Saint Thomas de Villeneuve
Moine de Saint-Augustin, évêque (+ 1555)
Originaire de la Castille, il entra à l'université d'Alcala à l'âge de douze ans où il parcourut toutes ses classes d'humanités, de rhétorique et de philosophie. Il fut ensuite professeur à l'Université d'Alcala puis de Salamanque, entrant dans l'Ordre de Saint Augustin à cette époque. Provincial de son Ordre, il sut se faire aimer et respecter par sa douceur et sa fermeté, attentif à ce que les religieux donnent priorité à la méditation et aux offices divins. Si grande fut sa réputation que Charles-Quint le nomma archevêque de Grenade. Il resta pauvre dans son palais épiscopal. Trop âgé pour se rendre au concile de Trente, il fut écouté des évêques espagnols qui s'y rendaient.
La Congrégation des Sœurs Hospitalières de Saint Thomas de Villeneuve fut fondée à Lamballe, en Bretagne, en 1661, par le Père Ange Le Proust... en 1658, le Pape Alexandre VII canonise l’Évêque espagnol Thomas de Villeneuve. Pour le Père Ange qui l’admire et le prie depuis son noviciat, c’est le modèle qu’il faut donner à la petite famille religieuse qu’il veut fonder. (Histoire de la Congrégation des sœurs hospitalières de Saint Thomas de Villeneuve qui ont fêté leur 350e anniversaire en 2011)
Un internaute nous écrit à son sujet: "Saint Thomas de Villeneuve n'a pas enseigné à l'université de Salamanque; il a pu refuser le siège de Grenade mais pas celui de Valence (sa dépouille mortelle se trouve à la cathédrale). Ce n'est pas la vieillesse qui l'empêcha d'aller au concile de Trente; la misère spirituelle dans laquelle il trouva son diocèse exigeait de lui qu'il appliquât sans attendre des décisions que prendrait par la suite le concile pour toute l'Église! Cf.Thomas de Villeneuve / Argiiro TURRADO. – in : Dictionnaire de spiritualité, Paris, 15, 1991, col. 874-890."
Fils d'un meunier, il entra chez les Ermites de Saint-Augustin à Salamanque. Il enseigna la théologie à l'Université, puis à Burgos et enfin à Valladolid. Provincial de son Ordre, puis chapelain royal, il reçut par obéissance la charge épiscopale et, entre autres vertus pastorales, il excella tellement dans un ardent amour des pauvres qu’il dépensait tout pour les indigents, au point de ne pas même garder un lit pour lui. Ce qui lui valut d'être surnommé "l’aumônier" à cause de son amour pour les pauvres. Par ses écrits ascétiques et mystiques, il apparaît comme l’un des plus grands représentants de l’Ecole spirituelle espagnole du 16ème siècle. Il a été canonisé en 1658.
À Valence en Espagne, l’an 1555, saint Thomas de Villeneuve, évêque. Entré chez les Ermites de Saint-Augustin, il reçut par obéissance la charge épiscopale et, entre autres vertus pastorales, il excella tellement dans un ardent amour des pauvres qu’il dépensait tout pour les indigents, au point de ne pas même garder un lit pour lui.
Biagio Pupini (–1575). L'elemosina di San Tommaso di Villanova, 1550, 200 x 140, Archdiocese of Bologna. Biagio Pupini, L'elemosina di San Tommaso di Villanova, 1560. Il Santo, con piviale, mitria e pastorale, soccorre i poveri, tra i quali sono due uomini, una donna e due bambini.
Fête 25 novembre
Thomas, âgé de seize ans, était un élève tellement doué qu’après avoir obtenu le grade universitaire de magister artium, on lui offrit immédiatement une chaire. Il fut professeur à l’université d’Alcalá de 1513 à 1516. Il entra dans l’Ordre des Augustins en 1516 et fut ordonné prêtre en 1518. Il fut prieur dans les couvents de Salamanque, de Burgos et de Valladolid. Ensuite, il devint provincial de l’Andalousie (1527-1530) et de la Castille (1534-1537). A cette époque, il envoya des confrères au Nouveau Monde qui fondèrent l’Ordre au Mexique. Charles V aimait écouter ses sermons et lui demandait souvent conseil. Il nomma Thomas archevêque de Grenade, mais celui-ci renonça à cette fonction. En 1544, il fut obligé d’assurer la charge de le diocèse de Valencia. Il s’agissait d’un diocèse riche, mais négligé ; il n’avait pas connu d’évêque résidentiel pendant plus de 100 ans. C’est sans doute cet état lamentable du diocèse qui était à l’origine de l’absence de Thomas au concile de Trente. La plupart des évêques vinrent toutefois lui demander conseil avant de partir pour le concile.
