Originally Posted by MilesVitae
I read in a book of Catholic symbols that one of the symbols of St Thomas Aquinas is a sun with an eye in the middle of it. I like the symbol, and am fond of St. Thomas, so I've been looking online for this image - but I can barely find any evidence that this is actually a symbol of St. Thomas. He frequently has a sun on his chest, but I've only managed to find one (I think contemporary) image of St. Thomas with the sun and the eye.
Does anybody know if this is actually a symbol of St. Thomas that has some history to it?
Pope Pius XI said that the sun is St Thomas' symbol because "he both brings the light of learning into the minds of men and fires their hearts and wills with the virtues". More recently, Pope John Paul II noted the special place of St Thomas in the tradition of Christian thought, for St Thomas "had the great merit of giving pride of place to the harmony which exists between faith and reason. Both the light of reason and the light of faith come from God, he argued; hence there can be no contradiction between them". This truth stands at the heart of a Catholic approach to study and to the science of theology, and it is thus that the Dominican Constitutions (echoing the Church's Code of Canon Law) says that "the best teacher and model for the accomplishment of [study in the Order] is St Thomas whose teaching the Church particularly commends". Indeed, it is not only the Church who, in the words of Pope John Paul II, holds St Thomas up as "a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology", but G. K. Chesterton has also said that "Thomas Aquinas was one of the great liberators of the human intellect ... a very great man who reconciled religion with reason". As Pope John XXII said that "he alone enlightened the Church more than all other doctors", so the sun is a symbol of this saint.
You can read this and see a mosaic of the symbol at - http://godzdogz.op.org/2010/01/our-brother-dumb-ox.html