Monday, 22 September 2008

Memorial of Saint Thomas of Villanueva

This saint (according to Wikipedia):

- was born in 1488 in Ciudad Real, Spain
- though was from a rich family, as a young boy often went about naked as had given his clothing to the poor
- entered the Augustinian order in Salamanca in 1516, and ordained a priest in 1518
- became prior of the friary, General Visitor, and Provincial Prior for Andalusia and Castile
- was known for his great personal austerity and for his continual and untiring charitable efforts - sought to obtain definitive and structural solutions to the problem of poverty
- in 1533 sent out the first Augustinian friars to arrive in Mexico
- in 1544 was nominated as Archbishop of Valencia - there he organized a special college for Moorish converts, and in particular an effective plan for social assistance, welfare, and charity
- had a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, whose heart he compared to the burning bush that is never consumed
- died in 1555 in Valencia - was canonized on November 1 1658

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