popes have nobly vied with one another in exalting [Thomas], praising him, inculcating him, as a model, master, doctor, patron and protector of all schools”.[4] (Emphasis added)

Pope after pope has commended and approved the study of St Thomas Aquinas. This has come in the form of praise and encouragement, and in the form of canonical provisions. This essay surveys the papal praise and encouragement collected in Fr Santiago Ramirez OP’s 1952 work, The Authority of St Thomas. In this first part, I shall consider what the Popes and the Church have said about St Thomas’s own “intrinsic” merit as an authority; and in the next, I shall consider the more official, “extrinsic” approbations and positions which the Church has given his work.

Intrinsic and extrinsic authority

Ramirez distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic authority, saying that the first is that which “is measured by the internal mental stature of the writer and the intrinsic doctrinal validity of his work.”[5] The second deals rather with the approbation of an external authority, whether that be a body of experts or learned men, or – in our case – that of the Teaching Church herself.[6]

He writes:

“Aquinas possessed an abundance of all the personal qualities requisite for a good philosopher: a razor-keen mind, vivid memory, tireless effort, profound learning, purposeful diligence, purity of life, the cultivation and love of truth alone; there is no doubt that nature ‘wonderfully endowed him to be a philosopher,’ as Pius XI declared.”[7]

After discussing the value of his philosophical work, he concludes:

“Whether we consider St Thomas’s philosophical system in itself, or with regard to supernatural truths accepted on divine faith, or in his method of investigation and teaching, or his succinct, sound, clear and energetic manner of explanation, we must declare that it possesses the greatest worth and efficacy and thus the highest scientific authority.”[8]

Aquinas’s intrinsic theological authority “is likewise great”[9]:

“His personal gifts of nature and grace wonderfully equipped him to grasp and expound Sacred Theology accurately and completely. He was fully versed in all the sources of Sacred Doctrine – the Scriptures, Tradition, the Councils and Decrees of the Teaching Church, the writings of the Latin and Greek Church Fathers and Doctors. He received their references to the word of God with great faith and piety, and sounded their depths through the gift of wisdom to such an extent that he was frequently rapt in contemplation of the divine mysteries. Thus, in a vital manner, he intimately penetrated and tasted them […]

“[O]ne may assert without boasting that there was never a theologian stronger in faith than Aquinas, one richer in wisdom, better provided with a deeper understanding of philosophy, nor one more dedicated to the study of divine truth”[10]

As for St Thomas’s works themselves, Ramirez explains how he excelled in every particular area of theology, and summarises:

“St Thomas’ theology, as a complete unit, possesses such dignity that it surpasses every human science in its theoretical aspect and every practical science in the regulation and direction of human action; in its supernatural grasp and tendency it is without peer… Such fullness and inherent perfection of St Thomas’ theology is apparent to anyone who reads or studies his many theological works.”[11]

Even those who have worked to the detriment of the Christian religion have been forced to admit his genius. Ramirez quotes the praise of men such as Erasmus, Leibniz and von Harnack, and concludes:

“The intrinsic strength of the doctrine of St Thomas in philosophy and theology is so great that it is rated the highest not only by his supporters and friends but even by his rivals and his enemies.”[12]

Leo XIII notes the same point:

“A last triumph was reserved for this incomparable man – namely, to compel the homage, praise, and admiration of even the very enemies of the Catholic name. For it has come to light that there were not lacking among the leaders of heretical sects some who openly declared that, if the teaching of Thomas Aquinas were only taken away, they could easily battle with all Catholic teachers, gain the victory, and abolish the Church. A vain hope, indeed, but no vain testimony.”[13]

Best Exponent of Tradition, the Fathers and Holy Scripture

When we talk of “St Thomas’s doctrine”, we do not mean to say that he created a new doctrine – rather, this refers to the synthesis and systematisation that he provided of all the sacred knowledge and writers that came before him.

