Skip navigation.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

(c. 1225 - 1274)


Italian Dominican Priest of the Roman Church, Philosopher and Theologian in the tradition of scholasticism

A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.
A man should remind himself that an object of faith is not scientifically demonstrable, lest presuming to demonstrate what is of faith, he should produce inconclusive reasons and offer occasion for unbelievers to scoff at a faith based on such ground.
A person is disposed to an act of choice by an angel ... in two ways: Sometimes, a man's understanding is enlightened by an angel to know what is good, but it is not instructed as to the reason why ... But sometimes he is instructed by angelic illumination, both that this act is good and as to the reason why it is good.
A small error in the beginning is a great one in the end.
A song is the exultation of the mind dwelling on eternal things, bursting forth in the voice.
A thing is known according to the state of consciousness of the knower.
Abuse does not rule out use.
According to established popular usage, which the Philosopher considers should be our guide in the naming of things, they are called 'wise' who put things in their right* order and control them well. Now, in all things that are to be controlled and put in order to an end, the measure of control and order must be taken from the end in view; and the proper end of everything is something good. Hence we see in the arts that art A governs and, as it were, lords it over art B, when the proper end of art B belongs to A. Thus the art of medicine lords it over the art of the apothecary, because health, the object of medicine, is the end of all drugs that the apothecary's art compounds. These arts that lord it over others are called 'master-building,' or 'masterful arts'; and the 'master-builders' who practice them arrogate to themselves the name of 'wise men.' But because these persons deal with the ends in view of certain particular things, without attaining to the general end of all things, they are called 'wise in this or that particular thing,' as it is said, 'As a wise architect I have laid the foundation' while the name of 'wise' without qualification is reserved for him alone who deals with the last end of the universe, which is also the first beginning of the order of the universe. Hence, according to the Philosopher, it is proper to the wise man to consider the highest causes.
Action should be something added to the life of prayer, not something taken away from it. [Paraphrase]
All admit that indulgences have some value; for it would be blasphemy to say that the Church does anything in vain.