Today the Church celebrates the life and ministry of Thomas Aquinas, a man who has been described as the greatest thinker and teacher of the mediaeval church.
Born at Rocca Secca, near Aquino, in Italy, Thomas was educated first by the Benedictines at Monte Cassino and then at the University of Naples.
Against his family’s wishes, he joined the mendicant Dominican Order of Preachers. His profound theological wisdom and capacity to impart this, as well in homilies as in hymns, along with his gentleness of spirit in dealing with all, earned him the title ‘the angelic doctor’.
He died on 7 March 1274, en route to the Council of Lyons, and his feast has been celebrated on this day since 1970.