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St. Thomas Aquinas

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

Stained glass window from St. Dominic’s Church in Washington, D.C. Photo by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P.

The following reflection is part of an ongoing series about the life of St. Dominic & the Order of Friars Preachers.

A great philosopher and theologian, esteemed by many as the greatest Doctor of the Church and the “Universal Teacher of the Church,” Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 74) devoted his life to teaching, preaching, and writing. Born in Rocca Secca, Italy, Thomas was both saint and genius. His writings are recognized as milestones in the history of human thought, and his Commentary on the Gospels and Summa Theologica, among the most important of all theological works, are studied in seminaries throughout the world. Unafraid to investigate faith by powers of reason, he recognized that faith is not an enemy of reason but a type of knowledge that strives for deeper understanding and ultimately wisdom. Toward the end of his life, while praying before a crucifix, Thomas heard a voice asking what reward he wanted for his labors. His reply: “None but yourself, O Lord.” He is the patron saint of Catholic universities, colleges, academies, and schools.

Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. (a member of the English Province) was invited by the Dominican Foundation to take pictures of some of the locations where our friars serve throughout the Northeast. During his time in Washington, D.C., Fr. Lew photographed the interior of the Church of St. Dominic. St. Dominic’s has been the church where our friars are ordained to the priesthood each May. Surrounding the church, is a collection of beautiful stained glass windows that chronicle the life of St. Dominic & the foundation of the Order of Preachers. Fr. Lew accomplished a great work by capturing the splendor of these windows, and in the process, the life of a towering saint.

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