St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron of All Catholic Schools

Article excerpt

On Friday, we celebrate the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Patron of all Catholic educational institutions. The celebration commemorates the publication of his greatest work Summa Theologica, which earned him reknown as one of the greatest philosophers and theologians of all time. His feast day used to be celebrated on March 7, the day he passed away, but it was changed to January 28 when the Catholic Calendar was revised in 1969.

St. Thomas Aquinas was born in circa 1225 in Roccasecca, near Naples, Italy, to an old high-born south Italian family. He received his first schooling in the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, where the Abbot was his father's brother. He studied at the University of Naples where he earned a degree in theology. He assumed the habit of St. Dominic at the age of 17. In 1245 in Cologne where he studied under the tutelage of Albertus Magnus. After securing his degree, he lectured and preached in many places, becoming known for his wisdom, simplicity, humility and prayer. In 1248, he was appointed second lecturer and magister studentium in Cologne. In 1252, he went to Paris for further studies. After teaching in Paris for several years, he moved on to Rome and other Italian towns. He continued to serve in his order and advised the Pope on affairs of state. …