Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P., also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino; (Aquino, 1225 – Fossanova, 7 March 1274) was an Italian priest of the Catholic Church in the Dominican Order, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus (the Angelic Doctor) and Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis (the Common or Universal Doctor). "Aquinas" is not a surname (hereditary surnames were not then in common use in Europe), but is a Latin adjective meaning "of Aquino", his place of birth. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology, which is named after him. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived as a reaction against, or as an agreement with his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law and political theory. Thomas is held in the Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood. The works for which he is best-known are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. One of the 33 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "The Church has declared Thomas' doctrines to be her own. Born Thomas Aquinas 1225 Aquino, Kingdom of Sicily Died 7 March 1274 Fossanova, Kingdom of Sicily Occupation Priest, Philosopher, Theologian Genres Scholasticism, Thomism Subjects Metaphysics, Logic, Mind, Epistemology, Ethics, Politics Notable work(s): Summa Theologica Born c. 1225 Aquino, Kingdom of Sicily Died 7 March 1274 Fossanuova Abbey, Kingdom of Sicily Venerated in Roman Catholic Church Anglican Communion Canonized 1323, Avignon, France by Pope John XXII Major shrine Church of the Jacobins, Toulouse, France Feast 28 January (new), 7 March (old) Attributes The Summa Theologica, a model church, the Sun Patronage All Catholic educational institutions Naples, Orvieto, Rome, and Santa Sabina (1259-1269) Around 1259, Thomas returned to Naples where he lived until he arrived in Orvieto around September 1261. In Orvieto, he was appointed conventual lector, in charge of the education of friars unable to attend a studium generale. During his stay in Orvieto, Thomas completed his Summa contra Gentiles, and wrote the Catena Aurea (The Golden Chain). He also wrote the liturgy for the newly created feast of Corpus Christi and produced works for Pope Urban IV concerning Greek Orthodox theology, e.g. Contra errores graecorum (Against the Errors of the Greeks). In 1265 he was ordered by the Dominicans to establish a studium for the Order in Rome at the priory of Santa Sabina, which he did from 1265 until he was called back to Paris in 1268. It was in Rome that Thomas began his most famous work, Summa Theologica, and wrote a variety of other works like his unfinished Compendium Theologiae and Responsio ad fr. Ioannem Vercellensem de articulis 108 sumptis ex opere Petri de Tarentasia (Reply to Brother John of Vercelli Regarding 108 Articles Drawn from the Work of Peter of Tarentaise). In his position as head of the studium, conducted a series of important disputations on the power of God, which he compiled into his De potentia. The Quarrelsome Second Paris Regency (1269-1272) In 1268 the Dominican Order assigned Thomas to be regent master at the University of Paris for a second time, a position he held until the spring of 1272. Part of the reason for this sudden reassignment appears to have arisen from the rise of "Averroism" or "radical Aristotelianism" in the universities. In response to these perceived evils, Thomas wrote two works, one of them being De unitate intellectus, contra Averroistas (On the Unity of Intellect, against the Averroists) in which he blasts Averroism as incompatible with Christian doctrine. During his second regency, he finished the second part of the Summa and wrote De virtutibus and De aeternitate mundi, the latter of which dealt with controversial Averroist and Aristotelian beginninglessness of the world. Disputes with some important Franciscans such as Bonaventure and John Peckham conspired to make his second regency much more difficult and troubled than the first. A year before Thomas re-assumed the regency at the 1266-67 Paris disputations, Franciscan master William of Baglione accused Thomas of encouraging Averroists, calling him the "blind leader of the blind". Thomas called these individuals the murmurantes. In reality, Thomas was deeply disturbed by the spread of Averroism and was angered when he discovered Siger of Brabant teaching Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle to Parisian students. On 10 December 1270, the bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, issued an edict condemning thirteen Aristotlelian and Averroistic propositions as heretical and excommunicating anyone who continued to support them. In the ecclesiastical community, the so-called Augustinians, were fearful that this introduction of Aristotelianism and the more extreme Averroism might somehow contaminate the purity of the Christian faith. In what appears to be an attempt to counteract the growing fear of Aristotelian thought, Thomas conducted a series of disputations between 1270 and 1272: De virtutibus in communi (On Virtues in General), De virtutibus cardinalibus (On Cardinal Virtues), De spe (On Hope). Final days and "Straw" (1272-1274) In 1272 Thomas took leave from the University of Paris when the Dominicans from his home province called upon him to establish a studium generale wherever he liked and staff it as he pleased. He chose to establish the institution in Naples, and moved there to take his post as regent master. He took his time at Naples to work on the third part of the Summa while giving lectures on various religious topics. On 6 December 1273 Thomas was celebrating the Mass of St. Nicholas when, according to some, he heard Christ speak to him. Christ asked him what he desired, being pleased with his meritorious life. Thomas replied "Only you Lord. Only you." