Biography of Thomas Aquinas

The Italian theologian Thomas Aquinas was one of the most influential representatives of medieval scholastic thought, and also the founder of the school of Fomism in theology.

Early years

Son of Landulf, earl of Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas was born around 1225 in the Italian town of Roccacecca, in the Kingdom of Sicily. Foma was the youngest of nine children in the family. Despite the fact that the boy’s parents came from the family of the emperors Frederick I and Henry VI, the family belonged to the lower estate of the nobility.

Before the birth of his son, the holy hermit foretold the boy’s mother that the child would enter the Order of the preacher brothers and become a great scientist, reaching an incredible degree of holiness.

Following the traditions of that time, at the age of 5 the boy was sent to the Monte Cassino abbey, where he studied with the Benedictine monks.

In the monastery, Thomas will remain until the age of 13, and

after a change in the political climate in the country, he will be forced to return to Naples.


The next five years, Thomas spent in the Benedictine monastery, completing primary education. At this time, he diligently studies the works of Aristotle, which will later become the starting point of his own philosophical quest. It was in this monastery, closely cooperating with the University of Naples, that Thomas became interested in the monastic orders with advanced views preaching life in the spiritual ministry.

Around 1239, Thomas studied at the University of Naples. In 1243, he secretly enters the Dominican order, and in 1244 takes tonsure. Having learned about this, the family kidnaps him from the monastery, and for a whole year holds a prisoner. However, from his views, Thomas does not refuse and, having freed himself in 1245, returns to the Dominican shelter.

From 1245 to 1252 Thomas Aquinas continues to learn from the Dominicans in Naples, Paris and Cologne. Justifying the prophecy of the holy hermit, he becomes an exemplary disciple, although, ironically, his modesty often leads

to misconceptions about him as a man not far off.

Theology and Philosophy

After completing his studies, Thomas Aquinas devotes his life to wandering, philosophical works, teaching, public speeches and sermons.

The main subject of medieval thought is the dilemma of reconciling theology and philosophy. Thinkers can not unite the knowledge obtained through divine revelations, with the information that is obtained naturally, using the mind and feelings. According to Averroes’s “double truth” theory, two kinds of knowledge completely contradict each other. The revolutionary views of Thomas Aquinas are that “both types of knowledge, ultimately, come from God,” and therefore compatible with each other. And they are not only compatible, but complementary: Thomas asserts that revelation can guide the mind and protect it from mistakes, while the mind can purify and free the faith from mysticism. Thomas Aquinas goes further, discussing the role of faith and reason, both in comprehension, and in proving the existence of God.

Thomas, the only one of its kind, speaks of the connection of proper social behavior with God. He believes that state laws are inherently a natural product of human nature, and therefore are an integral part of social welfare. Strictly following the laws, a person can earn eternal salvation of the soul after death.


Peru Thomas Aquinas, a very prolific writer, owns about 60 works, from brief notes to huge volumes. Manuscripts of his works were distributed among libraries throughout Europe. His philosophical and theological works touch upon a wide range of issues, including commentaries on biblical texts and arguments on Aristotle’s natural philosophy.

Soon after the death of Thomas Aquinas, his works gain wide recognition and receive a warm support among the representatives of the Dominican order. His “Summa Teologica”, surpassing “Sentences in four books” by Peter Lombard, becomes the main textbook on theology in universities, seminaries and schools of the time. The influence of the works of Thomas Aquinas on the formation of philosophical thought is so great that the number of comments written to them today is at least 600 works.

Recent years and death

In June 1272, he accepted the offer to go to Naples to teach the Dominican monks in the monastery adjoining the university. He still writes a lot, but the importance in his work is getting smaller.

During the celebration of the St. Nicholas in 1273, Thomas Aquinas is a vision that removes him from work.

In January 1274, Thomas Aquinas went on a pilgrimage to France, at divine services in honor of the Second Lyons Cathedral. However, along the way, he is overcome by a disease, and he stops at the Cistercian monastery in Fossanov, Italy, where he will die on March 7, 1274. In 1323, Thomas Aquinas was canonized by Pope John XXII.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Biography of Thomas Aquinas