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Saturday, January 2, 2010

St. Thomas of Villanova: Patron Saint of Alimodian

The traditional town fiesta of Alimodian is in honor of the town’s patron saint, St. Thomas of Villanova.

On September 22, 1288 King Charles V of Spain appointed St. Thomas archbishop of Valencia. Even before his appointment to the lowly but exalted position, he had entered the house of the Augustinian Friar in order to study further the science of saints.

As he was being led to his earthly throne in the church, he set aside all the silken and golden ornaments he was entitled to and with humility knelt down and kissed the ground in tears.

When St. Thomas was offered huge amount of money with which he would build his palace, he spent the money for the local public hospital.

On his appointment as archbishop of Valencia, he was to visit a prison to improve the condition of the inmates in it. To the poor and needy, he gave a big portion of the Episcopal revenues under him each year as his alms to them. Even as a child, he was known to have given him his meal to the poor. He was a kind-hearted lad.

During his episcopate which lasted for eleven years, he fed at least 500 poverty-stricken persons each day, and took care of the foundlings like to a mother does to her child.

Every maiden belonging to a poor family received alms from him on wedding day serving lessons to those who were aristocratic and rich but unfortunately selfish. After learning a good lesson from the act of kindness of the archbishop, the rich and affluent persons became kindhearted and generous with their fortune.

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