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me." (mihi videtur ut palea). What exactly triggered Thomas's change in behavior is believed to be some kind of supernatural experience of God. After taking to his bed, he did recover some strength. Looking to find a way to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church (the Eastern Orthodox had parted ways with the Catholic Church in A.D. 1054 over doctrinal disputes) Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon to be held on 1 May 1274 and summoned Thomas to attend. At the meeting, Thomas's work for Pope Urban IV concerning the Greeks, Contra errores graecorum, was to be presented. On his way to the Council, riding on a donkey along the Appian Way, he struck his head on the branch of a fallen tree and became seriously ill again. He was then quickly escorted to Monte Cassino to convalesce. After resting for a while, he set out again, but stopped at the Cistercian Fossanova Abbey after again falling ill. The monks nursed him for several days, and as he received his last rites he prayed: "I receive Thee, ransom of my soul. For love of Thee have I studied and kept vigil, toiled, preached and taught..." He died on 7 March 1274 while giving commentary on the Song of Songs. Condemnation of 1277 and subsequent canonizationSee also: Condemnations of 1210–1277 In 1277, the same bishop of France, Etienne Tempier, who had issued the condemnation of 1270 issued another, more extensive condemnation. One aim of this condemnation was to clarify that God's absolute power transcended any principles of logic that Aristotle or Averroes might place on it. More specifically, it contained a list of 219 propositions that the bishop had determined to violate the omnipotence of God, and included in this list were twenty Thomistic propositions. Their inclusion badly damaged Thomas's reputation for many years. In The Divine Comedy, Dante sees the glorified spirit of Thomas in the Heaven of the Sun with the other great exemplars of religious wisdom. Dante asserts that Thomas died by poisoning, on the order of Charles of Anjou; Villani (ix. 218) cites this belief, and the Anonimo Fiorentino describes the crime and its motive. But the historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori reproduces the account made by one of Thomas's friends, and this version of the story gives no hint of foul play. Fifty years after the death of Thomas, Pope John XXII, seated in Avignon, pronounced Thomas a saint. Thomas's theology had begun its rise to prestige. Two centuries later, in 1567, Pope Pius V proclaimed St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and ranked his feast with those of the four great Latin fathers: Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Gregory. However, in the same period the Council of Trent would still turn to Duns Scotus before Thomas as a source of arguments in defence of the Church. Even though Duns Scotus was more consulted at the Council of Trent, Thomas had the honor of having his Summa Theologica placed on the altar alongside the Bible and the Decretals. In his encyclical of 4 August 1879, Pope Leo XIII stated that Thomas's theology was a definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. Thus, he directed the clergy to take the teachings of Thomas as the basis of their theological positions. Leo XIII also decreed that all Catholic seminaries and universities must teach Thomas's doctrines, and where Thomas did not speak on a topic, the teachers were "urged to teach conclusions that were reconcilable with his thinking." In 1880, Saint Thomas Aquinas was declared patron of all Catholic educational establishments. In a monastery at Naples, near the cathedral of St. Januarius, a cell in which he supposedly lived is still shown to visitors. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369. Between 1789 and 1974, they were held in Basilique de Saint-Sernin, Toulouse. In 1974, they were returned to the Church of the Jacobins, where they have remained ever since. In the General Roman Calendar of 1962,in the Roman Catholic Church, Thomas was commemorated on 7 March, the day of death. However, in the General Roman Calendar of 1969, even though the norm in the Roman Catholic Church is to remember saints on the day of their death, Thomas's memorial was transferred to 28 January, the date of the translation of his relics to Toulouse. Saint Thomas Aquinas is honored with a feast day on the liturgical of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on January 28.