Thomas s’engagea de toutes ses forces pour le bien-être matériel et spirituel de son peuple. Il prêcha, enseigna, étudia et réprimanda en privé et en public si ceci était nécessaire. Son enseignement et sa prédication accélérèrent fortement le développement des études et de la spiritualité de l’Ordre en général. Il était aussi le promoteur de la Dévotion moderne en Espagne. Contemporain de Luther, il accusait vertement, dans ses sermons, le clergé et les moines de dépravation et d’infidélité à l’Évangile.
Saint Thomas de Villeneuve
Archevêque de Valence, en Espagne
Tomás de Villanueva, né Tomás García Martínez, issu d'une pieuse famille de la bourgeoisie, fut élevé à Villanueva, Espagne, d'où lui vient son nom de Villeneuve. Ses parents fort vertueux et charitables le formèrent très tôt à la piété et à la générosité envers les pauvres, les malades et tous les malheureux.
Si nous voulons nous dépouiller du vieil homme, pour devenir une nouvelle créature, demandons instamment cet Esprit du Seigneur. Lui seul, en effet, change les âmes et les crée de nouveau ; sans lui, tous nos soins et tous nos travaux seraient inutiles. Vous auriez beau, pour arriver à la perfection, déployer nuit et jour tous vos efforts et toute votre sollicitude, sans l’Esprit Saint vous ne réussirez jamais, sans son appui, l’âme s’épuise dans le vide. L’expérience m’a appris que l’homme ne peut rendre blanc ou noir un seul cheveu de sa tête ; ainsi plus je m’efforce de m’avancer dans la spiritualité plus je me vois m’enfonçant dans la chair. J’ai donc désespéré de moi-même, voyant que je n’avançais en rien, et qu’il ne me restait qu’une seule ressource, celle de lever les yeux vers les montagnes d’où me viendra le secours ; mon secours vient du Seigneur qui a fait le ciel et la terre (Ps 120, 1-2). Quel est mon cri, quelle est ma demande de chaque jour ? Je n’en ai qu’une seule : Envoie ton Esprit, Seigneur, et renouvelle la face de la terre (Ps 103, 30). Donne-moi, Seigneur mon Dieu, un cœur nouveau et un esprit nouveau, pour que je devienne sous tes yeux une nouvelle créature.
St Thomas de Villeneuve
Saint Thomas de Villeneuve († 1555) fut évêque de Valence jusqu’à sa mort. Par ses écrits ascétiques et mystiques, il apparaît comme l’un des plus grands représentants de l’école spirituelle espagnole du XVIe siècle. Il a été canonisé en 1658. / « Sermon pour le jour de la pentecôte », dans Jaime Garcia, L’amitié de Dieu. St Thomas de Villeneuve, maître de spiritualité augustinienne, Paris, Cerf, 2009, p. 83.
Capella de Sant Tomàs de Villanueva, reliquiari (catedral de València).
Thomas of Villanueva
Father of the Poor
Model of Bishops
Thomas the Almsgiver
Tomas of Villanova
Son of Aloazo Tomas Garcia, a miller, and Lucia Martinez. He grew up in Villanova, Spain, and was educated at the University of Alcala. Professor of arts, logic and philosophy at the university from 1514. Joined the Augustinian friars at Salamanca, Spain in 1516. Ordained in 1518, celebrating his first Mass on Christmas Day that year. Suffered from absentmindedness and poor memory. Preacher. Prior. Provincial of the friars. Sent the first Augustinians to the New World. Nominated by the emperor to the archbishopric of Granada, Spain; he refused the first time, but agreed the second time it was offered, after being ordered to do so by the Pope; he took over on 1 January 1545.
His cathedral gave Thomas money to furnish his house; he donated it to a hospital, saying, “What does a poor friar like myself want with furniture?” Every day he wore the same habit he had received as a novitiate, mending it himself. The canons and domestics were ashamed of him, but could not change him. Several hundred poor came to Thomas’ door each morning, and were given meals, wine and money. Criticized for being exploited, he replied, “If there are people who refuse to work, that is for the authorities to deal with. My duty is to assist and relieve those who come to my door.” He took in orphans, and paid his servants for every deserted child they brought to him. He encouraged the wealthy to imitate his example. Criticized for being gentle with sinners, he said, “Let them ask if Augustine or John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop drunkenness and blasphemy.”
