3 St Thomas Aquinas

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    St. Thomas was born in 1225at Rocca Secca in the Kingdomof Naples

    His father was Landulfo, Countof AquinoAnd his mother was Teodora,Countess of Teano

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    At a very young age, Thomas gotaccustomed to the habit ofOra etLaboraas he was sent by his parentsto join the Benedictines as the age of 5

    As a young monk in the AbbeyofMonte Cassino, Thomas

    impressed his community withhis diligence in study, devotionto prayer, and questionsbeyond his age likeWhat isGod?

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    In 1236, realizing Thomas extraordinaryintelligence, the Abbot of Monte Cassinorecommended that he be sent to theUniversity of Naples to have betterinstruction

    It was in Naples that Thomas began toshine as he surpassed the intelligence of hismentors in a matter of months.

    While in Naples, Thomas learned of the

    Order of Preachers(Dominicans). Thomasrealized that he was being called by God tofollow the way ofSt. Dominic de Guzman soThomas sought admission into the Order andin 1243, he received the Dominican habit

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    Teodora did not like the idea of havingher son enter a mendicant order. WhenThomas was nearing the town ofAquapendente, she had him kidnappedby his brothers and imprisoned for two

    years in the tower ofSan Giovanni inRocca Secca.

    During his confinement, his mother tried every means possible tochange Thomas mind from joining the Dominicans. In herdespair, she even sent a woman to tempt Thomas, but the faith

    of the Dominican Novice prevailed. After a period of anger andgrief, Teodora allowed the Dominicans to visit Thomas and givehim fresh habits. Thomass sister brought him books like theBible, Aristotle, and the Sentences of Peter Lombard. These keptThomas busy in his imprisonment. With Gods grace, after twoyears, Thomas was finally given permission to join the Order of


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    As soon as he was released, he pronouncedhis vows and was sent to Rome. There, PopeInnocent IVexamined his motives for joiningthe Dominicans, and seeing he was sincere,

    blessed him and forbade any furtherinterference with his vocation.

    After some time, theOrder sent Thomas tothe University of Paris

    and Cologne to studyunder the mostrenowned professor ofthe Dominicans at thattime, St. Albert theGreat.

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    As a student underAlbertus Magnus,Thomas was very quiet. He was huge, butquite shy. He never showed off hisintelligence. His humility was interpreted

    as dullness. Because of this, his peerscalled himthe Dumb Ox

    But St. Albert saw another side ofThomas. Hearing Thomas defense ofa difficult thesis, he exclaimed:Wecall this young man a dumb ox, buthis bellowing in doctrine will oneday resound throughout the world

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    In 1250, St. Thomas was raised to theSacred Order of Priesthood. He became acelebrated preacher, filling up churches inGermany, France, and Italy. His listenerswere particularly impressed with his

    brilliant interpretation of Scriptures.

    After much struggle with universityauthorities, St. Thomas received hisDoctoral degree from the Universityof Paris. His dissertation entitled:

    The Majesty of Christwherein hebeautifully explainedPsalm 103:13.He received his degree on the sameday as his friend, St. Bonaventure, aFranciscan.

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    As a Theologian, Thomass greatest contribution isthat of putting FAITH and REASON together. ForThomas, reason was insufficient to enlighten man,hence there is a need for faith. Using reason toserve faith, Thomas spent his life writing the truthsof faith systematically. This genius of Thomas and

    his passion for the TRUTH was most evident in hismasterpiece, the SUMMA THEOLOGIAE

    Because of his brilliance, he was often consulted

    by monarchs, ecclesiastics, and even by thepope. In terms of his liturgical contribution,Thomas Aquinas was commissioned by the popeto compose the Mass for Corpus Christi, and theEucharistic hymns he composed are still beingsung today.

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    St. Thomas had a terrible penmanship. Here is a sample of his handwriting

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    Perhaps he exhausted himself too much,Thomas health began to fail. In1273, he beganseeing visions and was often in ecstasy. Therewere times that he could not finish saying Massas he would burst into tears during theconsecration.

    While St. Thomas was at prayer before thecrucifix, three brothers reportedly heardOur Lord speak to him sayingYou havewritten well of me Thomas, what rewardwould you ask from me? Thomas humbly

    replied:Nothing but you, Lord

    From that time on, he refused to write, hisSUMMA still unfinished. He called all hiswritingsstraw, saying that it is neverreally possible for man to fully understand

    the glory of God.

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    In 1274, Pope Gregory Xcalled for a general councilin Lyons. Such a council would require the genius ofThomas so the pope requested him travel to Lyons,and Thomas, in all humility, obeyed despite his failinghealth.

    While traveling he fell ill near Terracina, and hewas accommodated by the Cistercian Monks inFossa Nuova. The monks took care of him until hedied on March 7, 1274. He was 49.

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    Upon the popes orders, the Cistercians gavethe remains of Thomas to the Dominicanswhere it was buried first in the DominicanChurch of Toulouse and then in the churchofSt. Sermin

    Tomb of St.

    ThomasThe left arm of St.Thomas was given tothe Cathedral of Naples

    While his right arm was given to theBasilica of S. Maria Sopra Minerva

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    On July 18,1323, PopeJohn XXIIcanonizedThomas as asaint of the


    In 1567, theDominican PopeSt. Pius Vnamedhim Doctor of theChurch

    Pope Leo XIII honored St. Thomas bydeclaring him Prince and Master of all

    Scholastic Doctors. On August 4, 1880,he declared St. Thomas Aquinas as Patronof all Catholic Universities, Academies,Colleges, and Schools.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    Friendship is the source of thegreatest pleasures, andwithout friends even the most

    agreeable pursuits becometedious.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    The highest manifestation of lifeconsists in this: that a beinggoverns its own actions. A thingwhich is always subject to the

    direction of another is somewhat ofa dead thing.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    Happiness is securedthrough virtue; it is agood attained by man's

    own will.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    Three things are necessaryfor the salvation of man: toknow what he ought tobelieve; to know what he

    ought to desire; and toknow what he ought to do.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    The knowledge of Godis the cause of things.For the knowledge ofGod is to all creatures

    what the knowledge ofthe artificer is to thingsmade by his art.

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    Some Quotable Quotes FromSt. Thomas Aquinas

    Every judgment ofconscience, be it right orwrong, be it about thingsevil in themselves or

    morally indifferent, isobligatory, in such wisethat he who acts against hisconscience always sins.

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    Lord, true source of light and wisdomGive me a keen sense of understanding

    A retentive memoryAnd the capacity to grasp things correctly.

    Grant me the graceTo be accurate in my expositionsAnd the skill to express myselfWith thoroughness and clarity.

    Be with me at the start of my workGuide its progress

    And bring it to completion.

    Grant this through Christ, our Lord.


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    St. Thomas Aquinas: A brief History


    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPAEDIA: St. Thomas Aquinashttp://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14663b.htm