Thomas of Aquin, also known as Saint Thomas Aquinas, or simply Aquino, was born in 1225 in the castle Roccasecca near Naples, Italy as the youngest of the seven children of Count Landulf of Aquin. His father belonged to the landed gentry and governed his possessions in a province in the very northwest of the kingdom of Sicily. His mother, Donna Theodora, the second wife of Landulf, came from Naples and had Norman origins. At the age of five, Thomas Aquinas was sent the the monastery Monte Cassino and, in 1244, entered the Dominican Order against his family's will.
He studied in Paris and became a lecturer for scholastic philosophy in 1248. With much acclaim for his teaching, he received the titles of Doctor universalis and Doctor angelicus. From 1248 to 1252, Thomas Aquinas studied under Albertus Magnus of Cologne. After more lectures in Paris from 1256 to 1259, he taught in Rome, Viterbo, and Orvieto.
In 1269, Thomas Aquinas returned to Naples, where he occupied the position of prefect of studies for his order and founded a Dominican school there in 1272. He left behind a daunting amount of writings; according to his head secretary, he dictated to at least three or four secretaries simultaneously; similar to today's chessmasters.
On his way to the second Council of Lyon, Thomas Aquinas passed away in Fossanova in 1274. Though his teachings are not without controversy, he was canonized by Pope John XXII in 1323. In 1567, Thomas Aquinas was named one of the Doctors of the Church.