Thomas Murton OCSO was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social worker and scholar of comparative religion. On 26 May 1949, he was ordained priest and was named Father Louis. Merton wrote over 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice, and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews.


        Among Merton's most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Story Mountain (1948), which sent World War II veterans, students, and even scores of teenagers roaming the monasteries across the US, calling it the National Review's 100 Best Also featured in the list. Non-fiction books of the century.

        Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He also wrote the Dalai Lama, the Japanese author D. T. Pioneered interactions with leading Asian spiritual personalities including Suzuki, Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadas and Vietnamese monk Thich Nat Hanah and wrote books on Zen Buddhism and Taoism. In the years following his death, Merton has been the subject of several autobiographies.

        Thomas Merton was born in Prège, France. His New Zealand-born father Owen Merton and his American-origin mother Ruth Jenkins were both artists. They met at a painting school in Paris, married at St. Anne's Church, Soho, London, and returned to France where Thomas Murton was born on January 31, 1915.

        After a youth and adolescence, Merton converted to Roman Catholicism and entered Columbia University, and on December 10, 1941, he reached the abbey of Gethsemani, the community of monks of The Objective of the Scythians of the Strict Observance (Trappist). Belonged to Friar Roman Catholic monastic system.

        A few months after Thomas was born, his parents left France and moved to the United States. The family eventually settled in Douglaston, Queens, a neighborhood in New York City. Ruth died of stomach cancer in 1921 when Thomas was only six years old. Through most of his youth, Thomas accompanied his father from time to time to live with his grandparents.

        During his teenage years, his father enrolled Thomas in private schools in France and England, where he studied at Clare College, Cambridge. In 1934, Merton left Cambridge and returned to the US to live with his grandparents in New York and attend Columbia University.

        Merton's only novel, My Argument with the Gestapo, written in 1941, was published posthumously in 1969. His other writings include The Waters of Silo (1949), The History of the Trappists; About Seeds (1949); The Living Bread (1956), a meditation on the Eucharist; And further subsequent publications, including a collection of essays entitled Action of a World (1971) and The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1973). Seven volumes of his personal journals and several editions of his correspondence have been published.

        During the 1950s Merton continued to pursue good books on spiritual life, and he continued to study subjects such as psychoanalysis and Zen, thinking he would help them better help the young monks who had Had a pass charge. He read widely: Fathers of the Church, Modern Literature, Latin American History (looking at the possibility of another establishment establishing his monastery).

        He went more deeply into the Bible. In addition to his books, he wrote profusely in the diary. Some of his work on secular subjects was rejected by the censors of the church, and Merton felt increasingly attracted to being isolated from his community. Although he had many friends in the monastery, rules against intimacy, and a rapid conflict with his abbot, made life a test.

        Merton would go on to write poems, articles, essays and over 60 books, among them New Seeds of Contemplation, The Sign of Jonas, Conceptors of a Guilty Bistander, and No Man is an Island. In the later decades of his life he became interested in Asian religions, particularly Buddhism.

        His leadership helped to foster the Christian-Buddhist dialogue that continues to this day. Merton died in 1968 in an accidental electrification while attending a cross-conference of contemplative monks in Thailand. He was 53 years old.