In 1368, Bl. Urban V spoke of the “treasury of divine wisdom” that was St Thomas’s mind, with which he had, with the help of God’s grace “unlocked the hidden things of Scripture, solved its puzzles, brought light to its difficulties, and cleared up its questions.”[14]

In 1777, Pius VI said that “the divine eloquence of Thomas should [not] be bandied about, as if it were a novel doctrine”, and used the titles “Sun of doctrine” and “the standard for theologians” for him, “because he taught only what was consistent with Sacred Scripture and the Fathers.”[15]

In 1879, Leo XIII quotes Cajetan in saying that St Thomas “venerated the ancient doctors of the Church [so that] in a certain way seems to have inherited the intellect of all.”[16] (Emphasis added)

In 1904 St Pius X said that no one had organised or explained the wisdom of the Fathers better than St Thomas.[17] In an address to the Angelicum College in 1914, he said that he wanted “no other doctrine in the Church of God”, as Thomas had “the pure, solid, complete doctrine of the Church, and more than that, the doctrine of Christ Himself and of God Himself”.[18]

In 1942, Pius XII compared him to the sea, “receiving into himself the rivers of wisdom from all who lived before his time.”[19] He said that St Thomas had composed and ordered all of this wisdom in the light of the Gospel in “a wonderful manner and with brilliant clearness,” such that we now retain only the power to imitate him, but not surpass him.[20]

In 1943, he stated the same idea: “the reasons advanced by Aquinas,” explaining Christ to be the head of the mystical body, “are a faithful reflection of the mind and writings of the Holy Fathers, who moreover merely repeated and commented on the inspired word of Sacred Scripture.”[21]

Universal and Providential Excellence

This universal and providential position of St Thomas’s doctrine in the Church’s life has been noted by the popes over the centuries.

In 1318, John XXII called his doctrine ‘miraculous’, saying that “he alone enlightened the Church more than all other doctors” and that “by use of his works a man would profit more in one year than if he studied the doctrine of others for his whole life.”[22]

In 1344, Clement VI wrote that “The whole Church, gathering many fruits from the writing and teaching of his wisdom and doctrine, is continually refreshed by their aroma.”[23]

In 1496, Nicholas V called St Thomas’s doctrine “a splendid light” which had “enlightened the Christian world in every respect.”[24]

In 1564, Pius IV praised “[the] great Doctor whose doctrine, as everyone knows, brought and daily brings such great fruit to the Church.”[25] Ramirez then tells us that he “invited all to imitate that custom [of celebrating his feast] and follow his doctrine.”[26]

In 1567, St Pius V called his works “the most certain rule of Christian doctrine by which he enlightened the Apostolic Church in answering conclusively numberless errors.”[27]

In 1603, Clement VIII wrote:

“The proof of his doctrine is the great number of books which he wrote in a very short time, in practically every branch of learning, with remarkable order and wonderful planning, and with no error at all.”[28]

In the 1720s, Benedict XIII called his works “more brilliant than the sun and written without the shadow of error […] protecting and vindicating by that surest rule of Christian doctrine.”[29] He said St Thomas’s doctrine, “lighting up the whole world as the sun, brought forth tremendous good for the Christian Church and every day bears more fruit.”[30]

Some may find these statements hard to accept, pointing to St Thomas’s views on the Immaculate Conception. As this is a diversion, I deal with it in the excursus below for those who are interested.

Excursus on the Immaculate Conception (Click to Expand)

This matter is not as clear as some think. As one example among many, Pohle-Preuss write: “Theologians are divided in their opinion as to what was the mind of St Thomas in regard to the Immaculate Conception.” [31]

Some say he opposed an undefined, unsettled position, but “virtually admitted what he formally denied.”[32] Others question the authenticity of his adverse passages; others argue that that he was undecided; and others say that his opposition cannot be proved.[33]

In St Thomas’s day, the Immaculate Conception was not merely undefined. There were even erroneous and heretical expressions of and arguments for this doctrine. While Scheeben states that St Thomas “positively did not teach Mary’s sanctification ‘at the first instant,’ but always disavowed it”, he clarifies:

“For [St Thomas], as for his contemporaries, it can and must be said that he always denied this sanctification only in the form advanced at the time, and from principles which excluded it only in that form.[34]

