Saint Thomas Aquinas
St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274) was born into a wealthy and noble family in Aquino, Italy. He was the pious and brilliant son of a count, and a lucrative future was planned for him. When Thomas set off to enter the newly founded Dominican order to be a poor mendicant friar, his mother held him prisoner in the family castle in order to dissuade him. His brothers tried to destroy his purity, and thus his vocation, by tempting him with a prostitute. However Thomas resisted and turned to God for help; as a result, angels were sent to guard and preserve his chastity. This long ordeal only strengthened his vocation, and eventually he escaped and joined the Dominicans. He was ordained to the priesthood and went on to become a famed professor and prolific writer. His works remain immensely influential in philosophy and theology, the most famous being his Summa Theologica, and multiple popes have upheld him as the model of a systematic Catholic education. St. Thomas Aquinas is the foremost Doctor of the Catholic Church, known as the "Angelic Doctor" for his purity of mind and body, and remarkable intelligence. St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron of schools and universities, students, philosophers, theologians, apologists, academics, and chastity. His feast day is January 28.