Drama around skull and bones of Thomas Aquinas

The monks exhumed the “saint” because they feared the body could be stolen. His head was cut off, and kept separately.

The skull of Thomas Aquinas is kept for adoration in a Church just outside Rome.

The story of the beautification of Thomas Aquinas is like a greek drama, a real spiritual tragedy.

Some French monks were desperate to secure the bones of the Catholic theologian, and felt his grave was unsafe.

This is what Ralph McInerny has recored in Christian History magazine no. 73

Shortly after Thomas Aquinas died, on March 7, 1274, miracles began to occur near his body. The monks of the Cistercian abbey at Fossanova, where Thomas was buried, feared that the remains might be stolen and taken off to a Dominican resting place.

Jealous of their treasure, the Cistercians took macabre precautions. They “exhumed the corpse of Brother Thomas from its resting place, cut off the head and placed it in a hiding place in a corner of the chapel.” That way, if the corpse were taken, the head would still be theirs. His sister was given a hand, a finger of which was to take a grisly trajectory of its own.The reverent mutilations continued.

By the time the canonization process began in 1319, the corpse had been reduced to bones, from which the flesh had been boiled away. In 1396 the bones were moved to the Dominican monastery at Toulouse. The remains were relocated to the church of St. Sernin during the French Revolution, then returned to the monastery in 1974. They rest there today.

Source:  Christian History.

Lets look at two more pictures:

The skull of Thomas Aquinas is kept above the altar.
The skull of Aquinas is only one of many “Holy items” in this Abbey.

My comment:

You have to be pretty demonized and mad, to be scared that a dead mans bones would be robbed from the grave.

The Dominican monks exhumed the dead Italian teacher, and cut the head off the corpse.  Next, they kept the head away from the rest of the remains, to avoid being robbed of it all.

If someone robbed the bones, the monks would at least have the head, soon to be boiled to become a clean venerable skull.

The boiling part of it, to separate the bones from the dead mans flesh is another story for a horror movie.  But lets leave that part.

Lets rather look what happened to the bones and the skull.

The skull ended up as a “Holy relic” in the Fossonova Abbey outside Rome.

The bones has been kept in the Dominican monastery at Toulouse in France. Lets take a look at the pictures from France:

Roman Catholics in Tolouse parade the bones of the Italian theologian.
The bones of Thomas Aquinas is normally kept under the altar in the Monastry in Tolouse.

While the skull of Thomas Aquinas is kept above the altar in Italy, the bones rest under the altar in France. But the bones are paraded on the annual feast day.

It is difficult to comment on religious madness of this kind.  To rob a grave is bad enough. To cut the head of a corpse, and keep it safe from thief’s is paranoia.

Who were these monks afraid of?

Could the potential robbers, be others than competing demonized Catholic priests?

Who else is able to fight over “holy skulls and bones”?

Since the skull and the bones have been kept in two different nations, we must be puzzled if they ever will be united.

On the final day of Judgment: From where is this man going to surface?

His bones have also been widely distributed. Thousands might have a piece of His bones, sold as first class relics by the bone sellers in the Vatican.

Written by Ivar

25 thoughts on “Drama around skull and bones of Thomas Aquinas

  1. Sick sick sick sick ….and THIS is the religion that so many put their Eternal Salvation in their hands to convince them they are really ‘saved’…..hmmm How come their Mother Mary don’t tell them to ”stop digging up dead bodies…..stop playing in the grave yard…get out of the dirt…”…Geesh… portraits of her squirting breast milk in the eye of a priest, only she can get people ‘to Jesus’ …guess The Holy Spirit was fired by this religious faith…so many changes in their religion and many others since I was a little girl…so many changes…Amazing how JESUS NEVER CHANGES (SMILE) ..But Ole Pharaoh and all his political minions says ”Change is the thing people want’…(smile) well they have it…and are getting more of it daily..I’m surprised this site is still allowed to be as open as it is…. so many others have ‘cowed down…bowed the knee to Baal’…with Federal threats…Thank you Jesus for those who refuse to bow to Pharaoh …Thank you Sir (Jesus)

  2. Obviously, you have never did an objective study on our Christian history or other research!!

    You know Christians from the earliest centuries of the Church have expressed their communion with those who have died by praying for the dead. Why do you think we have funerals which a sevice to pray for the dead and remember those who have gone before us!! Its a service to pray for the one who has died and for the dead!!! Duh!

    Inscriptions in the Roman catacombs in Italy, indicate that the early Christians honored and prayed for their deceased relatives and friends.

    Tertullian (211AD)
    Wrote that Christians offered prayer and the Eucharist for the deceased on the anniversaries of their death.
    St. Augustine (354 – 430AD)
    Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church, which even now is the Kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ.
    It is not uncommon that non-believers see the Roman Catholic devotion to the Saints and the dead in general as falling under the prohibition of necrology as found in the Hebrew Scriptures. These people are not aware of the New Life of the Christian who has been called out of this life. They are not dead, but alive!

