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History: Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Angelic Doctor, the patron of philosophy and Catholic students in their quest of the knowledge of causes and effects, was himself a pupil of St. Albertus Magnus and later a professor of philosophy and theology at the university of Paris. Though born at Aquino in Italy in 1226 and at the age of nineteen clothed in the Dominican habit at Naples, his influence went far beyond his native land. The Church venerates his numerous writings as a treasury of Christian Doctrine. His science is more divine than human. Prayer, he said, taught him more than study; and his piety surpassed the genius of his intellect. His Blessed Sacrament and Corpus Christi hymns are used and known everywhere, as is the story of the miraculous Crucifix at Naples. To the words of our Crucified Saviour to Thomas, "Well, hast thou written concerning Me, Thomas. What shall I give thee as a reward?", Thomas replied, ((Naught save Thyself, 0 Lord."

The mural is full of the symbolism of inspiration. The open book, the pen, the saint's attitude of listening to the Holy Spirit, the discarded crown, and the mitre and staff of the bishopric, the angelic countenance of the Saint of the "Summa", his books, his study, withdrawn from the attractive world beyond, all these and other details are carefully depicted, the subsidiary supporting motifs enhancing the main composition, and the contemplating mood of the picture; its noble aim, its compelling style, its gracious rhythm, its mingling of inner and outer conditions of life, free, strong, glowing in both the natural and the spiritual order with the spiritual given proper predominance, leave the final impression of a ripened, reflective spirit within, a bright serene sky and landscape without, with the angelic scholar as fitted to both environments as a lark is to the environment of a morning in May.

 


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