Saint Thomas Aquinas
Born in the south of Italy around 1225, Thomas joined the Dominicans twenty years later, despite the opposition of his parents. Since childhood a question occupied him: who is God? As a student in Paris, and then in Cologne, he followed the Dominican Albert the Great’s classes, read Aristotle and Saint Augustine, scrutinised the writings of the Fathers and studied especially the Sacred Scripture. Early on, he was recognized as a master. He taught in Paris, in the young French university, and in Italy at the request of the Popes. He wrote without rest, meeting the demands of students, of his Dominican brothers, and of the sovereigns of his time. At the heart of his work there is an essential book: the Summa of Theology. For nearly eight centuries, this book has been disseminated, discussed, commented on by philosophers and theologians. One day, while he was at prayer, Thomas heard the Lord say: « you have spoken well of me, what do you want in return? » He answered simply: « nothing but you, my God ». Thomas Aquinas died on 7 March 1274, at Fossanova, Italy. In 1369, the Pope wanted to place his body in the church of the Jacobins in Toulouse (France) in order to honour the city that saw the birth of his Order and to encourage the University there.