The Quiet Light

A novel of St. Thomas Aquinas
Book cover: 'The Quiet Light: A novel of St. Thomas Aquinas'
Author(s): 
Louis de Wohl
Copyright: 
1950
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Disclaimer: best suited for high schoolers due to an incident where Thomas Aquinas is tempted by his brothers when they bring a prostitute to his room one night. Also, there are a few quick references to 'wenches' .

The dust jacket reads that the "theme of this novel was suggested to Louis de Wohl, in a private audience, by His Holiness, Pope Pius XII in 1948". The Quiet Light was printed two years later.

The book tells the story of the life of Thomas Aquinas from the eyes of his family members. It is a well-written novel, with an exciting plot and a complement of well-rounded characters. We see Thomas Aquinas as a shy, and supposedly dull-witted, schoolboy who earns himself the name of "The Dumb Ox". It isn't until college that his legendary genius is revealed. We learn how Thomas's wealthy family are terribly opposed to his decision to become a Dominican, and of their many attempts to thwart his personal plan. The author makes Saint Thomas Aquinas come alive, and we are left with a deep impression of the impact that this saint made in his time.

The novel is also noteworthy for its historical content. It is a wonderful case study of life in the thirteenth century in Europe. We learn of feuding barons, fleeing popes, politically-motivated marriages, chivalry, feasting, the crusades, and life in a monastary.

Most importantly, this is a Catholic novel. We are touched by the depth of the faith of St. Thomas Aquinas, and awe-struck by the miracles that occur later in his life.

For highschoolers studying the Middle Ages, or anyone who wants to learn more about this important saint, The Quiet Light is highly recommended.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: