Dominican Friar and Doctor of the Church (1225-1274)
+ Thomas was in the Aquino region of Italy. Educated by the Benedictine monks at the great abbey of Monte Cassino, he also studied at the University of Naples.
+ Despite severe opposition from his family, he entered the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans) in 1244. He was sent to study in Cologne, Germany, where he was a student of Saint Albert the Great. Ordained a priest in 1250, he was sent to teach at the University of Paris.
+ Thomas Aquinas is especially remembered for his commentaries on the writings of Aristotle and the Sentences of Peter Lombard, giving rise to the Scholastic movement of theology.
+ His greatest work—and one which continues to define much of Roman Catholic theology—is the Summa Theologica. This systematic exploration of theology combined Greek wisdom with the tenets of Sacred Scripture and the writings of the Fathers of the Church, as well as the movements of medieval theology.
+ Saint Thomas Aquinas died on March 7, 1274, as he traveled to the Second Council of Lyons. He was canonized in 1323 and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1567. He is honored as the patron of Catholic schools, theologians, and philosophers.
For prayer and reflection
“If you seek the example of love: ‘Greater love than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his friends.’ Such a man was Christ on the cross. And if he gave his life for us, then it should not be difficult to bear whatever hardships arise for his sake.”—Saint Thomas Aquinas
On January 28 we also remember Blessed María Luisa Montesinos Orduña. A well-educated laywoman in Valencia, Spain, she spent years caring for her aging parents, also serving as a catechist and in providing care for the sick and poor. Blessed María was killed with several members of her family on January 28, 1937, during the anti-Catholic violence of the Spanish Civil War. She was beatified with other martyrs in 2001.
O God, who made Saint Thomas Aquinas
outstanding in his zeal for holiness
and his study of sacred doctrine,
grant us, we pray,
that we may understand what he taught
and imitate what he accomplished.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.