Thomas Merton is the author mentioned as a potential name in a Times Square sign, promoting Monks' Bread, according to the notes found in the desk of a New York advertising executive (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies; 27).


Merton (1915-68) was a prominent author and social activist who lived at the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Bardstown, Kentucky[1]. Trappists, or members of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, follow the rules set forth for communal living by Saint Benedict. Benedict's text includes 73 chapters, each focusing on various aspects of monastic life. Chapter 48 of the Rule is interesting – in a study of Bellairs’s text – in that it states “for then are they monks in truth, if they live by the work of their hands.[2]” In accordance with this rule most Trappist monasteries create or produce goods that are in turn sold to provide income for the monastery. Hence why Merton of all people would be associated with Monks' Bread.


  1. Wikipedia: Thomas Merton
  2. Wikipedia: Rule of Saint Benedict

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