aerial of Vatican City

Latium (Lazio) – The region of Latium is in central Italy on the western side of the peninsula.  The area is best known for the capital city of Rome, but it is very diverse both geographically and culturally.  The western border is formed by the Tyrrhenian Sea that gives way to the flat coastal plains.  The plains continue past Rome, and are transformed into the rolling topography of Tuscany and Umbria in the north, and the hills and extinct volcanic mountains of Campania in the south.  The Apennine Mountains occupy the eastern edge of the region and the Tiber River enters the plains from the northern valleys and flows through Rome to the sea. (Heater, 68)

The Life of St. Thomas Aquinas

Born in 1225, in the Latium region of Italy in the town of Aquino, St. Thomas was the youngest child of a rich family.  His education began in Monte Cassino where he met a Dominican preacher who convinced Thomas to join the Dominican Order.  The parents of St. Thomas, however, did not agree with his decision and had his brothers kidnap him.  Thomas was held captive in his parents’ castle for a year with plenty of temptations to change his mind away from the Dominicans, but he held firm.  At the end of the year, his mother, Theodora, arranged his escape.  

St. Thomas joined the Dominicans and went on to teach in many places around Italy and to write many theological and philosophical works, such as the Summa Theologica and the Summa Contra Gentiles.

This well-known Italian saint did not live to be 50 years old, but fell ill and died in 1274.  Though he died on March 7th, St. Thomas Aquinas’s feast day is celebrated on January 28th.

Quotes of St. Thomas

  • The things that we love tell us what we are.
  • Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.
  • Wonder is the desire for knowledge.
  • To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.