Miguel Ferreira da Costa was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1954. Before starting a law career, he studied at the Saint Benedict College of Rio de Janeiro, where I had the opportunity to be his classmate during a brief time. He took part in the Traditionalist and anti-modernist movement organized around Gustavo Corção and Permanencia magazine. After that he began his life of a “faithful warrior and veteran of the post-Conciliar war for the Faith”, as Bp. Williamson wrote. He began, as I said, to study Law, but he quit to become a monk taking the name of Thomas Aquinas in the French monastery of Barroux, whose superior was Dom Gérard at that time. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Lefebvre in Ecône by Archbishop in 1980. He was then able to enjoy the friendship, example, and teaching of the SSPX’s founder.
He came to Brazil with a group of monks from Barroux to found the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro,Brazil. However, in the meantime Dom Gérard, against the insistences of AB Lefebvre, marched towards an agreement with conciliar Rome, of which Dom Thomas Aquinas was also opposed. The split was inevitable. The Monastery of the Holy Cross, with Archbishop Lefebvre's support of Dom Thomas Aquinas, became an independent friend of the SSPX. As a matter of fact, AB Lefebvre wrote a letter to Fr. Thomas Aquinas, a letter which I had the privilege of reading where he stated something to the effect of: You must honor and consult with the bishops of the SSPX, but they do not have jurisdiction over you because, as Prior of the Monastery, you must have autonomy.
But the relationship between Dom Thomas and his Monastery with the SSPX has become difficult, especially with the approach of the SSPX to neo-modernist Rome. When Benedict XVI released his Motu Proprio about the "extraordinary rite", Dom Thomas Aquinas refused to sing the Te Deum at the Sunday Mass as was for asked by Bp. Fellay so as to celebrate the papal document and especially the “lifting of the excommunications” by the same pope. Dom Thomas wrote to Bp. Fellay a letter where he said that he will not follow in his steps towards an agreement with conciliar Rome. Sometime later, Bp. De Galarreta and Fr. Bouchacourt appeared at the Monastery (I’m an eyewitness) to tell Dom Thomas that he had 15 days to leave the Monastery, otherwise the Monastery wouldn’t receive help and sacraments (Order included) from the SSPX.
I wrote to Bp. Fellay to complain about this injustice and received the following answer: "As long as he doesn’t leave the Monastery, this one will not receive our help”. I responded: “I must have the same mental problem, because I have known him for twelve years and I never realized it”. It truly was something similar to Stalinism and the psychiatric hospitals it had for its opponents.
So Dom Thomas hesitated. If he left the monastery, it would be its ruin regarding the Faith; but if he stayed, he would deprive it of all the help needed. It was then when Bp. Williamson came to the rescue. Our English Bishop wrote a letter to Dom Thomas in which he assured the monastery of being able to receive all the sacraments. In this way, Dom Tomas could remain there. This was enough for all of us to react. It was the beginning of what is now known as the Resistance, which had as its first organ in the website SPES, today offline for having played the role to which it was destined. The Monastery then became the reception center for the priests who, wanting to leave the SSPX because of the treachery of their superiors, hesitated to leave because they had nowhere to live. It was the consecration place of Bp. Faure and now it will be the place of the consecration of Dom Thomas Aquino Ferreira da Costa himself, my spiritual father and the closest friend that God could had given to me. Yes, I’m his son and the Monastery of the Holy Cross’ son and it was here, in this little corner of heaven, that I was able to feel for the first time the most pleasant odor of sanctity.
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