On this point, Cardinal Newman states that St Thomas “took the phrase in a different sense from that in which the Church now takes it” – and that what he opposed really was heretical.[35] The question turned on various assumptions about the delayed infusion of the spiritual soul – and few of those who glibly assert that St Thomas was in error are capable of untying those knots.[36]

At this stage of history, various new objections and problems with how to express the doctrine had not yet been answered.[37] Without doubt, St Thomas contributed to the solution and the eventual definition in crucial ways. He did so, according to the theologian Shea,

“[B]y purging the idea of the Immaculate Conception from certain false elements, by further clarifying the issues in marshalling the strongest possible objections against the doctrine, and by developing powerful arguments for at least a special sanctification of Mary in the womb – arguments which can easily be adapted to the Immaculate Conception.”[38]

If there is no consensus amongst learned men as to what St Thomas’s opinion on this topic actually was, then we can hardly say that he denied the doctrine; nor can we declare the question of his opinion closed with glib answers.

So much for St Thomas’s “error.” In any case, the amount of ink spilt on this topic proves his pre-eminence and unique position in theology all the more.

Continuing with his doctrine’s universal and providential excellence

To continue, in 1919, Benedict XV made this striking statement:

“The eminent commendations of Thomas Aquinas by the Holy See no longer permit a Catholic to doubt that he was divinely raised up that the Church might have a master whose doctrine should be followed in a special way at all times“.[39] (Emphasis added)

In 1921, the same pope also taught that “[t]he Church declared that the doctrine of St Thomas is its own“.[40]

In 1923, Pius XI called his doctrine, “light which descends from God and returns to God” and called him “the most learned of the saints and the most saintly of the learned.”[41]

In 1924, Pius XI explains what he meant by ‘Common Doctor’, calling him:

“[the] doctor of the whole Church, of every science, of all knowable things; a characteristic which approaches divine power”.[42] (Emphasis added)

The same pope asks himself “whether the Eternal Creator ever left a deeper imprint upon other minds”.[43]

Pope Pius XII also wrote the Preface for the Mass of St Thomas (Dominican Rite), which claims that God raised up St Thomas to illuminate the Church with his doctrine, which is “especially commended to all”.[44]

Continues below.

Power and Strength of his Doctrine

In 1607, Paul V called St Thomas “the shining athlete of the Catholic faith […] by the shield of whose works the Church Militant happily escaped the darts of heretics.”[45]

In 1901, Leo XIII called him “the prince of Sacred Science”[46] and in 1880 he said that “there is nothing more suitable to oppose the perverse notions of our times. There is no more powerful agent for conserving the truth”.[47]

In 1904, St Pius X called his doctrine “weapons marvellously suited to protect the truth and destroy the many errors”.[48]

In 1924, Pius XI quotes Leo XIII saying that St Thomas “alone vanquished every error then in existence and supplied us with invincible weapons for destroying later errors.”[49] He considers all of the ways in which St Thomas’s doctrine refutes the errors of modernism and concludes: “It is therefore clear why Modernists are so amply justified in fearing no Doctor of the Church so much as Thomas Aquinas.”[50]

Pius XII claimed that St Thomas “was able to refute effectively the basic errors continually arising, and conquer them invincibly”.[51]

Despite this power and strength, let us briefly observe – and imitate – St Thomas’s famous gentleness towards his opponents. Benedict XIV wrote:

“St. Thomas, in refuting the errors of philosophers and theologians, must no doubt have often wounded their pride. Among the Saint’s many merits, this is not to be forgotten: that throughout all his voluminous writings no word of vilification of his opponents is to be discovered. The errors he refuted, but did so without the slightest manifestation of feeling against the authors or abettors.”[52]

The safety of St Thomas’s doctrine

The popes have also declared St Thomas to be the safest of all Doctors. In 1756, Benedict XIV, confirmed the words of Clement VIII:

“[Since] Thomas wrote his works without any error at all […] it can consequently be followed without any danger of error.”[53]

What does this mean? Ramirez summarises:

“If, therefore, the doctrine of Thomas is safer and has been declared and praised as the safest, other doctrines inconsistent with or even contradictory to it cannot be or be called equally safe, let alone safest. Comparatives and superlatives exclude the same grade of perfection or quality in others, as we know from the very grammatical meaning of the words: “no doctrine can be found which is safer” as we have just heard from the mouth of Pius X.