As he lay dying, Thomas commanded that all his money be distributed to the poor. Mass was said in his presence, and after Communion he breathed his last, reciting: “Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” Left a number of theological writings.
Short Lives of the Saints, by Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly
Emblems of the Saints, by F C Husenbeth and Augustus Jessopp
“Saint Thomas of Villanova“. CatholicSaints.Info. 19 April 2021. Web. 19 June 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-thomas-of-villanova/>
Cathedral Iquitos stained glass window Iquitos/Maynas/Loreto, Peru.
Among the many Saints, celebrated on account of their virtues and miracles, who adorned the Catholic Church at a period when a great number of heretics revolted against her, one of the most famous was Saint Thomas of Villanova. He was born 1488, in Castile, and received his surname from the city where he was educated. His parents were very pious, and besides possessing other virtues, they distinguished themselves by their liberality to the poor. Thomas followed closely in their footsteps, and even in his childhood gave all he could to the poor. The bread given him for his breakfast he laid by and gave it to the needy. More than once he took off his own coat and gave it to some poor man whom he met, and when reproved for it he said: “He to whom I gave it, needed it more than I.” The same he did with his shoes and other garments. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin was so great and so constant, that he was called the child of Mary. But notwithstanding his piety and devotion he applied himself so earnestly to his studies at Alcala, that he had hardly reached the age of twenty-six years, when he was appointed to teach philosophy and theology. He kept his purity and innocence unspotted in numberless dangers, making use of the same means that preserved other Saints in similar circumstances. While he was engaged in his studies, he lost his father, and inherited from him, among other property, a large house, which he changed into a hospital. He left the world in 1518, and took the habit of the Order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine, the same order of which the unhappy Martin Luther was a member in Germany, when he began to attack the Catholic religion. It seemed to be the intention of the Almighty to compensate the Order with Saint Thomas for the infamous apostacy of Luther, which took place about that time. Having practised fasting, self-abnegation and mortification from his tenth year, Thomas found no difficulty in fulfilling all the duties of his novitiate. Already at that period he was looked upon as a perfect example of all virtues. Soon after he had made his vows, he was raised to the highest functions of his order, as he possessed unusual wisdom and knowledge, and he administered them to the greatest benefit and satisfaction of all the members. He was gifted with an especial talent for preaching, and did indescribable good by his sermons. The Emperor Charles V. delighted in listening to him as often as he had the opportunity, and appointed him his spiritual counselor and preacher at the court. The King of Portugal called him to his court, and with all his nobles paid him the greatest attention. One day, when he was asked where he obtained such deep thoughts, such wonderful perception, and how he had learned such penetrating eloquence, he replied: “The crucifix is the best instructor for preachers; and prayer is the best lesson they can learn.” After the Saint had, for many years, discharged the functions of an apostolic preacher, to the salvation of thousands of souls, the emperor appointed him Archbishop of Grenada; but the humble servant of God had so much to object, that the emperor was obliged to relinquish the idea. When, however, the see of Valencia became vacant, the holy man could not again refuse obedience to his superiors; and the wish of the emperor, with the unanimous desire of the clergy and the people, forced him to accept it. The space allowed to us is too limited to relate, even partially, the labors performed by Saint Thomas as Archbishop for the honor of the Church and the welfare of his flock. He united all the virtues which became his high dignity. He began by visiting his whole diocese, and afterwards charged men gifted with virtue and wisdom to do the same. He endeavored, by preaching and admonition, to uproot vice, to implant virtue, and to abolish abuses. His blameless and holy life gave to his words the greatest force; hence it was that so many conversions of the most hardened sinners, and a general reformation of morals crowned the endeavors of this apostolic shepherd.
