St. Thomas’ Prayer for Students:
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.
To Do: Share this brief summary of who he is.
Saint Thomas Aquinas was born around 1224 in Roccasecca, Kingdom of Sicily. Defying his family's wishes for him to become a monk, he joined the Dominican Order while attending the University of Naples. His studies introduced him to the teachings of Aristotle, which greatly influenced his work and ideas. He is now considered one of the Roman Catholic Church's foremost theologians. Despite being referred to as a “Dumb Ox,” he wrote the Summa Theologiae, an explanation and summary of the entire body of Catholic teaching, that has been standard for centuries, even to our own day.
Teens and young adults should know and appreciate the story of St. Thomas chasing the prostitute from his room with a burning log. (She was sent by his wealthy family to tempt him away from the religious life.) After he drove away the temptress, two angels came to him and fastened a mystical chastity cord around his waist.