Thursday, June 3, 2010

Saint Thomas Aquinas


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In our catechesis on the Christian culture of the Middle Ages, we now turn to Saint Thomas Aquinas, known as the Doctor Communis, whose life and teaching have always been revered as a outstanding model for theologians. As a young student at the University of Naples, Thomas was introduced to the recently rediscovered works of Aristotle. Much of his scholarly life would be devoted to studying the Philosopher’s authentic teaching, discerning its valid elements, and demonstrating its value for Christian thought. Thomas entered the Order of Preachers, studied under Albert the Great, and taught theology in Cologne, Paris, Rome and Naples. Among his many commentaries and systematic works, the great Summa Theologiae reveals his critical gifts and his conviction of the natural harmony between faith and reason. Thomas also composed the liturgical texts for the new feast of Corpus Domini, whose hymns reflect his deep Eucharistic faith and theological wisdom. At the end of his life, Saint Thomas stopped writing, after a mystical experience which convinced him that all he had written “was as straw”, in comparison with the infinite grandeur and beauty of God’s truth. In coming catecheses we will explore the thought and writings of this great theologian.

BENEDICT XVI
GENERAL AUDIENCE

Saint Peter's Square
Wednesday, 2 June 2010