January 28 is the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron saint of students, schools, and learning. In honor of his feast day, share this prayer before study below with your students. Copy and paste it into a word document and distribute copies for them all to use before big tests and exams.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Prayer Before Study
St. Thomas frequently recited this before he dictated, wrote, or preached.
Who, from the treasures of Your wisdom,
have established three hierarchies of angels,
have arrayed them in marvelous order
above the fiery heavens,
and have marshaled the regions
of the universe with such artful skill,
You are proclaimed
the true font of light and wisdom,
and the primal origin
raised high beyond all things.
Pour forth a ray of Your brightness
into the darkened places of my mind;
disperse from my soul
the twofold darkness
into which I was born:
sin and ignorance.
You make eloquent the tongues of infants.
Refine my speech
and pour forth upon my lips
the goodness of Your blessing.
Grant to me
keenness of mind,
capacity to remember,
skill in learning,
subtlety to interpret,
and eloquence in speech.
guide the beginning of my work,
direct its progress,
and bring it to completion.
You Who are true God and true Man,
Who live and reign, world without end.
- Distribute copies of the prayer for students to use in their personal prayer life.
- Discuss the following with the students about the prayer:
- What do the first two stanzas say about God?
- How can God help us be better students according to the prayer?
- What part of the prayer do you connect with the most?
- Instruct the students: choose one sentence or word in the prayer and spend 5 minutes meditating upon by reciting it, clearing your mind, and letting God speak to you through the words.
The Religion Teacher members can access a short video biography and graphic organizer about St. Thomas Aquinas here.
I knew your blog would be helpful, but I had no idea how quickly or how tangibly it would work. My 10th grade class and I were responsible for planning the St. Thomas Aquinas liturgy this past Thursday. It had fallen through the cracks and we didn't realize it was our job until the Tuesday before. Ugh. I immediately researched St. Thomas Aquinas on the internet and was overwhelmed with material. Distilling this Saint into a paragraph of introduction proved incredibly difficult. I was overjoyed when I read your post. I pilfered the prayer and it was a perfect start to the liturgy. God Bless, and thanks for all you do! Your faithful follower, Allison
Jared Dees, M.Ed.
Thank you Allison for your kind words. I am so glad to hear the prayer came in handy on Thursday. In the future, I will try to post these things early enough for you to include in your planning.
By the way, I am enjoying following your experience teaching religion on your blog. Keep it up!