    Rom 6:3-4
    Or are you unaware that we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life.

    Col 2:12
    You were buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
    The early Christians, in praying for their dead were expressing their belief that departed brothers and sisters underwent a purification after death (“purgatory”). Their prayers were prayers that God would have mercy on them during this time of healing and purification.

    Many people who do not share the Catholic Christian (Western/Latin Christians) or the Orthodox faith (Eastern Christians) life have difficulty with the appearance that in their prayers, Catholics appear to pray to the Saints, to Mary, as one prays to God. This “praying to” appears to them to indicate a worship of the Saint as if giving to the Saint or Mary what is due to God alone.

    However, earliest Christianity has always defined prayer as conversation, as in conversation with God. Conversation, as any other act of communication ( e.g., talking, conversation, yelling, etc.), requires a sign of the direction of the communication: one talks to someone, communicates with someone, prays to someone, converses with someone, yells at someone, etc. Hence, praying to God, a Saint, the Virgin Mary indicates simply the direction of prayer communication. It is more a matter of grammar and understanding communication than acknowledging the worship of the receiver.

    From the earliest of Church Councils (the Council of Rome, 993; defined by the Council of Trent) the distinction was made between worship and honor. Catholics believe that worship is due to God alone. Catholics honor those saints who have gone before us as a sign of faith and victory in living the Christian life.

  3. Liam wrote: “praying to God, a Saint, the Virgin Mary indicates simply the direction of prayer communication.”

    Just curious how you understand this and reconcile with the bible.

    How do Mary and the saints hear the prayers of all people all around the world at the same time? Did God give them that ability (an ability that only he has) to be able to hear the millions of prayers being prayed to them all at the same time? Do you a biblical verse to support this?

    1. Dear Jess.

      Shalom, and welcome to this site.

      Thanks for asking a question to Liam. Since he do not entertain questions, but publish Vatican approved booklets, He will no reply to you.

      Since He do not entertain my questions either, I have put him in the spam folder. If I see a fresh reply from Him with answers, I will let you know. Blessings.

      1. Hello ivarfield, and thank you for your warm welcome.

        Thank you for your web site.

        It is sad that Liam does not want to discuss what he posts here.

        When Liam posted this statement: “It is not uncommon that non-believers see the Roman Catholic devotion to the Saints and the dead in general as falling under the prohibition of necrology…”

        I read that, and I wondered if Liam actually took time to read that statement before he posted it. Those of us who believe the RC teachings are false are not a “non-believers” in the God revealed in the Bible. Maybe he was referring to “nonbelievers” in the Roman Catholic teachings? At least that is what it looks like to me.


      2. Dear Jess


        Liam will be back if I find a post with answers. The problem with many Roman Catholics, is that they just copy something from a Vatican approved web-site, and past it in the comment field on this blog. Often, they do not read their own message, and have no clue what they are distributing.

        When I came across such propaganda distributors, I spam them. If not the comment field will not longer be a comment field, not a site for debate on the concerned topics.

    2. So, why don’t you answer the question Jess! How was Mary or other characters in Bible able to hear the voice of God or the Angels????? What was the ability……..wasn’t called listen or have open ear or an open mind!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like you guys don’t have!

      1. Dear Jason.


        I know this message was not for me, but.

        You wrote:

        So, why don’t you answer the question Jess! How was Mary or other characters in Bible able to hear the voice of God or the Angels?????

        My reply:

        Simply by listen to their voice.

  4. Hi Jason,

    ” How was Mary or other characters in Bible able to hear the voice of God or the Angels????? What was the ability”

    Because they were his sheep.Jesus spoke about those who have the “ability” to recognize his voice. He said he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. Did you ever notice how many times in the Bible when God speaks to someone or sends an angel to someone he uses their name?

    John 10
    “…the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

    Those who hear/recognize God’s voice belong to Him. If you spend enough time listening to God (through his word) erroneous teachings will always stand out.

    Proverbs 3:5-6
    Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding;
    6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He shall direct your paths.

  5. Dear ivarfjeld:

    “Often, they do not read their own message, and have no clue what they are distributing.”

    That is sad because they are carrying a false message and destroying the gospel.

    1. Dear Jess.


      You will hardly be able to debate with a Religious Roman Catholic. He will never stick to one issue, but jump around. The Pope is His “Holy Father”, and what the Pope has said would be right. No place for reflections.

      When the Pope said the Earth was flat, the Catholics jailed people who claimed the opposite. To day the Catholics do not have the same political powers in the majority of nations. But if they could, both of us would have been in jail by this evening.

      1. OK…..I am curious??? Which Pope ever said the earth was flat??? And second how is it wrong to pray for those gone before us?? Don’t you pray for others who alive!! Also pray souls of those who have died?? The physical body maybe gone, but the soul is still alive!!

      2. Dear Bernard.


        This is what I found on one website:

        Pope Paul V was concerned with the growth of scientific thought that was challenging the flat earth view developed and ruthlessly maintained by the Catholic Church for hundreds of years. Pope Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616.


