Thomas Aquinas was a 13th century Italian Dominican friar and Catholic priest. He is an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis.
Aquinas was born January 28th 1225 in Roccasecca (Roccamorata), Italy. His father was Landulf of Aquino and his mother was Theodora Vanini. She died when Thomas was 5 years old and his father sent him to be raised by Benedictine monks at Monte Cassino. He was given the name Thomas because of his devotion to St. Thomas Becket, who was martyred by King Henry II in 1170 for refusing to accept royal supremacy over the Church in England.
Theologian joined the Dominicans when he was about 15 years old after having already studied for a year at the University of Naples under Albertus Magnus (a famous Dominican scholar). He studied under many great teachers including Albertus Magnus, Peter Lombard, Alexander of Hales, and Giles of Rome before becoming a professor himself at age 25 at the University of Paris in 1256.
In addition, Aquinas’s masterwork Summa Theologiae (1265–1274) sought to reconcile faith and reason not only in theological matters but also in natural philosophy. Although it is unfinished and many questions remain open to interpretation, it has been considered the greatest work of theology ever written by any philosopher or theologian.