Which is better - Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas Aquinas, or Saint Thomas Aquinas? Under what circumstance are you allowed to use those terms to identify the individual? Or is the saintly title assumed and scoped in the question so that all answerers will have to add the "Saint" before the person's name to indicate that the person is a saint in that denomination's theology?

Also, how do you make the tags? Would the tags be , , or ?

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  • And of course, there is S Thomas Aquinas as well. – Andrew Leach Aug 14 '13 at 16:30


The current situation:

There is a similar duplication with (7), (2), and (2). I don't see any other "st-" or "saint-" tags.

I agree that these should be synonyms. If we are going by our practice with other saints, then the standard form would be one with the "st-". For comparison, we have with no "st-", / with no "st-", and / with no "st-" or "blessed-".

In text

The practice I've roughly tried to follow is:

  • For a question scoped to a particular tradition, use the names and titles that are most appropriate or respectful for that tradition. For Catholicism that would include titles like "Saint" or "Blessed", and such earthly roles as "Pope" or "Cardinal", regardless of whether you personally think they ought to have been elected Pope or canonized. Not every mention needs to include the full names and titles, of course, just as one might write "President Barack Obama" once and then simply "Obama" later.
  • But space is at a premium in the question title, so it's OK to use shorter forms there. Once you've said "Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman" there's not much room left to say what you want to know about him.
  • When discussing someone's scholarly work, it's fine to use a more everyday form of their name, as in most books and journals.

However, I have never seen anybody on this site complaining about use or non-use of a saintly title, so I wouldn't let it bother me too much.

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If you have >= 300 rep, you can create a tag just by typing it in the 'tags' field on a new question. See the help page.

As far as when you're "allowed" to use one form of Aquinas' name over another -- I don't think any of the regular contributors here would be likely to get too bent out of shape over any of the forms you've listed in your post.

Whether of not it's appropriate to create a Thomas-Aquinas tag in the first place, and, if so, which would be the tag and which would be synonyms, are question that one of the more long-standing community members will be able to answer.

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