He fared no better than the simplest brother of his Order, nor did he wear other garments; for he was wont to say: “Virtues and good works must distinguish a bishop from his flock, but not his house, garments, domestics, or costly table.” No other than earthenware dishes were used at his table, and he not only observed all the fasts ordained by the Church, but also those of his Order. His bed was a straw mattress, or some vine branches covered with a woolen blanket. He allowed himself no recreation, but constantly endeavored to mortify his body. But severe as he was to himself, he was charitable and liberal to others, especially the poor. He declared frequently, that he rejoiced to be bishop, only because it gave him more opportunities to work for the salvation of souls, and to do good to the poor, than he had in the cloister. When he entered upon his episcopal functions, the canons perceived his poverty, and presented him with four thousand ducats. The Saint received them gratefully, but directly sent the whole sum to the hospitals and poor-houses, saying: “As the poverty which I vowed to maintain accords well with the dignity of Archbishop, I intend to live in accordance with my vow.” This holy resolution he preserved until his death, and also continued his charity to the poor. Seldom a day passed on which he did not provide four or five hundred poor with food and money; besides the charity he bestowed upon the bashful poor, prisoners, and orphans. He inquired diligently for the really needy, and sent them, unasked, what he thought they required. The same charity he bestowed upon the poor artisans, day-laborers, and needy virgins. The latter he enabled, by the dower he gave them, either to enter a convent or to marry. Not many are the saints who possessed the virtue of charity in a more eminent degree than Saint Thomas, and God bountifully rewarded it; for, it is well known that the grain in the barns, the money in his purse, the flour and other articles destined for the poor were miraculously multiplied. Notwithstanding these and many other virtues, constantly practised by the holy bishop, he yet feared that he was not doing enough, and that he would be unable to justify himself before his God. Hence, he prayed to the Almighty to take so unworthy a superior from his Church. God at last heard his prayer, not to deprive His church of an unworthy superior, but to reward a faithful and unwearied servant. One day, when Saint Thomas repeated his prayer before a crucifix, his heart filled with an intense desire to see God, he heard these words proceed from the mouth of the image: “Be comforted, Thomas; you shalt receive the reward of thy labors on the day of the Nativity of my beloved Mother.” From that moment the mind of the Saint was full of holy joy. He evinced more zeal than ever in the functions of his exalted station, and in the exercise of other good works, especially in deeds of charity. On the 29th of August, he became sick, and his first care was to receive the Holy Sacraments. After making a general confession, the Blessed Eucharist was brought to him in procession, and he received it with such devotion that the eyes of all who beheld him filled with tears. He then admonished them to love and fear God and be charitable to the poor. Three days before his death, he distributed among the poor of the city all that remained of his revenues. When on the eve of his death he heard that a small sum of money was still at his disposal, he said to those around him: “I entreat you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that you give it without delay to the poor: for, you can do nothing that will give me greater pleasure.” The same was done with the little furniture his residence contained. When it was announced to him, on the following day that his order had been executed, he turned towards the crucifix and said: “I give You thanks, O my Saviour, for the grace You bestow on me in permitting me to die in poverty. You have given me the administration of Your property; I have distributed it in accordance with Your holy will.” Soon after, he recollected that the bed on which he was lying, was his own, and that he was not yet entirely poor. Immediately calling one of those in the room to his side, he said to him: “My friend, I give this bed to you; but I beg you, for God’s sake, to lend it me until I am gone.” Not an eye was dry at this example of entire renunciation of everything temporal. Saint Thomas alone was cheerful, and desired that they would slowly read to him the passion of Christ, during which he kept his eyes fixed on the crucifix, whilst his ardent sighs showed his longing to be united with the Lord. After this, he requested to have Mass said in his room, at which he assisted with great devotion. Tears Avere streaming from the eyes of the holy bishop, when the priest, after the consecration, raised the sacred Host. At the elevation of the chalice, he began slowly to repeat the psalm: “In thee, O Lord, have I hoped.” After each verse he paused; and at the communion of the priest, he said the last words of the psalm: “In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded.” Then he closed his eyes, and the soul of this great and holy bishop went to the Almighty, in the sixty-eighth year of his life, in the year of our Lord, 1555, on the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. Before and after his death, God honored him with many great miracles which were wrought by his intercession.
