Thomas Aquinas facts for kids

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A painting of St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, (1225 – 7 March 1274) was a Catholic Dominican priest from Italy, and is considered one of the principal Catholic saints. He was born in Roccasecca, as the son of Count Andulf of Aquino and Countess Theodora of Teano.

He studied philosophy and theology. His early education was received at the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino, and attended the University of Naples, where he earned the nickname "dumb ox" for his slow demeanor, even though he was a very talented student of rhetoric, logic, and natural science. By 1240, he became captivated to religious life and decided to become a friar with the new Dominican order. When he tried to become a friar and propose his oath, his family captured him and brought him back, because to become a Dominican, one must eliminate material wealth, and his parents were expecting for him to follow in his uncle’s footsteps and become a Benedictine abbot. They kept him in a castle in an effort to change his mind. However, when they released him two years later, he immediately joined the Dominicans.

He was the theologian who came up with the Cosmological Argument. Catholics think Aquinas is the best teacher for one who wants to become a priest. His most famous books are Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. Aquinas is one of the 33 Doctors of the Church. Many schools are named after him including the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).

Aquinas is also known for his work with Natural law, the belief that there are 'natural laws' that can be derived from nature by the reason of human beings. Aquinas took an optimistic view of human nature, believing that it is human nature to do good and not evil.

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