Skip to content


Your cart is empty

About St. Thomas Aquinas


1225 — 1274
Feast Days January 28 (New) March 7 (Traditional)
Patron Saint of academics, apologists, book sellers, schools, universities, chastity, learning, pencil makers, philosophers, publishers, scholars, students and against storms, lightening and sudden death.

By universal consent, Thomas Aquinas, a 13th century theologian, is the preeminent spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation. Thomas showed that the Catholic faith is in harmony with philosophy and all other branches of knowledge. He is one of the great teachers of the Catholic Church, honored with the titles Doctor of the Church and Angelic Doctor.

Thomas was born into a noble family, having relatives among the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire. At age five, Thomas was sent to study at Monte Cassino, the abbey founded by Saint Benedict.

The boy's intellectual gifts and serious disposition impressed the monks, who urged his father to place him in a university by the time he was 10. At the University of Naples, he learned philosophy and rhetoric while taking care to preserve his morals against corruption by other students.

It is said that a hermit, before Thomas' birth, told his mother that she would have a son who would enter the Dominican Order “and so great will be his learning and sanctity that in his day no one will be found to equal him.” In his adolescence, Thomas' friendship with a holy Dominican inspired him to join them.

His family, however, did not envision the brilliant young man as a penniless and celibate preacher. His brothers kidnapped him from the Dominicans and took him to the family's castle.

Under pressure from both the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, Thomas' brothers allowed him to escape. He traveled to Rome and received the Pope's blessing upon his vocation, which would soon take him to Paris to study with the theologian later canonized as Saint Albert the Great.

By the time he was 23, Thomas was teaching alongside his mentor at the university of Cologne. He published his first commentaries on the pre-Christian Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose insights on nature, logic, and metaphysics would inform Thomas' approach to Catholic theology.

Around the middle of the century Thomas was ordained to the priesthood, in which he showed great reverence for the liturgy and skill as a homilist. Thomas' best-known achievements, however, are his works of theology.

In December 1273, however, the scholar proclaimed that he could write no more, following a mystical experience in which he said he had “seen things that make my writings look like straw.” But he complied with a request to attend the Council of Lyon to help reunite the Latin and Greek Churches.

On his way there, however, Thomas became ill and stopped at a Cistercian abbey. The monks treated him with reverence, and it was to them that he dictated a final work of theology: a commentary on the Old Testament's Song of Songs.

The saint did not live to finish this commentary, however. Nearing death, he made a final confession and asked for the Eucharist to be brought to him. His last words were addressed to one of the Cistercians who asked for a word of spiritual guidance. “Be assured that he who shall always walk faithfully in God's presence, always ready to give Him an account of all his actions, shall never be separated from Him by consenting to sin.”