Médaille portant l'effigie de Saint Thomas de Villeneuve
Revers de la médaille portant l'effigie de Saint Thomas de Villeneuve : Saint Augustin
• The whole life of Saint Thomas was a continued practice of charity to the poor and sick. For this he consumed almost his entire revenues. How much do you use, weekly, monthly, or yearly, in deeds of Christian charity? Do you not use much more in vanity, intemperance in eating and drinking, maintaining useless animals, or in various forbidden pleasures? Will this give you consolation in your last hour? Will you, acting thus, be able to justify yourself before God? “What will you answer to your Judge,” says Saint Basil, “if you have covered the walls of your house, but have allowed the poor to go bare and naked? if you have richly decked your horses, but despised your brother because of his torn garments? if you have allowed the com to rot, but have not fed the hungry? You have not opened your house to the poor; therefore will the gates of heaven remain closed against you.” Consider what, according to your circumstances, you are able to do for the poor. Follow the admonition Tobias gave to his son: “According to thy ability, be merciful. If you have much, give abundantly; if you have little, take care even so to bestow willingly a little.” (Tobit 4)
• Saint Thomas led a holy life, and yet feared he would not be able to justify himself before God. Faith teaches you that you will have to render account, to an omniscient, just, and omnipotent Judge, of all your thoughts, words, actions, and omissions. This account will be much more difficult for you than for thousands of others, because you have received more benefits from God than thousands of others. “To whom much is given, of him much will be required,” is a sentence pronounced by the Almighty. “With the increase of the gifts or benefits of God, increases also the account we have to render of them,” says Saint Gregory. The inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha have, according to the words of Christ, not to render so heavy an account on the day of judgment, as those of Corozain and Bethsaida; because the latter received more graces than the former. (Matthew 11) For this reason the Jews and heathens have less to account for than the Christians. And, for the same reason, you have more to account for than thousands of other Christians. Is it possible then, that you do not fear this responsibility, this account? The Saints have feared, and yet you do not, although you lead an indifferent, perhaps even a sinful life! Can this be possible? And whence comes it that you do not fear? Perhaps because you do not earnestly think of it, or because you imagine that the time to give an account is still very far off. In the first you are wrong, because you ought to think frequently of it, as so much depends on the issue. In the second you err no less; for, you do not know how near or how far your death may be; and, hence, the account which you have to render. “Behold the judge standing before the door,” says Saint James. (James 5) Should He, however, still tarry a long time, you ought nevertheless often to think of it, and prepare yourself for His coming. You ought to regulate your life in such a manner, that you can justify yourself to your God. How must you conduct yourself? Listen to the words of Saint Chrysostom: “Let us keep the judgment of God continually before our eyes, and we shall surely endeavor to be truly pious; for, as he who forgets it, falls into vices, so will he who keeps it in mind, walk continually in the path of virtue.”
Father Francis Xavier Weninger, DD, SJ. “Saint Thomas of Villanova, Archbishop”. , 1876. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 May 2018. Web. 19 June 2021. <https://catholicsaints.info/weningers-lives-of-the-saints-saint-thomas-of-villanova-archbishop/>
Educator, philanthropist, born at Fuentellana, Spain, 1488; died at Valencia, 8 September, 1555. Son of Aloazo Tomas Garcia and Lucia Martínez Castellanos, the saint was brought up in the practices of religion and charity. Every Friday his father was wont to give in alms all the meal he earned at the mill, besides his usual daily dole of bread. On great feast-days he added wood, wine, and money; while to poor farmers he loaned money and seed. On the death of her husband, Lucia continued the usual alms, and supplied indigent maidens in the neighbourhood with clothing and money. When sixteen tears old, Thomas entered the University of Alcalá, where, after proceeding master of arts and licentiate in theology, he filled the chair (1514) of arts, logic, and philosophy. Among his auditors were the famed scholars Ferdinand de Encina and Dominic Soto. With Alcalá, however, ended his university associations, he having declined the chair of natural philosophy at Salamanca, where he joined the Augustinians in 1516, his vows following a year later, and his ordination to priesthood the year after; his first Mass was celebrated at Christmas, 