Nicholas entered the nearby monastery of Sion and afterward became archbishop of the metropolitan church in Myra, Lycia. He is said to have been imprisoned during the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian and to have attended the first Council of Nicaea. At the end of the 11th century some Italian merchants transported his remains from Myra to Bari, Italy, where his tomb is now a shrine. Nicholas is the patron saint of children, scholars, virgins, sailors, and merchants, and in the Middle Ages he was regarded by thieves as their patron saint as well.
Legend tells of his hidden gifts to the three daughters of a poor man who was unable to give them dowries, was about to abandon them to prostitution. From this tale has grown the custom of secret gifts on the Eve of Saint Nicholas. Because of the close proximity of dates, Christmas and Saint Nicholas’s Day (Dec. 6) are now celebrated simultaneously in many countries. Santa Claus is physically known as being overweight, jolly, and being bearded has the exact physical, and the same personality as Saint Nicholas. It is thought that this figure that is loved by almost every little child in the world is derive from Saint Nicholas. Saint Anselm was another great Saint whos work revolutionized philosophy as we know it.
Out of his life work he is known best for his argument of God’s existence. Anselm was born in Aosta. In 1060 he joined the Benedictine monastery at Bec, in Normandy. Anselm was elected abbot of Bec. During these years he acquired a reputation for learning and devotion. He composed the Monologium in which reflecting the influence of St. Augustine he spoke of God as the highest being and investigated God’s attributes.
Encouraged by its reception, in 1078 he continued his project of faith seeking understanding, completing the Proslogium, the second chapter of which presents the original statement of what in the 18th century became known as the ontological argument. Anselm argued that even those who doubt the existence of God would have to have some understanding of what they were doubting. Namely, they would understand God to be a being than which nothing greater can be thought. Given that it is greater to exist outside the mind rather than just in the mind, a doubter who denied God’s existence would be making a contradiction because he or she would be saying that it is possible to think of something greater than a being than which nothing greater can be thought. For that reason, by definition God exists necessarily. Later philosophers Thomas Aquinas and Immanuel Kant challenged his argument.
Many following philosophers, Ren Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Leibniz, and some contemporary philosophers have offered similar arguments to Anselm. Anselm gave to the world almost a definition that there is a God, and revolutionized the way people looked at God. His argument is still very debated at this time in many churches. One of the greatest inventions of all time was invented by a Spanish theologian, and archbishop called Saint Isidore of Seville (560-636). The one man who introduced the world to Encyclopedias and Reference books. His most significant work was Etymologiae, a remarkably comprehensive early encyclopedia.
He was born in Seville and was educated at a monastery. As archbishop, Isidore helped unify the Spanish church by converting the Visigoths, who had completed the conquest of Spain in the 5th century, to orthodox Christianity from Arianism one of the most divisive heresies in the history of the church. He also presided over a number of important church councils. Most notable among these was the fourth national Council of Toledo (633), which decreed the union of church and state, the establishment of cathedral schools in every diocese, and the standardization of liturgical practice. Among Isidore’s writings is the Etymologiae, in which he attempted to compile all secular and religious knowledge.
Divided into 20 sections, it contains information that Isidore drew from the works of other writers and Latin authorities. The Etymologiae was a favorite textbook for students during the Middle Ages, and it remained for centuries a standard reference book. Isidore’s other works include treatises on theology, Scripture, linguistics, science, and history. His Sententiarum Libri Tres (Three Books of Sentences) was the first manual of Christian doctrine and ethics in the Latin church. Isidore is the forefather of all modern reference and text books. His contributions added so much to the education to that time at also to ours.
Sometimes called the Angelic Doctor and the Prince of Scholastics, Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) an Italian philosopher and theologian, whose works have made him the most important figure in Scholastic philosophy and one of the leading Roman Catholic theologians. Aquinas was born of a noble family in Roccasecca, near Aquino, and was educated at the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino and at the University of Naples. He joined the Dominican order while still an undergraduate in 1243, the year of his father’s death. His mother, opposed to Thomas’s affiliation with a mendicant order, confined him to the family castle for more than a year in a vain attempt to make him abandon his chosen course.
She released him in 1245, and Aquinas then journeyed to Paris to continue his studies. He studied under the German Scholastic philosopher Albertus Magnus, following him to Cologne in 1248. Because Aquinas was heavyset and taciturn, his fellow novices called him Dumb Ox, but Albertus Magnus is said to have predicted that this ox will one day fill the world with his bellowing. Aquinas was ordained a priest about 1250, and he began to teach at the University of Paris in 1252.
