There are many legends about Thomas Aquinas, some of which are true and others which are undoubtedly false, but the fact that there are so many legends shows the esteem in which the man is held.
Thomas is one of the greatest minds the church has ever produced. Born about the year 1225, he was taught by Albert the Great, another doctor of the church, and both men were members of the new Dominican Order.
In today's Office of Readings, the church gives us a beautiful reading from the writings of Thomas on the crucifixion of the Lord. Thomas says that if we want to learn about any virtue all we have to do is look at the cross and think of what Jesus went through there.
One quote from the reading will suffice to demonstrate: if you want an example of patience look to the cross,"when he suffered he did not threaten, like a lamb that is led to the slaughter he opened not his mouth."
Thomas had a way of seeing right to the heart of things. He was a true mystic who could put into ordinary words the greatest truths. The writings of Thomas are still required study for men studying for the priesthood today.