Roccasecca. The hometown of St. Thomas Aquinas. Behind the Church of Santa Maria Annunziata is the birthplace of the Saint. Unfortunately, the former home is now little more than a ruin.
Chiesa di San Tommaso D’Aquino (Church of St. Thomas Aquinas) (14th century). This Romanesque-Gothic church is the first church dedicated to him.
Castello di San Tommaso D’Aquino (The Castle of St. Thomas Aquinas) (10th century). The ruins of the castle where his brothers imprisoned him in an attempt to prevent him from entering the Dominican order.
Monte Cassino. St. Thomas was sent here as an oblate when he was 5 years old. He would have been introduced to Gregorian Chant here. The buildings had to be reconstructed after World War II.
The Chapel of the Relics in the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. The Chapel of the Relics has fragments of the Cross of Christ, found, according to tradition by St. Helena, on Calvary in Jerusalem. Together with the fragments of the Cross are retained: the Titulus Crucis, or the inscription that, according to the Gospels, was placed on the cross, a nail, which was also found by St. Helena, two spines, belonging, according to tradition, to the crown placed on the head of Jesus, and the finger of St. Thomas, the apostle who doubted the resurrection of Christ, and a part of the cross of the Good Thief. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote quite well about the Passion.
Fresco in St. Peter’s Basilica depicting Sts. Peter and Paul appearing to St. Thomas. St. Thomas admitted to his secretary, Br. Reginald, that God had sent the Apostles Sts. Peter and Paul to help him understand a passage from Isaiah.
St. Paul the Apostle (St. Paul’s outside the Walls – Rome). St. Thomas wrote excellent commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul.
According to tradition, St. John was boiled in oil (San Giovanni in Oleo – Rome). St. Thomas compiled a Patristic commentary on St. John’s Gospel. It is part of his Catena Aurea.
St. Agnes (Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone – Rome). St. Thomas cherished a most tender devotion to St. Agnes, virgin and martyr, constantly carrying her relics on his person.
Tomb of St. John Chrysostom (St. Peter’s Basilica). One day St. Thomas was reluctantly dragged to the court of King St. Louis the Ninth of France to attend a banquet. When they entered Paris someone showed him from a hill the magnificence of the city, saying: “How wonderful it must be to own all this.” St. Thomas only muttered: “I would rather have that Chrysostom manuscript I can’t get a hold of.”
St. Augustine. (Church of Sant’Agostino – Rome). Anyone who has read St. Thomas’ works knows how much he mentions St. Augustine.
Tomb of St. Philip Neri (Chiesa Nuova – Rome). He always kept the Summa Theologica of Saint Thomas Aquinas near him for consultation; this and the Holy Bible were his only books.
St. Robert Bellarmine (Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola – Rome). He taught theology from St. Thomas’ Summa Theologica.
Carafa Chapel (Santa Maria Sopra Minerva – Rome) The right hand wall of this chapel is called ‘The Glory of St. Thomas’. The Saint is holding a book with the Latin inscription Sapientiam sapientum perdam (“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise” [1 Cor. 1:19]). At his feet is a figure covered by books, symbolizing sin, with the cartouche Sapientia vincit malitia (“Wisdom conquers malice”), an allusion to the importance attributed by Dominicans to knowledge in the fight against heresy and vice.
This chapel was commissioned by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa. This fresco is St. Thomas presenting him to the Blessed Virgin. The artist was Fra Filippino Lippi. This church reportedly has the left arm-relic of St. Thomas.
St. Louis-Marie de Montfort (St. Peter’s Basilica). He read avariciously commentaries on the works of Thomas Aquinas.
The tomb of Cicero in Formia. St. Thomas quotes Cicero 196 times in the Summa Theologica.
Wine. (Nice restaurant in Spoleto). St. Thomas Aquinas: “Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath, and a glass of wine.”
The Abbey of Fossanova, one of the finest examples of Cistercian Gothic architecture in Italy, has the room where St. Thomas Aquinas died on March 7, 1274, on his way to the Second Council of Lyon.
The abbey preserves several relics associated with St. Thomas, including the stirrups from the mule he rode on his way to the abbey from Maenza and some of the hoofmarks of the animal. The funeral of the saint was held in the cloister chapel and his relics were kept at Fossanova for several years.
The room where St. Thomas Aquinas died.