St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274), the eponym ...


“Amen, Amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do he also shall do”

Instinct with charity, therefore, he unceasingly continued to serve the convenience of others, not counting the cost, by writing admirable books, helping his brethren in their labors, depriving himself of his own garments to give them to the poor, even restoring the sick to health as, for example, when preaching in the Vatican Basilica on the occasion of the Easter celebrations, he suddenly cured a woman who had touched the hem of his habit of a chronic hemorrhage (Pius XI, Studiorum Ducem)

Asked if he knew of any miracles worked by Thomas in life or death or after death, the witness narrated the following which happened during that stay at Maenza. Thomas’s health declined while he was there, and his socius, seeing his weakness, begged him to take some food: whereupon Thomas said, ‘Do you think you could get me some fresh herrings?’ The socius replied, ‘Oh, yes, across the Alps, in France or England!’ But just then a fishmonger called Bordonario arrived at the castle from Terracina with his usual delivery of sardines; and the socius (Reginald of Priverno) asked him what fish he had and was told, sardines. But on opening the baskets, the man found one full of fresh herrings. Everyone was delighted, but astonished too, because fresh herrings were unknown in Italy. And while the fishmonger was swearing that he had brought sardines, not herrings, brother Reginald ran off to tell Thomas, crying, ‘God has given you what you wanted – herrings!’ And Thomas said, ‘Where have they come from and who brought them?’ And Reginald said, ‘God has brought them!’

Asked for his authority for this story, the witness said that the event took place within the four days that he himself spent at Maenza, along with the prior and the other monks mentioned above. He was present and saw everything and also ate some of the herrings–as also did brother Thomas himself and all the company, including Thomas’s niece the Countess Frances, and many other persons both secular and religious.

… Asked who were present at the event, he mentioned himself and his prior and John of Piedemonte, and brother Fedele of Tuscany, and Reginald of Priverno, and an attendant on brother Thomas called James of Salerno. Asked if these men were still living, he said ‘no’; he was the only one left. Asked why he happened to be then at Maenza, he said he had gone with his prior, under obedience, to visit brother Thomas. … Asked how he knew that the fish were herrings, he said that he had seen salted herrings at the papal court at Viterbo, so that he knew herrings when he saw them  (Peter of Montesangiovanni, at the first canonisation enquiry).