Oil Dedicated to St Thomas Aquinas (Patron for Chasity)
St Thomas Aquinas was most likely born in the castle of Roccasecca, near Aquino, controlled at that time by the Kingdom of Sicily (in present-day Lazio, Italy), c. 1225. According to some authors. He was born in the castle of his father, Landulf of Aquino.
The Castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano
At the age of nineteen Thomas resolved to join the Dominican Order, which had been founded about 30 years earlier. Thomas’s change of heart did not please his family.
The heavenly girdle given to the ancient monastery of Vercelli in Piedmont, The holy girdle is now at Chieri, near Turin.
Diego Velázquez, Thomas girded by angels with a mystical belt of purity after his proof of chastity
Detail from Valle Romita Polyptych by Gentile da Fabriano.
By 1244, seeing that all her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family’s dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas sent first to Naples and then to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order.
Paris, Cologne, Albert Magnus, and first Paris regency (1245–1259)
In 1245 Thomas sent to study at the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Paris. Where he most likely met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus. Then the holder of the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris. When Albertus sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent IV’s offer to appoint him abbot of Monte Cassino as a Dominican. Albertus then appointed the reluctant Thomas magister studentium. Because Thomas was quiet and didn’t speak much, some of his fellow students thought he was slow.