1518. At Salamanca Convent Thomas was given the class of scholastic theology because of his attachment for books, chiefly the Lombard and St. Thomas, and his exemplary life. Preaching in the pulpits of Spain was soon added to his duties, among other places at Valencia, the field of his later trials, and Valladolid, seat of the imperial Court and residence of the Emperor Charles V when on his visits to the Low Countries. In this last-named city St. Thomas was named by the emperor his court preacher, and one of his councillors of state. Rarely, however, did the saint pay visits of ceremony to the then master of Europe, though his written correspondence with Charles, who held his opinions in high esteem, was voluminous. Towards the close of his life, while at Valencia, he had all the emperor's letters destroyed; his own letters to the emperor, however, are now stored at Simancas.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Marie Jutras.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Copyright © 2021 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
His Intellectual Legacy
Giuseppe De Mattia, L'arcivescovo San Tommaso di Villanova, 1867
San Tommaso da Villanova Vescovo
Villanueva, Spagna, 1486 - Valencia, 8 settembre 1555
Nacque a Fuenllana, Ciudad Real (Spagna) da genitori religiosi e caritatevoli dai quali ereditò uno sviscerato amore per i poveri. Laureato in filosofia entrò nella Comunità agostiniana. Ordinato sacerdote, fu nominato predicatore e, contro la sua volontà, fu superiore della comunità per tutta la vita. Eletto arcivescovo di Valencia diede al proprio Ordine una dimensione vasta, inviando missionari anche in Perù. Ispirandosi agli insegnamenti del Buon pastore, di san Paolo, e dei grandi vescovi, non volle abbandonare la sua diocesi neppure per il Concilio di Trento. Chiamato il San Bernardo spagnolo per la sua profondità teologica sulla Vergine, soccorse i bisognosi (creò perfino un brefotrofio nel palazzo vescovile), si occupò della gioventù, difese la diocesi dalla minaccia musulmana e fondò il Collegio seminario della Presentazione. Fu il più grande predicatore del suo tempo ma, più che con le parole, egli convinse con l'esempio della sua vita. Fu dichiarato beato nel 1618 e Alessandro VII lo canonizzò nel 1658. I suoi resti sono esposti nella cattedrale di Valencia. (Avvenire)
Etimologia: Tommaso = gemello, dall'ebraico
Emblema: Bastone pastorale
Martirologio Romano: A Valencia in Spagna, san Tommaso da Villanova, vescovo: eremita sotto la regola di sant’Agostino, accettò per obbedienza l’ufficio episcopale ed eccelse, tra le altre virtù di pastore, per un amore per i poveri così ardente da dilapidare tutto per i bisognosi, senza lasciare per sé neppure un piccolo letto.
Nacque a Fuenllana, Ciudad Real (Spagna) da genitori religiosi e caritatevoli dai quali ereditò uno sviscerato amore per i poveri. Da Villanueva de los Infantes, città dove andò a vivere la famiglia e dalla quale prenderà poi il nome, a soli quindici anni fu mandato a studiare all'Università di Alcalà dove, nel 1509, ottenne il titolo di maestro di logica, fisica e metafisica. Per tre anni seguì il corso di teologia, interrompendolo per reggere la cattedra di logica (1512-1516). I 15 anni di permanenza ad Alcalà imprimeranno una profonda impronta umanistica al resto della sua vita.
Nel 1516 va a Salamanca per professare nell'Ordine agostiniano. Riceve il sacerdozio nel 1518. A 32 anni. I superiori ben presto scoprono le sue doti. Gli incarichi si succedono ininterrottamente: Priore di Salamanca (1519-21 e 1523-25), Visitatore della provincia di Castiglia (1525-27), Provinciale di quella andalusa (1527-29), Priore di Burgos (1531-34), Provinciale di Castiglia (1534-37), Priore di Burgos (1541-44) .
Carlo V, che nutre per lui una predilezione tale da considerarlo una delle persone chiave nella riforma dei suoi regni, lo nomina suo predicatore e consigliere e, rimasta vacante la sede di Valencia (1544), lo presenta come Arcivescovo di quella città.
Valencia si trovava in una condizione spirituale deplorevole: più di un secolo senza un vescovo residente, molti chierici in situazione irregolare, moreschi agitati. Tommaso, per prima cosa, dirige i suoi sforzi alla ricristianizzazione della diocesi. Per formare un clero capace di dare con la sua vita una testimonianza autentica, fonda il collegio-seminario della Presentazione (1550). Convoca un sinodo e visita tutte le parrocchie, agendo con mano energica e paterna. Tra le sue opere pastorali, due in particolare meritano di essere ricordate: l’assistenza ai poveri e l’evangelizzazione dei moreschi. La riuscita attività in favore del gregge che gli era stato affidato e la sua erudizione fecero di lui uno degli uomini più rispettati del tempo e l’immagine del vescovo ideale.
Morì nel 1555. Fu dichiarato beato nel 1618 e Alessandro VII lo canonizzò nel 1658.
I suoi resti sono esposti alla venerazione dei fedeli nella cattedrale di Valencia.
Autore: P. Bruno Silvestrini O.S.A.