The Angelus - January / February 2023: The Era of Light - 12th & 13th Centuries

February 12, 2023

In the popular conception, the word “medieval” is bereft of positive connotations. It denotes something ignorant or close-minded, at best; something to be pitied or looked upon with contempt....

Dear Reader,

G. K. Chesterton once added to his countless quips by stating, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.” And while this statement is true of many peoples, places, and times, in the history of man, there is yet a period and a place where the Christian ideal was tried and was a triumph. That was European medieval Christendom.

The 12th and 13th centuries were an “era of light” in human history because European society and culture—European life—were informed by the Faith. It was a time when the supernatural truths brought to mankind by Our Lord, and entrusted to the Church, were used as a guide for human living. The result was striking; it was not just religion that flourished, but all manner of human endeavor: literature, architecture, music, art, and science, for example. While all this was striking, it should not be surprising. The truths of the Faith are true, and they are the highest truths. As such, they spread light over all reality, for those who hold them and use them as a guide.

It is impossible, with a subject so vast as the accomplishments of those centuries, to probe them in any depth. Yet, this issue of The Angelus looks to provide its readers with a real taste of the age. You will find in these pages insight on the scholastic methodology of St. Bonaventure, the best-loved medieval work of hagiography, the inspiration behind Gothic architecture, and the liturgical art of Br. Matthew Paris. Much is said as well about the towering figure of St. Thomas Aquinas, and we happily announce Angelus’ plans to publish, for the first time in English, the first biography of that great saint, written by Br. William of Tocco.

As we look back to that Age of Faith, we are strengthened in our conviction that Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly the “light of the world” ( Jn. 8:12). Even if our own age is one of great darkness, if we walk in the light that our faith provides, we shall not stumble.

Fr. John Fullerton



The Age of Light
 - Diaconissimus


Context: A Window into Theology’s Golden Age: Question on Marriage
  - Dr. Louis Shwartz

Literature: An Apology for Pious Legends of the Golden Kind
  - Jonathan Wanner

Art: The Art of Matthew Paris
  - Prof. David Clayton

Poetry: The Owl and the Nightingale
  - Anon

Commentary: William of Tocco’s Life of St. Thomas Aquinas (1323)
  - David M. Foley, Ph.D.


From the Archbishop: The Angelic Doctor: Our Guide in Philosophy and Theology
  - Abp. Marcel Lefebvre

Interview: My Path to Tradition
  - Scott Dunn

Theological Studies: Pius XII’s Clarifications on the Nature of the Episcopate
  - Fr. Jean-Michel Gleize, SSPX

Scriptural Studies: Meditations on St. John’s Gospel—Chapter Sixteen 
 - Pater Inutilis

Apologetics: Medieval Canon Lawyers and “The Heretical Pope”
 - Pater Peregrinus

Questions & Answers
  - Fr. Juan Carlos Iscara, SSPX

THE LAST WORD - Fr. David Sherry, SSPX

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