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50 Saint Thomas Aquinas Quotes about Faith and Life

See in these quotes why Thomas Aquinas is often referred to as the greatest Christian philosopher.

There is a lot to be said about Thomas Aquinas, his work, and his life. While in his younger days at school, his classmates thought he was dumb, it turns out he was a lot wiser than they realized. Despite his family trying to stop him, he worked and studied to become a friar.

In his time, not everyone agreed and supported his ideas and beliefs. He often referred to the work of Aristotle, which was not customary for Christians to do. However, he believed that there was a balance between the knowledge from God and the reasoning used by philosophers.

Don’t forget to also check out these St. Teresa of Avila quotes on her message for humanity.

Thomas Aquinas Quotes about Faith and Hope

1. “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.” – Thomas Aquinas

2. “Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire, and to know what he ought to do.” – Thomas Aquinas

3. “Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.” – Thomas Aquinas

4. “The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.” – Thomas Aquinas

5. “Because we cannot know what God is, but only what He is not, we cannot consider how He is but only how He is not.” – Thomas Aquinas

6. “How can we live in harmony? First, we need to know we are all madly in love with the same God.” – Thomas Aquinas

7. “If, then, you are looking for the way by which you should go, take Christ because He Himself is the way.” – Thomas Aquinas

8. “Reason in man is rather like God in the world.” – Thomas Aquinas

9. “It is necessary to posit something which is necessary of itself, and has no cause of its necessity outside of itself but is the cause of necessity in other things. And all people call this thing God.” – Thomas Aquinas

10. “The knowledge of God is the cause of things. For the knowledge of God is to all creatures what the knowledge of the artificer is to things made by his art.” – Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas Quotes about Love and Friendship

11. “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.” – Thomas Aquinas

12. “Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.” – Thomas Aquinas

13. “Friendship is the source of the greatest pleasures, and without friends even the most agreeable pursuits become tedious.” – Thomas Aquinas

14. “Well-ordered self-love is right and natural.” – Thomas Aquinas

15. “Love is a binding force, by which another is joined to me and cherished by myself.” – Thomas Aquinas

16. “Love must precede hatred, and nothing is hated save through being contrary to a suitable thing which is loved. And hence it is that every hatred is caused by love.” – Thomas Aquinas

17. “Moral science is better occupied when treating of friendship than of justice.” – Thomas Aquinas

18. “Love follows knowledge.” – Thomas Aquinas

19. “The study of truth requires a considerable effort – which is why few are willing to undertake it out of love of knowledge.” – Thomas Aquinas

20. “The happy man in this life needs friends.” – Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas Quotes about Self and Wisdom

21. “We can’t have full knowledge all at once. We must start by believing; then afterward we may be led on to master the evidence for ourselves.” – Thomas Aquinas

22. “Man should not consider his material possession his own, but as common to all, so as to share them without hesitation when others are in need.” – Thomas Aquinas

23. “Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man’s own will.” – Thomas Aquinas

24. “The things that we love tell us what we are.” – Thomas Aquinas

25. “All the efforts of the human mind cannot exhaust the essence of a single fly.” – Thomas Aquinas

26. “The highest manifestation of life consists in this: that a being governs its own actions. A thing which is always subject to the direction of another is somewhat of a dead thing.” – Thomas Aquinas

27. “Temperance is simply a disposition of the mind which binds the passion.” – Thomas Aquinas

28. “Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” – Thomas Aquinas

29. “A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational.” – Thomas Aquinas

St Thomas Aquinas Quotations about Law and Justice

30. “Law is nothing other than a certain ordinance of reason for the common good, promulgated by the person who has the care of the community.” – Thomas Aquinas

31. “If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.” – Thomas Aquinas

32. “Law; an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has the care of the community.” – Thomas Aquinas

33. “Every judgment of conscience, be it right or wrong, be it about things evil in themselves or morally indifferent, is obligatory, in such wise that he who acts against his conscience always sins.” – Thomas Aquinas

34. “Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in the circumstances confronting him.” – Thomas Aquinas

35. By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.” – Thomas Aquinas

36. “In order for a war to be just, three things are necessary. First, the authority of the sovereign. Secondly, a just cause. Thirdly, a rightful intention.” – Thomas Aquinas

37. “Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; justice without mercy is cruelty.” – Thomas Aquinas

38. “If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” – Thomas Aquinas

39. “While injustice is the worst of sins, despair is the most dangerous; because when you are in despair you care neither about yourself nor about others.” – Thomas Aquinas

40. “Further, nothing, except sin, is contrary to an act of virtue. But war is contrary to peace. Therefore war is always a sin.” – Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas Quotes about Virtues and Knowledge

41. “Distinctions drawn by the mind are not necessarily equivalent to distinctions in reality.” – Thomas Aquinas

42. “Most men seem to live according to sense rather than reason.” – Thomas Aquinas

43. “Not everything that is more difficult is more meritorious.” – Thomas Aquinas

44. “It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use, from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” – Thomas Aquinas

45. “Perfection of moral virtue does not wholly take away the passions, but regulates them.” – Thomas Aquinas

46. “Because of the diverse conditions of humans, it happens that some acts are virtuous to some people, as appropriate and suitable to them, while the same acts are immoral for others, as inappropriate to them.” – Thomas Aquinas

47. “The principal act of courage is to endure and withstand dangers doggedly rather than to attack them.” – Thomas Aquinas

48. “To live well is to work well, to show good activity.” – Thomas Aquinas

49. “The test of the artist does not lie in the will with which he goes to work, but in the excellence of the work he produces.” – Thomas Aquinas

50. “Whatever is received is received according to the nature of the recipient.” – Thomas Aquinas

What did you learn from these Thomas Aquinas quotes?

After his death, Thomas Aquinas was made a Saint and has become a very important person within the Roman-Catholic religion. He’s even known as the doctor of angels. He was a great writer and worked to prove and defend Christianity. Saint Thomas Aquinas lived in the 1200s and is still remembered as the most important philosopher in the religion by many even though he lived less than 50 years.

While he had several books written during his lifetime, you can get a taste of his message and beliefs through these Thomas Aquinas quotes. Even though they are from hundreds of years ago, you’ll see how many still apply to our situation and people today.

What’s your biggest takeaway from these Thomas Aquinas quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

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  1. Ellen

    July 6, 2021 at 5:18 PM

    Just one of these quotes can be life-changing. Thanks for putting it together.

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