Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

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,
one God, for ever and ever.

— Concluding Prayer of Lauds on January 28; the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

"Saint Thomas Aquinas," by Carlo Crivelli. 15th Century

“Saint Thomas Aquinas,” by Carlo Crivelli. 15th Century

“Everything imperfect must proceed from something perfect: therefore the First Being must be most perfect. Everything is perfect inasmuch as it is in actuality; imperfect, inasmuch as it is in potentiality, with privation of actuality. That then which is nowise in potentiality, but is pure actuality, must be most perfect; and such is God.” — Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas stained glass

Saint Thomas Aquinas stained glass

Today is the feast day of my patron saint, Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church!

St. Thomas Aquinas was born in Aquino, Italy, in 1225, the youngest son of Count Landulf. St. Aquinas was educated at the Abbey of Monte Cassino and at the University of Naples.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor.

Simply I learned about Wisdom, and ungrudgingly do I share—
her riches I do not hide away;
For to men she is an unfailing treasure;
those who gain this treasure win the friendship of God,
to whom the gifts they have from discipline commend them.
— Wisdom 7:13-14

In 1244, St. Aquinas entered the Dominican Order. He continued his education in Paris and Cologne, studying under St. Albert the Great. He became a Master of Theology at the University of Paris.

Aquinas wrote the Summa Theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles, among other works. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1567 by Pius V who called him the Angelic Doctor.

The Angelic Doctor

The Angelic Doctor

“Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.” — Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church

“A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.” — Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas

“Because philosophy arises from awe, a philosopher is bound in his way to be a lover of myths and poetic fables. Poets and philosophers are alike in being big with wonder.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

The Angelic Doctor

The Angelic Doctor

“How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

The Angelic Doctor

The Angelic Doctor

“Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom! Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance. Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself. Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion. This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever. — a Student’s Prayer, by St. Thomas Aquinas

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