Saint Thomas Aquinas is one of the most famous saints of the Catholic Church. He is called a 'Doctor of the Church' and was a theologian, and philosopher. His parents sent him to a monastery when he was five years old and his teachers were surprised by how quickly he learned and his great faith. But when Thomas announced that he wanted to become a Dominican, his family tried to stop him. His brothers captured him and locked him up in a castle. His mother, sister and brothers kept him there for two years.
Thomas was a very big man with a kind and humble manner. Because he didn't talk very much, people thought he was stupid and therefore called him 'the ox.' ...view middle of the document...
His family, who by some accounts wanted him to become Benedictine, protested violently. His mother instructed his brothers to capture Thomas and lock him up in a castle.
They kept him there for nearly two years, trying one thing after another to change his mind. In an attempt to soil his reputation, his family sent a woman of bad reputation into his room, but Thomas chased her out with a piece of burning wood from the fire. After this event, he prayed to God, asking for purity of mind and body and two angels appeared to him in a dream, to assure him that his prayers had been answered and that God was giving him the gift of perfect chastity.
He spent his imprisonment reading and in prayer, so when his family finally relented and Thomas joined his Dominican brothers, he exclaimed, “He had made as much progress as if he had been in a stadium general”. After he made his vows, and was closely questioned by the Pope about his motives for joining the Dominicans, he was sent to study under a renowned professor of the Dominican order. In the school, Thomas' size, humility and reluctance to speak were misinterpreted as dullness. He was given the nickname 'The Ox.' But when his teachers and fellow students heard him speak on a difficult topic, they realized what
a mistake they had made. Soon, Thomas began teaching where before he had studied. He was in great demand as a teacher and speaker, frequently called to confer with the king of France and the Pope. The rest of his life was spent praying, preaching, teaching, writing, and journeying.
The Works and Later Life of Thomas Aquinas
Saint Thomas wrote many theological and philosophical books, as well as composing several beautiful hymns. His most famous work, the Summa Theological, was never finished. During a Mass on the Feast of Saint Nicholas, the Thomas had a strange mystical experience, one that convinced him that 'All that I have written seems to me like straw compared to what has now been revealed to me.' Based on this experience, Thomas began to prepare for death, but when Pope Gregory X summoned him to the Council of Lyons, he decided to set out. He collapsed on the way and was taken to the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova, where he lay in his final illness for a month. When the end was near and final rites administered, Saint Thomas pronounced this act of faith:
If in this world there be any knowledge of this sacrament stronger than that of faith, I wish now to use it in affirming that I firmly believe and know as certain that Jesus Christ, True God and True man, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, is in this sacrament...I receive Thee, the price of my redemption, for Whose love I have watched, studied and labored. Thee have I preached; Thee have I taught. Never have I said anything against Thee: if anything was not well said, that is to be attributed to my ignorance. Neither do I wish to be obstinate in my opinions, but if I have written anything...