Life of St Thomas of Aquinas


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Vita Brevis

Thomas was born in 1225 at Roccasecca, a hilltop castle from which the great Benedictine abbey of Montecassino is not quite visible, midway between Rome and Naples.

Thomas was widely regarded as the greatest Catholic theologian. It is said that towards the end of his life he asked Jesus to pass judgement upon one of his books, and Jesus replied: ” You have written well; continue to write whatever your heart wishes to express.

At an early age he developed a profound love and reverence for the scriptures. He was able to memorize large sections and stunned his teachers with profound questions about God.
He also developed a great love for meditation  and solitude. He was often to be found in solitude.

Against the wishes of his family he became a Dominican novice. The order was based on one similar to that started by St Francis of Assisi.

Not long after this Thomas was kidnapped by his family who tried to disavow him of his monastic lifestyle. However Thomas refused all offers and spent his time memorizing scriptures. After this he was allowed to return to the University of Paris. Here he studied Aristotle’s texts on metaphysics which had a profound effect on Thomas.

Thomas experienced many mystical experiences in his life. There are numerous stories of Thomas being absorbed in various states of enchantment and being unconscious of his surroundings. Despite this he was a prolific author and wrote over 100 works in his life.

Towards the end of his life he had a divine revelation in the Chapel of St Nicholas in Naples it caused him to state,

” I can no longer write, for God has given me such glorious knowledge that all contained in my works are as straw – barely fit to absorb the holy wonders that fall in a stable,” Three months later he died.

Some extracts taken from

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