|Serious, scholarly Thomas Aquinas|
Thomas was born into a noble family in the Kingdom of Sicily, though not actually on the island of Sicily. That kingdom occupied the southern chunk (30%?) of the Italian peninsula for much of the pre-unification history. Thomas' dad Landulf wasn't the Count, but he was a respected semi-aristocrat with a lot of privileges. Being a younger brother, Thomas was marked for Church service, just like his Uncle Sinibald, the Abbot of Monte Cassino. [That abbey, but the way, was the original Benedictine house. If you were to be an abbot, it doesn't get much more prestigious than that in the West.]
|Angels comforted Thomas after he rejected a hooker|
A couple years later he was back with the Dominicans. Mama Theodora Aquinas acknowledged to herself that she could not keep her son imprisoned for the rest of his life, nor could she sacrifice the family's honor by permitting him to join a radical cult. [NB. My use of the word cult there is not in the Catholic sense of devotion to a saint or conceptual phenomenon, but rather in the pejorative modern sense of a freaky new religious movement that exploits naive recruits.] The servants left a window open for him; out he went, leaving the family honor in tact but far behind him.
This much, I think, for this year. Next year, his studies and career. By then, Mr. Chesterton will give me an inkling of what I am talking about.