Whether an aureole is due to Christ?
It would seem that an aureole is due to Christ. For an aureole is due to virginity, martyrdom, and teaching.
Now these three were pre-eminently in Christ. Therefore an aureole is especially due to Him.
Further, whatever is most perfect in human things must ne especially ascribed to Christ. Now an aureole is due as the reward of most excellent merits.
Therefore it is also due to Christ.
Further, Cyprian says (De Habit. Virg.) that "virginity bears a likeness to God."
Therefore the exemplar of virginity is in God.
Therefore it would seem that an aureole is due to Christ even as God.
On the contrary,
An aureole is described as "joy in being conformed to Christ." Now no one is conformed or likened to himself, as the Philosopher says (Metaph., lib. ix, 3).
Therefore an aureole is not due to Christ.
Further, Christ's reward was never increased.
Now Christ had no aureole from the moment of His conception, since then He had never fought.
Therefore He never had an aureole afterwards.
I answer that,
There are two opinions on this point.
For some say that Christ has an aureole in its strict sense, seeing that in Him there is both conflict and victory, and consequently a crown in its proper acceptation.
But if we consider the question carefully, although the notion of aurea or crown is becoming to Christ, the notion of aureole is not.
For from the very fact that aureole is a diminutive term it follows that it denotes something possessed by participation and not in its fulness.
Wherefore an aureole is becoming to those who participate in the perfect victory by imitating Him in Whom the fulness of perfect victory is realized.
And therefore, since in Christ the notion of victory is found chiefly and fully, for by His victory others are made victors -- as shown by the words of Jn. 16:33, "Have confidence, I have overcome the world," and Apoc. 5:5, "Behold the lion of the tribe of Juda... hath prevailed" -- it is not becoming for Christ to have an aureole, but to have something from which all aureoles are derived.
Hence it is written (Apoc. 3:21): "To him that shall overcome, I will give to sit with Me in My throne, as I also have overcome, and am set down in My Father's throne [Vulg.:'With My Father in His throne']."
Therefore we must say with others that although there is nothing of the nature of an aureole in Christ, there is nevertheless something more excellent than any aureole.
Reply to Objection 1:
Christ was most truly virgin, martyr, and doctor; yet the corresponding accidental reward in Christ is a negligible quantity in comparison with the greatness of His essential reward.
Hence He has not an aureole in its proper sense.
Reply to Objection 2:
Although the aureole is due to a most perfect work, yet with regard to us, so far as it is a diminutive term, it denotes the participation of a perfection derived from one in whom that perfection is found in its fulness.
Accordingly it implies a certain inferiority, and thus it is not found in Christ in Whom is the fulness of every perfection.
Reply to Objection 3:
Although in some way virginity has its exemplar in God, that exemplar is not homogeneous.
For the incorruption of God, which virginity imitates is not in God in the same way as in a virgin.