The Meaning of the Saints

    Here is a beautiful fresco of Mary and the angel Gabriel in the Jesuit church in Rome, the Gesu.  The interesting thing about this fresco is that Thomas Aquinas and a Cardinal are in the scene.  They are present because through his writings, Thomas Aquinas had helped the cardinal understand the meaning and beauty of this Gospel story of the Annunciation.  So in the picture, Aquinas is literally pushing the cardinal toward Mary.
    This is quite a depiction of what the saints are supposed to do: they are to usher us toward Jesus, toward the Gospel stories, and toward heaven.  They are supposed to push us toward our goal.  This is the exact opposite of attracting attention to themselves.  I love my little host of saints, including Thomas Aquinas, because they do for me exactly that.  So I can say, “I love Thomas Aquinas” or “I love St. Therese,” not to commit idolatry, but rather, to thank her for bringing me closer to Jesus.
    This picture is the first time I have ever seen all that meaning depicted in one work of art!

   St. Thomas Aquinas, pray for us!