To bear with patience wrongs done to oneself is a mark of perfection But to bear with patience wrongs done to someone else is a mark of imperfection and even of actual sin.
Attr. to St. Thomas Aquinas.
I found a book on Google Books that helpfully gives a Latin rendition: “Et aequo animo ferre iniuriam sibi signum est perfectio, sed est alius iniurias patienter sufferre imperfectionis et actualis peccati.”
- A general web search turned up lots of hits and no citations.
- It’s not on St. Thomas’s Wikiquote page.
- You can see one of the Google Books hits above. No citation there, nor in any of the other hits.
- Looking directly at St. Thomas, the closest I can find is II-II.108.1.a2. From the version at New Advent: “The good bear with the wicked by enduring patiently, and in due manner, the wrongs they themselves receive from them: but they do not bear with them as to endure the wrongs they inflict on God and their neighbor. For Chrysostom [Cf. Opus Imperfectum, Hom. v in Matth., falsely ascribed to St. Chrysostom] says: ‘It is praiseworthy to be patient under our own wrongs, but to overlook God’s wrongs is most wicked.’ ” I searched both New Advent and the Dominican House of Studies for the original English quotation (and for segments of it) without success.
- Since I had a putative Latin rendering of the same thing (“putative” in its attribution to St. Thomas; the Latin does translate into the English as given), I tried searching for it, both at the Dominican House of Studies and at Corpus Thomisticum, again without success. Searching for Latin can be tricky because aequo could be written as æquo and I’m not sure how well Google handles ligatures; and because iniuriam can also be written as injuriam or even injurjam. To be safe, I left the iffy words out of the search. No luck on either site. To be sure, I tried ferre sibi signum est perfectio aquinas at DHS (I had to add aquinas to cut down on the number of hits, but the quotation was not there by anyone on the first page of results) and ferre sibi signum est perfectio at Corpus Thomisticum. I found nothing.
- I went ahead with a general web search for the Latin and for reasonably sized pieces of it. No success.
I believe that St. Thomas would agree with the sentiment expressed, given the citation above from the Summa. But I cannot find anywhere that he actually said it.