STU celebrates its ‘Dumb Ox’

    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)
    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)
    (Book Sadprasid\The Aquinian)

    This Thursday St. Thomas University will celebrate the feast day of its patron saint, Thomas Aquinas. Vivien Zelazny, the university’s campus minister, hopes students will turn out to the events planned.
    “From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. we’ll be in the Great Hall. We’ll have cupcakes and hot chocolate,” said Zelazny. “Then at 11:30 a.m. there’s daily mass. We always have daily mass on Thursdays, but in this case it will be in celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas.”
    Aquinas was born Tommaso d’Aquino in the Kingdom of Sicily, modern day Italy, in 1225. He was born into a wealthy family, but like many younger sons at the time his parents thrust him into the church.
    During his studies his quietness led his contemporaries to give him the nickname “The Dumb Ox.” It was then that his teacher Albertus Magnus said, “You call him the dumb ox, but in his teaching he will one day produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world.”
    “He was an incredible scholar, he was a university professor,” said Zelazny.
    Aquinas’ intellect and association with the first great universities of Europe that made him ideal for the patron saint of STU.
    “He ties us back to the whole idea, and the reason we have universities,” said Catholic Studies student Michael Pallotto. “Aquinas is not just a great Catholic or Christian thinker…He’s the one that inspires us to be willing to look into other fields and find truths in everything we can study.”
    The feast day will also include a trivia challenge. Don’t worry if you’re not up on your Catholic theology, Pallotto said the trivia is set up so anyone can participate.
    “It’s on the seven areas of liberal arts according to St. Thomas,” said Pallotto. “It really has nothing to do with anything specifically religious.”
    Zelazny said feast days are important in the Catholic tradition.
    “It’s a day when the Catholic church celebrates a saint,” said Zelazny. “It’s an opportunity to have a party, which is something that’s pretty important in the Catholic church.”
    Zelazny said the universities patron saint connects STU to the larger world.
    “There are many St. Thomas Universities around the world, and we have an affiliation with them,” said Zelazny. “There’s an association of universities of St. Thomas. So a lot of the study abroad opportunities that we have at [STU,] and the student exchange opportunities we have come out of those partnerships.”
    Pallotto thinks students should take some time to not only understand who Aquinas was, but what he stood for.
    “There’s a reason why this name was chosen for this school,” said Pallotto. “And I think understanding that in a sense connects us to our history and the reason that we’re at university and why we’re studying what we’re studying.”
    For teams who want to sign up for the trivia they can contact Pallotto at, or Jimy Beltran at


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