Saint Thomas Aquinas

28th January

The life of St. Thomas Aquinas takes us back to the Middle Ages when villages grew around castles and monasteries were centres of learning.
Thomas was born in 1225 in a castle in Roccasecca in the region today known as Lazio, Italy. His father was Count Landulf of Aquino, his mother was Countess Theodora of Teano. He came from a large family of 3 brothers and 5 sisters. Thomas spent his childhood, between 5 and 13 years old in Monte Cassino, a famous monastery of those days, where his uncle was the Benedictine Abbot (Superior), to receive his first education. His parents were hoping that Thomas would himself become Abbot, a very prestigious position of nobility in those days. But when he was 14 years old, because of military and political conflicts, Thomas had to leave Monte Cassino and went to continue his studies in the University of Naples that had just been established.

As a young man Thomas had grown into a tall man of ‘ a bulky figure’, unusually quiet, but already proving to be a brilliant scholar, a genius of rare wisdom and described as ‘refined, affable and lovable’. It is said that he was often referred to as ‘dumb ox’ not because his peers thought he was not intelligent, but because he did not talk much. He was in fact listening, thinking, reflecting.  
Probably it was during his University studies that he became interested in the Greek philosopher Aristotle, whose philosophical principles intrigued Thomas. It was also at this University that he came in contact with the Dominicans, a poor mendicant Order of preachers that had just been founded by Dominic of Gusman, later St.Dominic.

Thomas was 19 years old when his father died. At the same time, he had reached a decision to join the Domincans. Thomas’ family was furious since their plan for him was to join the Benedictine Order that was more befitting the status of nobility. Thomas was abducted by his family and was kept locked in a family castle for over a year.  During this time while all the members of his family tried to convince him to change his mind, he continued with his Scripture studies continuing to keep contact with the Dominicans in one way or another. Eventually, his mother allowed him to escape during the night! Thomas rejoined the Dominicans and was ordained priest in 1250. He travelled to Paris where he continued his studies under Albert the Great, excelling in all areas of study. When he was 26 years old, the Pope conferred on him the title ‘Master of Theology.’

Thomas spent the rest of his life producing commentaries on Scripture, writing sermons and books, besides a number of liturgical hymns. At the same time, he continued to teach and preach, combatting controversies in debates defending the Catholic Faith, travelling to Paris, Naples, Orvieto and Rome as the Papal Theologian.
St. Thomas Aquinas continues to be renowned for his Summa Theologea/ Summary of Theology, a  masterpiece in philosophy and theology which he never completed.
 Besides being one of the Doctors of the Church St. Thomas is also known as ‘The Angelic Doctor’ perhaps because he wrote extensively on the theology of Angels but more so because he has been described as ‘the teacher who is like an angel’ ‘pure, strong, close to God and truly a messenger of divine light’.
The greatness of St. Thomas lies not only in his brilliant intellect but also because he could understand complicated truths of the Faith and then express them in ways that could be ‘grasped.’
He died when he was barely 50 years old on his way to the Council of Lyons, leaving a legacy of philosophical and theological arguments that ‘Faith and Reason could work together to support the One Truth in God.’

Please consider donating to help us make more videos. If you donate just $5, the price of your coffee, Christian Kids TV could keep thriving. Use this link t…

There is a time to speak and a time to be silent,  to listen, to reflect.

  • St. Thomas Aquinas who listened and reflected has a great lesson for us parents and carers! We lead hectic lives, hardly finding time for thoughtful reflection. Reflecting on the Word of God enriches our relationship with God, stopping to listen to our kids with empathy enriches our relationship with them as they grow and mature.
  • Let us be mindful to identify the times when our kids show signs of the need to be listened to ~ when they come home from school/activity~before going to bed with signs of anxiety, sadness, anger.
  • When they approach us with a need, let us make an effort ~to refrain from the reaction “I’m busy right now” ~ to stop doing what we are doing ( texting on mobile!) and be attentive ~ or just say “Ok tell me”  while we keep doing what we are doing.
  • The key is to listen with our heart about how they feel, not about what happened!

The life of St. Thomas Aquinas centred around studying, learning and writing.

  • Find or create the opportunity to talk about school not just by asking “How was school?” They will just answer “ok”!
  • Talk about the subjects they enjoyed most and others they found challenging.
  • Point out the child’s strengths but in a sincere way, explaining that every other child has strengths and challenges, but refrain from comparing the child to any other child. Every child is unique!
  • Explore with them how they feel by contributing their opinions in class ~ fear of sounding stupid ~ their opinion not being valid ~ being laughed at.
  • Acknowledge and encourage all their efforts!

Family Prayer Time
– Continue with the theme of teaching and learning.
– With the help of the Children’s Bible ‘Revisit’ The Child Jesus teaching in the Temple or
– Watch: Boy Jesus lost in Temple  Relate the story of young Jesus teaching in the Temple

Together recite the Fifth Chaplet of the Joyful Mysteries.

How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Saints of the Church. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the holy life, helping you to connect the saints to daily life in a meaningful way.