Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas

Manila Bulletin, January 27, 2002 | Go to article overview

Feast Day of St. Thomas Aquinas


ST. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) was one of the most influential theologians of all time. His broad vision of the Catholic faith and his conviction that there is no conflict between reason and faith appears throughout his theological writings. He attempted, like all theologians, to provide a reasonable account of Christian faith, in terms suited to the people and circumstances of his times.

Born in a castle near the small town of Aquino, his parents hoped to turn Thomas into a monk, thinking that he might one day become an abbot and increase his family's influence and prestige. Therefore, he was educated at the Benedictine Monastery of Monte Cassino and the University of Naples, where he became interested in the writings of both the Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Islamic philosopher Averroes of Cordoba. In 1244, he joined the Order of Preachers, in opposition to the wishes of his family. In fact, his own brothers kidnaped him and held him in a castle for a year, trying to seduce him away from what Thomas believed to be his calling. When he was released about a year later, the Dominicans sent him to Paris to study and then to Cologne. There he studied under Albertus Magnus from 1248 to 1252.

Thomas served as a professor at Paris, Naples, Orvieto, Viterbo, and Rome. He taught young Dominicans, wrote commentaries on the Scriptures. Thomas delved deeply into the writings of the Fathers of the Church, the early theologians who first attempted to explain their faith and defend its truth. …

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