        A mix of Church and science have never been a good idea. Before Copernicus, mankind believe that the earth was the center of the Universe, and that the Earth was flat. That was obvious. Just look at the ocean.

  6. Actually Pope Paul V, met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the Heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. The Heliocentric ideas is not about the earth being flat…..you got that way wrong!! Never did the Church ever taught about the earth being flat!

    Now St. Augustine, he certainly believed in a spherical Earth, but argued against there being people on the “other side of the curve”. He believed, again based on observation, that the rest of the globe was covered in water and had no major land masses. This was the same belief held up to the time of Christopher Columbus, who thought he was sailing directly to India. The relevant quote from St. Augustine’s “City of God”

    His Quote:
    But as to the fable that there are Antipodes, that is to say, men on the opposite side of the earth, where the sun rises when it sets to us, men who walk with their feet opposite ours, that is on no ground credible. And, indeed, it is not affirmed that this has been learned by historical knowledge, but by scientific conjecture, on the ground that the earth is suspended within the concavity of the sky, and that it has as much room on the one side of it as on the other: hence they say that the part which is beneath must also be inhabited. But they do not remark that, although it be supposed or scientifically demonstrated that the world is of a round and spherical form, yet it does not follow that the other side of the earth is bare of water; nor even, though it be bare, does it immediately follow that it is peopled.

    The Heliocentric Theory is the astronomical model in which the Earth and planets revolve around a stationary Sun at the center of the solar system. The word comes from the Greek (ἥλιος helios “sun” and κέντρον kentron “center”). Historically, heliocentrism was opposed to geocentrism, which placed the Earth at the center. The notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun had been proposed as early as the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos, but had received no support from most other ancient astronomers.

    It was not until the 16th century that a fully predictive mathematical model of a heliocentric system was presented, by the Renaissance mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic Cleric, Nicolaus Copernicus, leading to the Copernican Revolution.

    Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy. A letter from Bellarmine to Galileo, however, states only the injunction that the heliocentric ideas could not be defended or held; this letter was written expressly to enable Galileo to defend himself against rumors concerning what had happened in the meeting with Bellarmine.

  7. O come on now its just a bit of fun to have picture of granny on the mantel. Having the bones of a holy person is a way of honoring them and also its a way of teaching young people the example. Yes a dated outlook but for many Catholic and other people it is a very old and honored thing to do. OF corse THEIR are the cases of going to war to get relics from other town, as they were part of the treasure of a City example St, F. Assie went to war pnd of the objects of the and venture to get the relics of the town. That another story.


    1. Having a picture of your grandma on the mantel is no where near the same of having a bone, and praying to it. Nor is it the same as having any statue, and thinking it’s connected to God somehow.

      It’s so clear what the Word of God says.

      1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

      Jonah 2:8 Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love.

      Colossians 3:5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

      Psalm 16:4 The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply; their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out or take their names on my lips.

      Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    2. you take what is not yours that makes you a thief…..to justify it by war only makes reasons for stealing…there is still No Excuse for it…

  8. Reblogged this on Giftoftruth United and commented:
    Its time we bury the dead to allow the dead to bury their dead. This no longer serves us. This is certainly not what Brother Thomas Aquinas would have wanted:

    “This for Thomas finally is the natural law (lex naturalis): a sharing from within (or participation) of the Eternal Law, but not, Thomas insists, something otherwise different from that first and highest law in the mind of God: “the natural law is nothing else than the rational creature’s participation of the eternal law.”[10] This participation is available to all humans independently of any reception on their part of divine supernatural revelation: the natural law is observed whenever humans both engage in correct practical reasoning about what is good and best for them overall in any given situation[11] and when they act in accord with that rational determination.[12] The natural law, according to Aquinas, has certain basic and self-evident precepts or dictates, dictates knowable to any human with a properly functioning intellect and a modicum of experience of the world.
    Paraphrasing Thomas, first and fundamental, is the precept that, “anything good [i.e. that which
    perfects human nature] is to be pursued [is the appropriate object of human activity], and the opposite of this good, evil, is to be avoided in all human acts.” Other basic precepts, but with specific content, would include those such as: “bodily health is a good to be pursued and bodily harm avoided,” or “knowledge is a good to be pursued and ignorance and falsehood avoided,” or “friendship is a good to be pursued and those things opposed to it avoided.”[13]
    In each case, human reason grasps that some object is perfective of human nature and so directs that nature toward it by an at least tacit precept or action-guide, while directing it away from that good’s contrary. The basic precepts of the natural law command human nature to seek obvious human goods;
    when the status of some presumptive object of human action as a good is less evident, investigation is required to determine its status. Not all, however, are equally fit for this task of discernment about what is good for human nature in general and good for this particular human being as such.”
    Thomas D. D’Andrea, University of Cambridge

  9. Peace

    We are all Rational, OH! IF ONLY WE could have Peace! we are all happy.
    It is better to live in a World of Peace, rather than to live on a wasteland…

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