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SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS By: Niala, Francis

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SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS

By:Niala, Francis

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Tommaso d'Aquino,OP

“St. Thomas Aquinas” an Italian Dominican Friar and Catholic Priest an immensely influential Philosopher,

Theologian and Jurist in the tradition of Scholasticism

Also known as “Doctor Angelicus” and “Doctor Communis”

Foremost classical proponent of Natural Theology

“Father of Thomism” A Saint, A Model teacher Doctor of the Church (Catholic Church’s

greatest Theologian & Philosopher)

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“Before St. Thomas Aquinas was born, a holy hermit shared a prediction with his mother, foretelling that her son would enter the Order of Friars Preachers, become a great learner and achieve unequaled sanctity.”

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Early Life

Born on January 28, 1225 in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily(Lazio Region), Italy

Landulph –his father, a count of Aquino Theodora- his Mother, a countess of Teano Youngest among 8 siblings

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Early education at the age of 5 in the Abbey of Monte Casino to train among the Benedictine monks

“A witty child who had received a good soul”(Wisdom 8:19)

“ What is God to His Benefactors?” C. 1239 he was enrolled in University of

Naples wherein he was introduce to the works of Aristotle, Averroes and Maimonides

At 19yrs old he secretly joined the Dominican Order (John of St. Julian)

On his way to Rome, He was kidnapped by his brothers and held him as captive in the fortress of San Giovanni Campano

Attempts to deprogram Thomas from his new Beliefs

Education

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St. Thomas Aquinas continued to pursue his studies on 1245 to 1252, with the Dominicans in Naples, Paris and Cologne and subsequently earned his Doctorate in Theology under the tutelage of Albertus Magnus

In 1250, He was Ordained in Cologne, Germany and went on to teach Theology in University of Paris.

He proved an exemplary scholar, though, ironically, his modesty sometimes led his classmates to misperceive him as dim-witted (stupid/silly).

St. Albert the Great on Thomas’s thesis, "We call this young man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world!"

Education

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“The Christian Apostle”- After completing education, St. Thomas devoted himself to a life of traveling, writing, teaching, public speaking and preaching

The Medieval thought on Theology and Philosophy1. Averroes’s “Theory of Double Truth”2. St Thomas’s opposed and rejected this by

asserting that, “ Both kinds of knowledge ultimately come from God” and were therefore compatible and could work in collaboration-“he believed that revelation could guide reason and prevent it from making mistakes while reason could clarify and demystify faith.”

Theology & Philosophy

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Theology & Philosophy

St. Thomas proposed 5 positive statements about the divine qualities or the nature of God:

God is simple, without composition of parts, such as body and soul, or matter and form.

God is perfect, lacking nothing. God is infinite, and not limited in the ways that

created beings are physically, intellectually, and emotionally limited.

God is immutable, incapable of change in repect of essence and character.

God is one, such that God's essence is the same as God's existence.

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St. Thomas’s 5 ways to prove God’s existence Observing Movement in the world as proof of God,

“the Immovable Motor” Observing the Cause and Effect and identifying God

as the cause of everything Concluding that the impermanent nature of beings

proves the existence of a necessary being, God, who originates only from within himself

Noticing varying levels of human perfection and determining that a supreme, perfect being must therefore exist

Knowing that natural beings could not have intelligence without it being granted to them it by God.

Theology & Philosophy

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St Thomas on appropriate Social behavior towards God.

“He believed that the laws of the state were in fact a natural product of human nature, and were crucial to social welfare. By abiding to social laws of the state people can earn eternal salvation of their souls after life. “

Theology & Philosophy

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St. Thomas’s 3 Types of Laws Natural law –prompts a man to

act in accordance with achieving his goals and governs mans sense of right or wrong

Positive law- is the law of the state or government

Eternal law- rational beings depend on reason and is put into action through free will which also works toward the accomplishment of man’s spiritual goals

Theology & Philosophy

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60 known works ranging in length from short to tome-like

Handwritten copies of his works were distributed to libraries across Europe

Works and Writings

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Scriptum super libros Sententiarium or Comentary on the Sentences” - a lengthy commentary on Peter Lombard’s “ Four Books of Sentences (became the standard textbook of Theology),

De ente et essentia, or On Being and Essence, -for the Dominican monks in Paris.  

Impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem, or Against Those Who Assail the Worship of God and Religion,- 1256, while serving as regent master in theology at University of Paris as a treatise defending mendicant orders that William of Saint – Amour had criticized.

Summa Theologica-written in 1265-1274- is largely philosophical in nature

 e. Summa Contra Gentiles- still philosophica in nautre, and came across to many critics as apologetic of the beliefs he expressed in his earlier works

Works and Writings

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Summa Contra Gentiles- is more apologetic in tone, as it was written to explain and defend the "Christian truth" in hostile situations against unbelievers, with arguments adapted to fit the intended circumstances of its use, each article refuting a certain heretical belief or proposition

Summa Theologica- written in 1265-1274- is largely philosophical in nature It was a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West.

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Later Life & DeathSt Thomas’s mystical vision that made writing seem unimportant to him“ at a mass during the feast of St Nicolas in 1273, he reportedly heard a voice coming from a crucifix that said, “Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wilt thou have? “ His reply is “None other than thyself.”

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Father Reginald of Piperno (his Confessor), urged him to keep writing however,  “ I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value.”-St. Thomas Aquinas 

And he never wrote again………..

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January 1274, St Thomas embarked on a trip to Lyon France, on foot to serve the Second Council But never made it there.

Along the way, he fell ill at the Cistercian Monastery Fossanova, Italy. The monks wanted St. Thomas Aquinas to stay at the castle, but, sensing that his death was near, Thomas preferred to remain at the monastery, saying, "If the Lord wishes to take me away, it is better that I be found in a religious house than in the dwelling of a layperson.“

St. Thomas Aquinas died at the Monastery of Fossanova on March 7, 1274.

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St Thomas Aquinas last words were,

“This is my rest forever and ever: Here will I dwell for I

have chosen it (Psalm 131:14)

 

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St Thomas Aquinas was canonized by Pope John XXII in 1323

He is the Patron Saint of: academics, against lightning, booksellers, learning, philosophers, scholars, theologians, against storms, apologists, chastity, pencil makers, publishers, students, lightning

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References:

http://www.biography.com/people/st-thomas-aquinas-9187231#later-life-and-death

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Aquinas http://www.philosophybasics.com/

philosophers_aquinas.html

*Accessed August 21, 2015