An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Aquinas, Thomas

(1225-Mar. 7, 1274). The leading theologian of the medieval church, Aquinas was given the title doctor angelicus. On July 18, 1323, he was pronounced a saint by Pope John XXII. His two major writings are the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles. The Summa Theologica is a systematization and summary of Christian revelation in terms of the philosophy of Aristotle. Aquinas insisted that faith and reason, or theology and philosophy, must be kept distinct, and that faith is dependent upon biblical revelation for the major Christian doctrines such as the Trinity and the Incarnation. He was born at his father's castle of Roccasecca in Italy. When he was five Aquinas was sent to study at the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino, but in 1244 he joined the Dominican order. He then studied at Paris and Cologne under Albertus Magnus, the most learned man of his age. Aquinas has four eucharistic hymns in The Hymnal 1982: “O saving Victim” (310, 311), “Humbly I adore thee” (314), “Zion praise thy Savior” (320), and “Now, my tongue, the mystery telling” (329, 330, 331). On Jan. 28, 1369, his remains were moved to Toulouse. He is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on that date.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.