Thomas Aquinas
Feast Day: 28 January
Patron Saint of academics, schools and universities, book sellers

Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) joined one of the most influential new orders founded in the 13th century, St Dominic’s Order of Preachers. Thomas spent his career at the University of Paris and teaching in Dominican convents in Italy. He was particularly engaged with the late medieval revival of Aristotle’s philosophy.

Canonised in 1323, Thomas was declared a “Doctor of the Church” in 1567. His use of pagan philosophy to explain Christian concepts was controversial during the Reformation but his key work, the Summa Theologica, was endorsed by the Roman Church at the Council of Trent.

Traditionally, Thomas’ feast day was 7 March, but it was moved in 1970. It remains celebrated on 28 January in both the Roman and Church of England calendars. In 1880, Thomas was declared the patron saint of Catholic universities and centres of study.

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