Please feel free to download any of the wallpaper files you find below, all of them taken from pictures I took while in Europe, and all of them related in some way—at times in a rather distant way—to Aquinas. You’ll find a short description of each picture, and links beneath the picture for downloading a .zip file version, which you can unzip at your computer, and then install as wallpaper, if you wish. I’ve tried to provide as high-resolution versions of the files as possible, so that the picture won’t degrade when used as wallpaper.
Chiesa di san Tommaso
I took this picture on a Sunday jaunt to Roccasecca a few years back, when Stephen Brock, Kevin Flannery, SJ, and I hustled down to see Thomas’s birthplace (let’s see you find a place to eat on Sunday afternoon in beautiful downtown Roccasecca!). It was a splendid day, as you can see from all the pictures I took of Roccasecca. This first picture is a straight-on shot of the church of Saint Thomas, built in 1323, the year of Thomas’s canonization, and supposedly the first church ever built in his honor (et convenienter, ut patet).
Affresco di san Tommaso
On the bell tower of this church there is a small fresco of St Thomas, whose age I don’t know. It’s a tad beat up by time and the weather, but has some fine iconography and color. Add in a little Photoshop magic, and you’ve got a nice picture.
Vista da Roccasecca
Perched atop the hill upon which the Aquino family’s castle stood, I was struck by literally how green was the valley that the young Thomas would have seen during the warmer parts of the year. It was quite a juxtaposition: a verdant valley and mountains so craggy. The rock of “dry rock” was white with almost pink overtones. From this view, one gets to see—at some remove—what Thomas saw as a child.
Gatto al foro
Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. I was staying at a simple pensione just behind the Angelicum in Rome, and decided to walk over—a very mini-pilgrimage—to the church of Santa Sabina (where Thomas taught between 1265-1268, and where the Summa theologiae was begun). It was a somewhat dreary day, and my walk took me by the Roman forum and the Colloseum, as I headed for one of the bridges over the Tiber. Along the way, at the Forum, I saw this cat, so perfectly content to sit there. The colors of the sight caught my eye, so I took the picture.
Naples (Florida, USA) sunset
In early February, 2005, Ave Maria University in Florida held a wonderful conference on “Thomas Aquinas the Augustinian.” After the daily sessions one day, Robert Barry, Paul Gondreau (both of Providence College, RI) and I, headed over to the beach at Naples, Florida, to catch the sunset. The picture below (with a little PhotoShop CS2 magic) is the best I was able to take, so I offer it here as some nice wallpaper. Watch for an upcoming volume from CUA Press on Aquinas the Augustinian.