“Indeed, from the fact alone that the doctrine of Aquinas is approved merely as being safe and sound and that approbation is not given to others inconsistent with him, it is clear that these cannot be called equally safe and sound.”[54]

The same Clement VIII just mentioned recalls the details of St Thomas being taught by Ss Peter and Paul, and of Christ appearing to him and saying “Thomas, you have written well about me.”[55] As a result, this pope declared that his doctrine contained “no error at all.”[56] Pius VI also seems to endorse the idea of the “divine confirmation” of his doctrine in his vision of our Lord,[57] as does St Pius X.[58]

Innocent VI (d. 1362) wrote: “No one who holds [Thomas’s doctrine] will ever have strayed from the path of truth.”[59]

In 1567, St Pius V described St Thomas’s work as “the most certain rule of Christian Doctrine”,[60] outshining “every other as being safer and more secure”.[61]

In 1724, Benedict XIII agrees that Thomas’s works are “written without the shadow of error”, calling them “the surest rule of Christian doctrine”.[62]

In 1898, Leo XIII said to the Minister General of the Franciscans (OFM) that “to depart unadvisedly and rashly from the wisdom of the Angelic Doctor is not only against our will, but is fraught with danger as well.”[63]

In 1916, Benedict XV attributed the spread of modernism to the “[neglect of] the principles and teaching of St Thomas”.[64]

In 1950, Pius XII taught that St Thomas “represents a safe path for you… which lights up the road like a brilliant ray of sun”.[65] He taught that:

“The method of Aquinas is singularly preeminent both of teaching students and for bringing truth to light; his doctrine is in harmony with Divine Revelation, and is most effective both for safeguarding the foundation of the faith and for reaping, safely and usefully, the fruits of sound progress.”[66]

But this safety of doctrine has, according to St Pius X, another consequence. He warned that if students did not study St Thomas, they would ultimately fail to understand the very meaning of the many dogmas expressed with his principles.

He also warned that “to follow Thomas as leader is the same as never departing from the rule of Christian truth,”[67] because “following him is the safest path to a profound knowledge of divine things.”[68]

This implies, of course, that one can take an unsafe path, and depart from the rule of Christian truth by failing to follow St Thomas. This does not mean that the other doctors and theologians are rendered obsolete and are unsafe, as we shall see in the next part – but as St Pius X wrote elsewhere:

“To discard Aquinas, especially in philosophy and theology, as we have said, is very harmful.”[69]

How harmful? What consequences did St Pius X have in mind? He writes elsewhere:

“It is true even today that when someone parts company with Thomas, he seems to be ultimately aiming at parting company with the Church.”[70] (Emphasis added)

A more catastrophic consequence can hardly be imagined.

All in all, Ramirez summarises this point with the words of John of St Thomas:

“To be approved for soundness of doctrine is the highest type of approval; though others may not be condemned or rejected, still this one is to be preferred. It would seem to be madness if the Church with great praises of many kinds extolls and approves St. Thomas’ doctrine, and admits and approves as equal those which contradict it; thus she would destroy what she was building.”[71]

Now, a mere claim to be following his doctrine and the Thomistic school will not preserve someone from theological error – and it is also possible to err by excess in this matter. But it does mean that to the extent that we actually follow his doctrine and principles, we will not be led astray.

Conclusion to Part I

I started this essay by explaining the difference between St Thomas’s intrinsic and extrinsic authority. In this part, we have considered his intrinsic authority, in terms of:

  • The way in which he summarises and synthesises prior wisdom
  • The universal and providential excellence of his doctrine
  • Its power and strength for the Christian faith
  • Its surety and safety, and the corresponding danger of departing from it.

This part has focused on the papal praise given to St Thomas, and in a sense this is also a type of extrinsic authority. But in the next part we will consider this extrinsic authority directly, in terms of the canonical position St Thomas occupies in the Church – and how this position relates to other Doctors and theologians.

St Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas, Universal Doctor – Fr Edward Leen CSSP
The Holy Wrath of St Thomas Aquinas – G.K. Chesterton
On the Five Qualities of Prayer – St Thomas Aquinas
True Law – According to the Teaching of St Thomas Aquinas
What is Thomism? The Twenty-Four Thomistic Theses

St Thomas Aquinas and the Church – His Intrinsic Authority
St Thomas Aquinas and the Church – His Extrinsic Authority

The “Angelic Warfare Confraternity” of the Cord of St Thomas – Translation of an 1863 pamphlet
“The Angelic Warfare Confraternity” – Robinson OP, 1941

The Fioretti of St Thomas:
Part I: His Life
Part II: His Death
Part III: The Miracles after his Death

Some Selected Texts

Summa Theologica Trans. by the Fathers of the English Dominican Province, (5 vols.) Ave Maria Press, Hardback (and UK readers) and Paperback (and UK readers). Also online at New Advent and iPieta.

Summa Theologiae, Aquinas Institute (8 vols.) Latin-English, based on the English Fathers’ translation, without the Supplementum parts. (And for UK readers) Supplementum I-68 (and UK readers) Supplementum 69-99 (and UK readers)

St Thomas Aquinas – Summa Contra Gentiles. Aquinas Institute in 2 vols: Vol. I (Books I-II) and Vol. 2 (Books III-IV) and for UK readers here and here. Budget single-volume from Aeterna Press (and for UK readers) and online at iPieta or

Aquinas – Opuscula I, from the Aquinas Institute (UK readers), containing the following:

St Thomas Aquinas – Catena Aurea (and for UK readers). 4 vols, line-by-line commentary on the four Gospels from the Fathers of the Church, assembled by St Thomas Aquinas and translated by Cardinal John Henry Newman. Published by Baronius Press.

Tradivox VI: Aquinas, Pecham, and Pagula (UK readers), including St Thomas Aquinas’s Catechetical Instructions. An arrangement of other Opuscula in catechetical form. (ca. 1260)

St Thomas Aquinas’s scriptural commentaries are being published by the Aquinas Institute in English and Latin. Here are some of the options below – they are online here, and it is possible to buy single volumes of the commentaries below:

Anger – The Doctrine of the Mystical Body According to the Principles of St Thomas Aquinas (and for UK readers). Internet Archive. Draws together several texts for which there is a bit of a lacuna in the Summa itself.

Glenn – A Tour of the Summa. A compressed one-volume account of the Summa. (UK readers)

Pegues – Catechism of the Summa Theologica for the use of the Faithful (and for UK readers)

G.K. Chesterton – St Thomas Aquinas. Classic biography. (UK link)

Foster – The Life of St Thomas Aquinas – Biographical Documents (UK readers). Online at Internet Archive.


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[1] St Thomas Aquinas, On Being and Essence, available in Opuscula I, Aquinas Institute. Also available from Amazon UK. Available online.

[2] Pius XI, Encyclical Studiorum Ducem, 1923 n. 11. Available online.

[3] Studiorum Ducem n. 28.

[4] Allocution to Roman Academy, quoted in Jacobus M. Ramírez, O.P., ‘The Authority of Saint Thomas’ in The Thomist Vol. XV, No. 1, January 1952; Washington DC. Available at Internet Archive.

[5] Ramirez 2

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ramirez 3

[8] Ramirez 9

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ramirez 9-10

[11] Ramirez 15-6

[12] Ramirez 20

[13] Leo XIII, Encyclical Aeterni Patris, 1879, n. 23. Available at

[14] Bl Urban V, Bull Copiosus 1368 in Ramirez 22.

[15] Pius VI, Allocution to Dominican General Chapter, 1777, in Ramirez 25.

[16] Leo XIII, Encyclical Aeterni Patris, 1879, n. 17. Available at

[17] St Pius X, In Praecipius, 1904, in Ramirez 30

[18] Ramirez 33.

[19] Pius XII, Letter to Fr Gillet, 1942, in Ramirez 42

[20] Ibid.

