The Angelic Doctor – St. Thomas Aquinas

Jude Missa

Many saints provide big help to the Catholic Church especially to its doctrines. One of them is Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican priest, a philosopher and one of the Doctors of the Church. Saint Thomas Aquinas was born from a noble family. When he was young, he was transferred from Monte Cassino to Naples to study. During his stay in Naples, he was influenced in philosophy including Aristotle. He also met John of St. Julian, a Dominican priest who influenced him to join the Dominicans.

At the age of 19, he decided to join the Dominicans but his family was not happy about it. The Dominicans helped him go to Rome from Paris. But, during their journey, while he was drinking from a spring, he was kidnapped by his brothers and returned him to their home by the order of their mother. He was imprisoned in his own home for one year while teaching his sisters. His family was desperate to stop the saint from joining the Dominicans, they hired a prostitute to tempt him. Saint Thomas, drive them away using a burning wood and draw a Cross on the wall until he passed out and experience a mystical joy, and then two angels suddenly appeared. While he was asleep, the Angels said:

“Behold we gird thee by the command of God with girdle of chastity, which henceforth will never be imperiled. What human strenght can not be obtain, is now bestowed upon thee as a celestial gift.”

After that event, Saint Thomas received a grace of perfect Chastity of God and he wore the girdle until his death. His mother cannot convince his son, she plots a secret escape plan for his son. After his escape, he went to Rome and joined the Dominicans. In 1245, He was sent to the Faculty of the Arts for the University of Paris to study, where he met a Dominican Scholar, Albertus Magnus, or Saint Albert the Great. After he finished his education, he went to Cologne as an apprentice professor and also start to write three books. In 1256, he became a Regent Master of Theology in Paris. He also started to write his popular book, Summa Contra Gentiles. And when Pope Urban IV instituted the “Feast of Corpus Christi”, the Pope asked him to write a manuscript where the “Tantum Ergo” and “O Salutaris Hostia” were formed.

In 1269, Saint Thomas went to the Convent in Santa Sabina to teach where he started to write his famous book, the “Summa Theologica”. Which he believed can help the students who just started to learn. But in 1273, an altar server saw him floating, crying and praying at the front of the Crucifix of the Convent. Here, our Lord Jesus Christ asked him if what reward does the Saint wants because he wrote good about Him. But the Saint only want is our Lord as his reward. Then in December 6, 1273, he experienced an extasy while celebrating the mass. After mass, he discontinued his book and when someone asked him to finish his book, he replied:
“The end of my labors has come. All I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.
After that, the Summa Theologica remained unfinished. In March 7, 1274, Saint Thomas Aquinas died.


St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of students, philosophers, publishers, booksellers, academics, theologians, apologists, universities, and schools. He also has significant patronage in the Philippines, especially as the patron saint of the two towns of Santo Tomas and Mangaldan, and the University of Santo Tomas.

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