Saints Essay, Research Paper

How did the work of the saints affect the people of the time? The work of

the saints affected the people of that time

in incredible ways and in some instances there work is still affecting us

now. In the following essay there will be

various Saints listed with there accomplishments and brief description of

there past. One of the more popular Saints

of our time, was Saint Nicholas, who became a Christian prelate that

lived in the late 4th century. Patron saint of

Russia, traditionally associated with Christmas celebrations. He was a

native of Patara, formerly a city in the Asia

Minor. 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 derived from Saint Nicholas. Saint Anselm

was another great Saint who?s 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?s. 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 Encyclopedia?s 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 standardizaton 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 Averro?s. 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 Averro?s 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 Averroist 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 Gabirol, 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 Aeterni Patris (Of

the Eternal Father, 1879), Pope Leo XIII

recommended that St. Thomas’s philosophy be made the basis of

instruction in all Roman Catholic schools. Pope

Pius XII, in the encyclical Humani 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 Catho! 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 wouldn?t of

contributed to the world with there outstanding

work are modern world would of been altered in tremendous ways.

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