[21] Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, 35.

[22] John XXII, Consistorial Address, in Ramirez 22

[23] Clement VI, Apostolic Letter In Ordine Fratrum Praedicatorum, directed to all the faithful. Ramirez 22.

[24] Nicholas V Bull Etsi cunctae, 1496, in Ramirez 23

[25] Pius IV Bull Salvatoris, 1564, in Ramirez 23

[26] Ramirez 23

[27] St Pius V, Bull Mirabilis Deus, 1567, in Ramirez 23

[28] Clement VIII, Bull Sicut Angeli, 1603, in Ramirez 24

[29] Benedict XIII, Demissas preces, 1724, in Ramirez 24

[30] Benedict XIII, Bull Petiosus, 1727, in Ramirez 24.

[31] Pohle-Preuss, Dogmatic Theology (and for UK readers), Volume VI, “Mariology”, Herder, 1953, page 67.

[32] Ibid.

[33] Ibid

[34] Matthias Scheeben, Mariology, (and for UK readers) Vol. II, trans. T.L.M.J Geukers, B. Herder Book Co, London, 1948, pp 99-100.

[35] John Henry Cardinal Newman,  Meditations and Devotions (UK: here), London 1893, 82.

[36] Scheeben 94.

[37] Ibid 95.

[38] George W. Shea STD, ‘Outline History of Mariology in the Middle Ages and Modern Times’, in Juniper B. Carol OFM, Mariology (UK: here) Vol I, The Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee 1954 p 301.

[39] Benedict XV, Letter 1919, in Ramirez 36.

[40] Benedict XV, Fausto appetente, 1921, in Ramirez 36.

[41] Pius XI, Allocution to Roman Academy, 1923, in Ramirez 39.

[42] Pius IX, Allocution to the Angelicum, 1924, in Ramirez 40-1

[43] Ibid.

[44] Dominican Missal, in Ramirez 46

[45] Paul V, Bull Splendidissimus athleta, 1607, in Ramirez 24.

[46] Leo XIII, Letter 1901, in Ramirez 28

[47] Leo XIII, Placere nobis, 1880, in Ramirez 26.

[48] St Pius X, In praecipius, 1904, in Ramirez 30

[49] Pius XII, Unigenitus Dei Filius 1924, in Ramirez 37

[50] Pius XI, Encyclical Studiorum Ducem n. 27, 1923, available at

[51] Pius XII, Allocution to the students of regular and secular clergy studying in Rome, 1939, in Ramirez 42.

[52] Pope Benedict XIV, Constitution “Sollicita ac provida”, 7 July, 1753. Available at:

[53] Benedict XIV, Brief of Aug. 2, 1756, in Ramirez 87.

[54] Ramirez 89

[55] From many sources, mentioned approvingly by Leo XIII in Gravissime, mentioned in Ramirez 86, and Clement VIII, Sicut Angeli, 1603 in Ramirez 24.

[56] Clement VIII, Sicut Angeli, 1603 in Ramirez 24.

[57] Pius VI, Allocution to Dominican General Chapter, 1777, in Ramirez 26.

[58] St Pius X, Brief Gravissime to the Jesuits, 1892, in Ramirez 86.

[59] Quoted in Leo XIII Aeterni Patris.

[60] St Pius V, Mirabilis Deus, 1567, in Ramirez 23.

[61] St Pius V, In Eminenti, 1570, in Ramirez 23.

[62] Benedict XIII, Demissas Preces, 1724, in Ramirez 87

[63] Leo XIII, Letter to the Minister General OFM, 1898, in Ramirez 82

[64] Benedict XV, Letter to Fr Hugon, 1916, in Ramirez 33

[65] Pius XII, Allocution, 1950, in Ramirez 45

[66] Pius XII, Humani Generis, 1950 n. 31

[67] St Pius X, Letter to Fr Velasquez, 1909, in Ramirez 31

[68] St Pius X, in Praeclara, 1914, in Ramirez 88

[69] Ibid.

[70] St Pius X, Letter to Fr Pegues, 1907, in Ramirez 83.

[71] Quoted in Ramirez, 90.

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