His first writings, primarily summaries and amplifications of his lectures, appeared two years later. His first major work was Scripta Super Libros Sententiarum (Writings on the Books of the Sentences, 1256), which consisted of commentaries on an influential work concerning the sacraments of the church, known as the Sententiarum Libri Quatuor (Four Books of Sentences), by the Italian theologian Peter Lombard. In 1256 Aquinas was awarded a doctorate in theology and appointed professor of philosophy at the University of Paris. Pope Alexander IV (reigned 1254-61) summoned him to Rome in 1259, where he acted as adviser and lecturer to the papal court. Returning to Paris in 1268, Aquinas immediately became involved in a controversy with the French philosopher Siger de Brabant and other followers of the Islamic philosopher Averros. Before the time of Aquinas, Western thought had been dominated by the philosophy of St. Augustine, the Western church’s great Father and Doctor of the 4th and 5th centuries, who taught that in the search for truth people must depend upon sense experience.
Early in the 13th century the major works of Aristotle were made available in a Latin translation, accompanied by the commentaries of Averros and other Islamic scholars. The vigor, clarity, and authority of Aristotle’s teachings restored confidence in empirical knowledge and gave rise to a school of philosophers known as Averroists. Under the leadership of Siger de Brabant, the Averroists asserted that philosophy was independent of revelation. Averroism threatened the integrity and supremacy of Roman Catholic doctrine and filled orthodox thinkers with alarm.
To ignore Aristotle, as interpreted by the Averroists, was impossible, to condemn his teachings was ineffective. He had to be reckoned with. Albertus Magnus and other scholars had attempted to deal with Averroism, but with little success. Aquinas succeeded. Reconciling the Augustinian emphasis upon the human spiritual principle with the Averroists claim of autonomy for knowledge derived from the senses, Aquinas insisted that the truths of faith and those of sense experience, as presented by Aristotle, are fully compatible and complementary. Some truths, such as that of the mystery of the incarnation, can be known only through revelation, and others, such as that of the composition of material things, only through experience, still others, such as that of the existence of God, are known through both equally.
All knowledge, Aquinas held, originates in sensation, but sense data can be made intelligible only by the action of the intellect, which elevates thought toward the apprehension of such immaterial realities as the human soul, the angels, and God. To reach understanding of the highest truths, those with which religion is concerned, the aid of revelation is needed. Aquinas’s moderate realism placed the universals firmly in the mi! nd, in opposition to extreme realism, which posited their independence of human thought. He admitted a foundation for universals in existing things, however, in opposition to nominalism and conceptualism. More successfully than any other theologian or philosopher, Aquinas organized the knowledge of his time in the service of his faith. In his effort to reconcile faith with intellect, he created a philosophical synthesis of the works and teachings of Aristotle and other classic sages, of Augustine and other church fathers, of Averroes, Avicenna, and other Islamic scholars, of Jewish thinkers such as Maimonides and Solomon ben Yehuda ibn Gabi rol, and of his predecessors in the Scholastic tradition.
This synthesis he brought into line with the Bible and Roman Catholic doctrine. Aquinas’s accomplishment was immense, his work marks one of the few great culminations in the history of philosophy. After Aquinas, Western philosophers could choose only between humbly following him and striking off in some altogether different direction. In the centuries immediately following his death, the dominant tendency, even among Roman Catholic thinkers, was to adopt the second alternative. Interest in Thomist philosophy began to revive, however, toward the end of the 19th century. In the encyclical Ae terni Paris (Of the Eternal Father, 1879), Pope Leo X recommended that St. Thomas’s philosophy be made the basis of instruction in all Roman Catholic schools.
Pope Pius XII, in the encyclical Human Generis (Of the Human Race, 1950), affirmed that the Thomist philosophy is the surest guide to Roman Catholic doctrine and discouraged all departures from it. Thomism remains a leading school of contemporary thought. Among the thinkers, Roman Catholic and non-Roman Cath o! lic alike, who have operated within the Thomist framework have been the French philosophers Jacques Maritain and tienne Gilson. St. Thomas was an extremely prolific author, and about 80 works are ascribed to him.
The two most important are Summa Contra Gentiles (1261-64; trans. On the Truth of the Catholic Faith, 1956), a closely reasoned treatise intended to persuade intellectual Muslims of the truth of Christianity, and Summa Theologica (Summary Treatise of Theology, 1265-73), in three parts (on God, the moral life of man, and Christ), of which the last was left unfinished. Summa Theologica has been republished frequently in Latin and vernacular editions. In the thousands of years that Saints have been affecting our lives with there countless theories, and inventions nobody has ever thought about the heartache, and time it took to produce these discoveries. In the three Saints that are listed there is a common thing between them (which is most likely common with most Saints), they had to work hard for there Recognition in Saint-hood. For example in the case of Saint Isidore, he worked and contributed immensely in the church as an Archbishop and theologian for many years.
In this case Isidore did not just write the Etymologiae, he also firmly contributed to the church also. As you can clearly see in the essay, the work of these particular Saints affected the people of there time tremendous ways. Also if the Saints wouldnt of contributed to the world with there outstanding work are modern world would of been altered in tremendous ways.