(also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino; born ca. 1225; died 7 March 1274) was a priest in the Dominican Order from Italy, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus and Doctor Communis. He is frequently referred to as Thomas because "Aquinas" refers to his residence rather than his surname. He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology. 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.
Aquinas 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 by many Catholics to be the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Consequently, many institutions of learning have been named after him.
Propers for Thomas Aquinas - 7 March - Monk, Priest, Theologian, Teacher and Philosopher
O GOD, who hast enlightened thy Church with the wondrous learning of thy blessed Confessor Thomas Aquinas, and enriched the same with his holiness of life: grant, we beseech thee; that we may understand aright the doctrine that he taught, and also follow in all things the pattern of his conversation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle - Wisdom 7:7-14.
Wherefore I prayed, and understanding was given me: I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me. I preferred her before sceptres and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her. Neither compared I unto her any precious stone, because all gold in respect of her is as a little sand, and silver shall be counted as clay before her. I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for the light that cometh from her never goeth out. All good things together came to me with her, and innumerable riches in her hands.
And I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom goeth before them: and I knew not that she was the mother of them. I learned diligently, and do communicate her liberally: I do not hide her riches. For she is a treasure unto men that never faileth: which they that use become the friends of God, being commended for the gifts that come from learning.
The Gospel - St Matthew 5:13-20.
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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