Oil Dedicated to St Thomas Aquinas
St Thomas Aquinas is born in the castle of Roccasecca in the old county of the Kingdom of Sicily, which is now known as the Lazio region of Italy, in 1225. His parents well-off, but as the youngest son Thomas expected to enter the monastery.
At 5-years-old, Thomas began his education at Monte Cassino, where he remained until the military conflict between Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX reached the abbey. He then transferred and enrolled at the studium generale in Naples.
It is believed that Thomas introduced to his philosophical influences – Aristotle, Averroes, and Maimonides – at the university, where he also met John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher, who influenced him to join the recently founded Dominican Order.
When Thomas travelling to Rome, his brothers captured him and returned him to their parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano.
Thomas held captive in the castle for one year as his family tried to keep him from joining the Dominican Order. In the year he held, Thomas tutored his sisters and communicated with members of the Dominican Order.
In an effort to change Thomas’ mind, two of his brothers hired a prostitute to seduce him. But legends claim Thomas drove her off with a fire iron. That night, two angels appeared to him in a dream and strengthened his resolve to remain celibate.
When Theodora realized she could not sway her son. She tried to preserve the family name by arranging for his escape through a window. She believed a secret escape better than appearing to accept his decision.
Following his escape in 1244, Thomas turned to Naples. Then to Rome and met the Master General of the Dominical Order, Johannes von Wildeshausen.
In 1248, Thomas chose to follow Mangus to the new studium generale at Cologne. Rather than accepting Pope Innocent IV’s offer to appoint him abbot of Monte Cassino as a Dominican. Though Thomas hesitated, when they reached the university. Mangus appointed him magister studentium.