Summa Theologiae

Mary of Nazareth

Of Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Summa Theologica, is the most famous of the works of Thomas Aquino. He is the most famous treatise of medieval theology and its influence on philosophy and theology, especially in Catholicism, is uncountable.

Holiness of the Virgin

  1. The Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady’s Nativity. Now the Church does not celebrate feasts except of those who are holy. Therefore even in Her birth the Blessed Virgin was holy.

  2. The Virgin could not be sanctified before animation, because the grace is a gift of the soul; She had to need redemption and salvation which is by Christ as He is the Saviour of all men.

  3. The fomes is nothing but a certain inordinate, but habitual, concupiscence of the sensitive appetite. In the Holy Virgin the fomes remained essentially, but was fettered and when She conceived the Son of God it was entirely taken away as the entire freedom from the fomes redounded from Christ to Her.

  4. We must therefore confess simply that the Blessed Virgin committed no actual sin, neither mortal nor venial, so that what is written is fulfilled: "...and there is not a spot in thee".

  5. Moreover by her sanctification in the womb, the Virgin received such a fullness of grace that She was nearest of all to the Author of grace, so that the Angel called Her "Full of Grace".

  6. Jeremias and John the Baptist are said to have been sanctified in the womb for their foreshadowing the sanctification which was to be effected through Christ, the first one by his own sufferings, the second one by his baptism.

Virginity of the most Holy Mary

  1. The Writings say that Mother of Christ was a Virgin in conceiving, and it is fitting for the dignity of the Father, of the Son himself who is the Word of God, and of Christ’s humanity, by which the sin of the world was taken away and the new men were born for the grace by God’s power. It is written: "Behold a Virgin shall conceive..." (Isaiah 7:14).

  2. The Writings add that most Holy Mary was Virgin even in His birth, and it was fitting for the dignity of the Word of God whose Birth is in question, for the effect of Christ’s Incarnation, as it might take away our corruption and for the honour due to His mother that Christ should not lessen in His Birth. - And a Virgin shall bear a son.

  3. The Writings say that the mother of God, as She was a virgin in conceiving Him and a virgin in giving Him birth, did She remain a Virgin ever afterwards. Thinking otherwise is derogatory to Christ’s perfection: for as He is in His Godhead the Only-Begotten of the Father, being thus His Son in every respect perfect, so it was becoming that He should be the Only-Begotten son of His mother, as being her perfect offspring. Moreover it is an insult to the Holy Ghost, a derogatory to the dignity and holiness of the Blessed Virgin and an imputation of extreme presumption in Joseph. - This gate shall be shut.

  4. Works of perfection are more praiseworthy when performed in fulfilment of a vow. Now it is clear that virginity had a special place in the Mother of God. It was therefore fitting that Mary, having taken a husband, together with him She took a vow of virginity.

Perfection of the child conceived

The child of Mary was said Saint by writings, therefore in the first instant of the conception Christ’s body was both animated and assumed by the Word of God.

Consequently, in the first instant of His conception Christ had the fullness of grace sanctifying His body and His soul.

In the first instant of His conception Christ had perfection of the soul as well as of the will and intellect in which the use of free-will consists.

Since, therefore, the sanctification of Christ was most perfect, because He was so sanctified that He might sanctify others; consequently He was sanctified by reason of His own movement of the free-will towards God. Which movement, indeed, of the free-will is meritorious. Consequently, Christ did merit in the first instant of His conception.

Christ received immediately not only as much grace as comprehensors have, but also greater than that which they all have. And because that grace was not without its act, it follows that He was a comprehensor in act, seeing God in His essence more clearly than other creatures.

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