His family was not happy about this transition in his life, so his brothers came to kidnap him. They were successful and, once they kidnapped their younger brother, they took him to an isolated location for an entire year. While confined, the brothers sent in a fine woman to try to tempt him away from his vocation.
St. Thomas persevered, and once released went to Paris to study, where he was taught by Albert the Great. Albert predicted that Thomas, one day, would be “heard all over the world.”
Thomas had an incredible devotion to the Eucharist. Thomas brought to our Catholic vocabulary the word “transubstantiation”–and he went to great lengths to explain it to all those who somehow lacked basic knowledge of the faith.
Thomas also loved the Scriptures, and was known to spend hours on end studying them and praying with them. I am looking forward to reading some of his writings this semester!
This is why I enjoy the picture here: it meshes the True Church and the Scriptures, which despite what the Protesters say, CANNOT be divorced. They are held together; each cannot exist and be true to itself without reference to the other. The Scriptures need and depend on the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church needs and depends on the Scriptures.
Thomas is the patron saint of: academics, against storms, against lightning, apologists, Aquino, Italy, Belcastro, Italy, book sellers, Catholic academies, Catholic schools, Catholic universities, chastity, colleges, Falerna, Italy, learning, pencil makers, philosophers, publishers, scholars, schools, students, theologians, universities, University of Vigo.
We see a common theme here: Catholic education!
During this, Catholic Schools week, and on this, the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, it is a good opportunity to offer some prayers for the clergy, religious, and laity who serve our Catholic learning institutions. And let’s not forget the students, too! Let’s pray for St. Thomas’ continued intercession.
As much as Thomas was the ideal learner and teacher, I love this quote: “The ultimate human knowledge of God is to know that we do not know God, and that insofar as we know, what God is transcends all that we understand of God.”
St. Thomas Aquinas: Pray for us!