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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