The Life of St. Thomas of Villanova
With an Introductory Sketch of the Men, the Manners,
and the Morals of the Sixteenth Century
"In giving to the public the Life of a Saint, it will not be out of place, in order to have a just idea of the part he played in God s creation, to also give a brief sketch of the age he lived in ; to show what manner of men were in his time ; what they did and how they lived; to picture their ways and describe their aims, and to point out their failures and extol their triumphs.To download the entire book, click on the link below.
"For in taking up the history of any one country or era, and viewing carefully its several phases, we cannot fail to note that it is the men that always make the age what it is, and not the age, the men ; that all great events, no matter how diverse in themselves, cluster naturally around those who were the chief actors in the scene, just as hills, in the physical world, group themselves around some giant peak, and get their name from it .......
"And now passing by intervening ages we come down in the history of the Church to the XVIth century. This was the age of St. Thomas of Villanova, and of the Great Reformation, (as it is called in history,) a period full of portents, grand and grave; of empires shattered, and of thrones disturbed; of states in revolt, and of nations at war ; of countries lost to the Faith and of others saved; and greatest, most direful of all the events that signalized this era, was the war of man with his Creator, a war that, for the first time in the history of the world, strove to overturn every single form of belief in a God, and to paralyze every virtue that could adorn the human soul. This was an era of universal revolt; an era of anarchy, and an era of unbelief, when all the streams of vileness, gorged with centuries flood of impiety, crime, impurity, and every manner of lust and error streams that had been converging gradually, yet surely, for ages, picking up from here and there, in every land, the filth of all the ancient heresies besides the new, the impurities of Manes, the fatalism of Mahomet, the impiety of Wiclef, and the blasphemies of Jerome of Prague, till full to overflowing they now rolled their waters over the valleys and plains of Germany.
"But this sketch of the Great Reformation would not be complete, unless were shown too, how public, how authoritative, how final, and how complete, was the universal reform in the Church from sin to virtue, and from error to belief."
It was St. Thomas of Villanova, whom the providence of God had raised to the episcopate to enlighten the Church, and to be an example to the prelates of his own time, as well as to all future ages.
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