Today the church remembers Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Theologian, 1274.Perhaps the greatest of the many medieval theologians, Thomas was the son of a prominent Italian count. He joined the Dominican Order against the will of his family. He studied at Monte Cassino and at the Universities of Naples, Cologne, and Paris, earning a Master"s degree. Virtually his entire life was spent in teaching and writing. His greatest work was the Summa Theologica, a masterful systematic statement of doctrine. It was by no means an immediate success, but time has proven it to be one of the finest intellectual expositions of the Christian faith ever composed. Some three centuries after his death he was declared “Universal Teacher” to the church. He was particularly concerned about the relationship of faith and reason. He successfully reconciled the philosophy of Aristotle with Christian doctrine. Thomas"s intellectual genius was matched by a deep devotion to the Lord and by a rich spiritual and ethical life. He wrote many hymns, seven of which appear in The Hymnal 1982 (numbers 310, 311, 314, 320, 329, 330, and 331). O God, by whose Holy Spirit is given to one the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, and to another the word of faith: We praise your Name for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Thomas, through whose teaching we know you better. Amen.
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Almighty God, you have enriched your Church with the singular learning and holiness of your servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.