Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Story of the Dumb Ox

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The greatest theologian and Doctor of the Church ever to live, St. Thomas Aquinas taught countless Catholics the deepest truths of the Faith. In this storybook, Mary Fayban Windeatt makes the life of St. Thomas and his lifelong work of teaching the Faith come alive for your children!

The life of St. Thomas Aquinas is one that every Catholic should know. His works made him the greatest theologian the Church has ever known, but it was his life of virtue that made him one of the greatest saints. Quiet, thoughtful, and slow to speak, St. Thomas was called the “Dumb Ox” by his fellow students, but this story shows how true were the words of his teacher, St. Albert the Great: “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.” The stories in Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Story of the Dumb Ox reveal his patient and intelligent nature, setting him up as the perfect example for all children. 

Mary Fabyan Windeatt was known as the “Storyteller of the Saints” in the 50’s and 60’s. Her renditions of the lives of the saints and important events in Catholic history are some of the best-known Catholic books for children. Your child will love her engaging style, and you will love the faith-filled message and lessons in virtue!

Ideal for all children, whether read by them or aloud to them, the lessons of this book are applicable and relatable to all ages. If your child is enrolled in TAN Academy, this book is an excellent option for easy-reading literature for Kindergarten through 3rd Grade.

Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy, OP
TAN Books
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1 Review

  • 5
    A great read in an excellent series.

    Posted by Steven McEvoy on Dec 7th 2023

    I have been asked several times if I have ever read and reviewed any of the books by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. This was the second volume I have read and it was an amazing read, I could hardly put it down, and as I shared with my youngest children ages 15 and 13 they want to read it as well.. I am usually asked by reader who found my series of reviews of books in these two series: Encounter the Saints - Pauline Books and Media Vision Books for Young Readers – Ignatius Press From this first one I would state they are on par with the Encounter the Saints Series, and a little below the reading level of the Vision Books for Young Readers Series. According to the TAN site there are 20 books in TAN edition of the series. It appears a few of these had alternate titles in previous editions. There also appears to be 7 other volumes not available from TAN. There are also companion and teaching manuals for many of the volumes. There are also some colouring books, and some audio dramas, but back to this volume. The description of this book states: ““The Dumb Ox” was a perfect nickname for young Thomas Aquinas—although it was none too kind. Thomas was big, slow to speak—a quiet and solemn youth. Even Father Albert was inclined to think him rather dull. No one knew about Thomas’ amazing memory, or that he knew most of the bible by heart, or that no subject was difficult for him. One day, Thomas decided to amuse himself by writing a paper on a really hard problem in Theology. Then, somehow, after writing it, he lost it. A few days later it turned up on Father Albert’s desk. Father Albert read it, then called Thomas to his cell. “Brother Thomas,” he asked, as the student entered the room, “did you write this?” This book describes what happened next, plus the other events in Thomas’ remarkable life. It tells how his mother fought against his vocation, how his brothers kidnapped him and put him in a tower, how his sisters helped him, and how angels brought him something from heaven. All in all, this book shows how Thomas “The Dumb Ox” came to be the Patron of Catholic Schools and the greatest teacher ever in the history of the Catholic Church.” About the author TAN books states: “Mary Fabyan Windeatt was known as the “Storyteller of the Saints” in the 50’s and 60’s. Her renditions of the lives of the saints and important events in Catholic history are some of the best-known Catholic books for children. Your child will love her engaging style, and you will love the faith-filled message and lessons in virtue!” And also: “Mary Fabyan Windeatt lived from 1910-1979 and grew up in Saskatchewan, Canada. The Mount Saint Vincent College awarded her a Licentiate of Music degree when she was just seventeen, and she began writing Catholic works when she was about twenty-four. Later she sent one of her stories to a Catholic magazine, and after it was accepted, she continued to write. In total she composed at least twenty-one children's books, as well as periodical children's pages written for The Torch, a monthly Dominican magazine.” I have had this volume and one other on my shelf for a while now. But I had not got around to reading them. In part I found the covers lacked appeal. And in part because of my dual form of dyslexia I greatly prefer eBooks. Because with digital books I can change the page colour the font and font colour. However after reading the first one I now desperately want to read all of them I can lay my hands on. And even though I own a physical copy of this one, I picked up the eBook to make reading easier. This story is like a mashup between Deadpool and typical biography. The story is written as if Thomas is speaking and interacting directly with the readers. This happens on a number of occasions and is part of what makes this such an excellent volume. In fact the book begins with this: “I HAVE been dead a long time. In fact, I died on March 7, 1274, and my body now rests in the Dominican church in Toulouse, France. But my body is the least important part of me. It is my soul that matters, and my soul has been having a wonderful time for hundreds of years because it is in Heaven. Through the grace and by the gift of God, my soul sees all the boys and girls in the world today. My soul knows each of you very well, the schools you attend, the teachers who instruct you in religion, arithmetic and geography. My soul is very anxious that you do well in school, that you learn much—especially about our holy Catholic Faith, and that you grow up to do great things. This is not so strange, since some years ago the Pope made me Patron of Catholic Schools. He gave me special charge of each Catholic student in the world. I have been very busy since then helping boys and girls in their work. As I said, my body is in the French city of Toulouse, but my soul is very much alive. Someday your soul and my soul will meet. In the meantime, please believe that I am your friend, always ready to listen to your troubles, your plans, your studies. But who am I?” Reading the book is therefore much like a conversation. We are getting to know a new friend, a friend in heaven. The chapters in the book are: Introduction I Go to School I Go to Naples I Go to Prison I Go to Cologne I Go to Paris I Go to Heaven I Go to Work Prayers The prayers in the book are: Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas Before Study Or Lecture Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas to Obtain A Special Favor Prayers of the Angelic Warfare Prayer of Saint Thomas Aquinas Prayer for Purity Another Prayer of Saint Thomas Prayer to Saint Thomas Aquinas Patron Of Catholic Schools And if you pick up the digital edition of the book there is a bonus booklet at the end, Confession Its Fruitful Practice: With an Examination of Conscience originally published by the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration. The book itself was originally published serially in The Torch and was later republished in book format as My Name Is Thomas. The book received the: Nihil Obstat Imprimi Potest Imprimatur This was a fascinating read. I knew the broad strokes of Saint Thomas’s life, but I was unaware of some of the details. His brothers hog tying him and locking him in a castle to prevent his service in the order. His sisters coming around and believing in his calling and lowering him out a window in a basket. The story is part action and adventure. And it is about the greatest adventure, finding our calling from God and learning to live it out. I loved the two books I have read in this series and I plan on tracking down all the volumes in the series and reading them. You can buy the set of 20 physical books from TAN. They do not have a collection of the eBook, and not even all 20 have eBook editions available. I find this a pity, I have a dual form of dyslexia and prefer eBooks so I can change the font, and the font and page colour to make reading easier. And my son has eye tracking issues and prefers eBooks as well. This is one of the volumes that does have a digital edition, and as mentioned with a great bonus section. It was well worth the read. This is a great read in an excellent series. I am glad TAN has brought it back into print. I can easily recommend this book and the series for home, school or church library! It is an excellent read for the whole family.