Thursday, March 1, 2007

hagia sophia painting by victor hammer

Hagia Sophia
painting by Victor Hammer
"Wisdom will honor you if you embrace her - she will place on your head a fair garland - she will bestow on you a crown of glory." (Proverbs 4: 8-9)
"... One day Father Louis (Thomas Merton) our friend came from his monastery at Trappist, Kentucky to bring an ill novice to the hospital in Lexington. (I had known Father Louis since 1955 when I visited him for the first time. Later we printed several of his books.) We had prepared a simple luncheon and I welcomed him to sit with us at the table. From where he sat he had a good view of the tryptich on the chest and he often looked at it. After awhile he asked quite abruptly, "And who is the woman who is behind Christ?" I said, "I do not know yet". Without further question he gave his own answer. "She is Hagia Sophia - Holy Wisdom - who crowns Christ." And this she was - and is."

-Victor Hammer

[See also: hagia sophia]


  1. Beth, I just received my copy of "Father Louie, photographs of Thomas Merton" by Ralph Eugene Meatyard from Powells. I'm only 40 pages in but it's a keeper! Great photos in black and white (I didn't know Meatyard was so famous as a photographer) They met in '67 or '68, most of the photos are from around the monastery and some at Meatyard's home. The text includes writings from Meatyard and letters exchanged between he and Merton...glad to add this to my collection!


    1. John, here I am, 6 1/2 years later, to tell you that I finally have that book too. You are right, it is a keeper. Leads me off the conventional track of who I thought Merton to be ...

  2. I just got my copy of "The Hidden Wholeness" last week, John.
    This one is a keeper, too.

    Somehow I keep being drawn into the visual world of Merton, more so than his words these days.

    There are lots of good b/w photos in this book too, both by Griffin and Merton. When Merton died, his camera was returned to Griffin with undeveloped film in it. Griffin has included those last photos that Merton took.


2nd Sunday of Advent 2023

Photo by John P. Walsh F rom Alfred Delp S.J.,   Prison Writings , Orbis Books, Maryknoll, New York, 2004: “So this Sunday we must again fol...