O Mary, Mother of fair love, of fear, of knowledge, and of holy hope, by whose loving care and intercession many, otherwise poor in intellect, have wonderfully advanced in knowledge and in holiness, thee do I choose as the guide and patroness of my studies; and I humbly implore, through the deep tenderness of thy maternal love, and especially through that eternal Wisdom who deigned to take from thee our flesh, and who gifted thee beyond all the saints with heavenly light, that thou wouldst obtain for me by thy intercession the grace of the Holy Spirit that I may be able to grasp with strong intellect, retain in memory, proclaim by word and deed, and teach others all things which bring honor to thee and to thy Son, and which for me and for others are salutary for eternal life. Amen.
– Saint Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas’ humility and silence as a student were at first misinterpreted by his fellow students who nicknamed him “dumb ox.” (They soon saw their mistake, and Saint Albert the Great predicted the “bellow” of Thomas would be heard throughout the world.) Thomas dedicated his studies to the Blessed Virgin and came to have a great knowledge that he modestly confessed came more from God than from his own labors.