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Saint Thomas Aquinas c1225-1274 was an Italian theologian one of the foremost Christian philosophers of the Middle Ages His Summa Theologica c1266-1273 was a provincial document of scholastic philosophy Summa Theologica explored all facets of medieval life philosophy and theology political theory and morality1 The medieval church had a particular interest in the sacraments because they manifest salvation to an individual in a tangible form and tied the individual to the church2 Specifically I am going to address the importance of the sacraments as defined by Aquinas According to Aquinas the number of sacraments should be seven3 since the number of sacraments was not officially acknowledged until the Council of Florence in 1439CE4 The purpose of sacraments is to perfect man according to the law of God and also to remedy against the shortcomings caused by sin whether original mortal or venial sin5 Each of the sacraments corresponds with a particular defect caused by sin6 Baptism confers spiritual life and is intended to remedy against original sin As a man grows in his spiritual walk with God he needs to be strengthened whereby confirmation by the Holy Spirit is given to strengthen man during his walk with God To maintain a strong relationship with God nourishment is needed which is Eucharist or communion The fourth sacrament is penance which is ordained against mortal sins committed after baptism Extreme unction or a prayer finally combats venial sin for a critically ill or injured person The sacrament of order refers to the individuals responsibility to community by creating rulers of the church Finally holy matrimony or marriage is the sacrament that ties people of a community to one another7 Aquinas studied heavily the works by Aristotle and believed that man could only be united in religion if common visible symbols or sacraments were shared Although the sacraments are external practices they signify and invoke spirituality in man8 The salvation of
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