St Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) was born into an aristocratic family but committed himself to a life of prayer, study, research and action, while always searching for truth and wishing to do God’s will.
He studied at Monte Cassino (a Benedictine Abbey) and at the Universities of Paris and Cologne. He taught at Paris, Rome, Naples, and gained a strong reputation in his ability to reconcile faith, reason and science.
He was always a man of God – in prayer, in his love of the Mass and the Eucharist, and in his generosity to others. On 18 July 1323, just 49 years after his death, he was canonized a saint of the Church. In 1879 he was declared Patron Saint of Catholic schools. His life provides the basic qualities we all aspire to at Aquinas.