ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Often called "The Angelic Doctor." Born about 1225; died 1274. An Italian
theologian, the foremost Christian philosopher of the Middle Ages, and
often called the greatest Roman Catholic theologian. His SUMMA THEOLOGICA
(1266-73) was one of the most influential documents of scholastic
philosophy. He was educated at Naples, became a Dominican in 1243, and
studied theololgy at Cologne and at Paris under Albertus Magnus. He taught
at Paris, then returned to Italy and lectured at the papal court, 1259-68.
He then returned to Paris to dispute the interpretation of Aristotle.
St. Thomas Aquinas was the greatest of the scholastics. Scholasticism is
an attempt to rationalize in order to buttress faith by reason.
St. Thomas took the terms "essence" and "appearance" from Aristotle, and
changed them into "substance" and "accidents," to explain the mystery of
St. Thomas also first explicitely stated the doctrine of causality, that
nothing can exist without a cause and therefore the Sacraments are true
causes of grace and not mere by-products of grace.
Concerning veneration of images, Aquinas wrote, "The same reverence
should be given to the image of Christ as the to Christ Himself."
St. Thomas rejected the theory of the Immaculate Conception of Mary,
claiming that this would destroy the universality of Christ's salvation.
From READ ME OR RUE IT by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan. Imp. Joannes Timotheus,
Archiepiscopus, Cincinnatenesis, 8/22/25. Re-printed 11/2/74 by National
Centre for Padre Pio, 11 N. Whitehall Rd., Norristown, PA 19403.
St. Thomas, the Prince of theologians, says that the fire of Purgatory
is equal in intensity to the fire of Hell.
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