Today is the international Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) who was born near Naples, Italy, the wealthy son of a count and countess. Against his family's wishes, "Tommaso D'Aquino" studied at the Monte Cassino monastery and became a Dominican friar in 1244.
"Faith is Godís work within us," he said.
In school, he earned the nickname "dumb ox," because of his large size and shy demeanor. In actuality, his wisdom and systematic intelligence surpassed everyone. He earned his doctorate in Theology from the University of Paris and by 1259 had become an advisor to the Pope.
St. Thomas believed, "The soul is known by its acts."
His famous work, Summa Theologica (1266Ė1273), examined the proof of God's existence, the Trinity, and the nature of Christ.
"Faith has to do with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not in hand," he said.
Considered among the greatest of religious philosophers, his Thomist doctrine celebrated the harmony between faith and reason. Cannonized a saint in 1323, his teachings became the foundation of modern Catholicism in 1879.
St. Thomas Aquinas has become the patron saint of all Catholic universities and students. He once said of salvation: "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."