This great doctor of the Church was born in the castle of Rocca Sicca in 1225 and spent his early years at the Abbey of Monte Cassino. He was a member of the noble family of Aquino and against his family's wishes he entered the Order of Preachers (Dominican Order) at Naples in 1244 and was sent to Cologne to complete his studies under the direction of Saint Albert the Great. He devoted all his energy to the service to truth, eagerly searching it out, lovingly contemplating it, and imparting it to others through his writing, his teaching and his preaching. His life was marked by devotion to the Passion of the Lord, to the mystery of the Eucharist, and to the Virgin Mary, Mother of God. Because of his fidelity to regular life, his love to truth, and his piety, the Order recognizes him as a model for its own pursuit of truth. He died at Fossanova on March 7, 1274, while on his way to the Council of Lyons. He was declared Patron of all Universities and Catholic Schools by Leo XIII. The date of his feast, January 28th, recalls the translation of his remains to Toulouse, France. We dedicated the Monastery Library to St. Thomas.
Sculpture by Suzanne Young