Thorlak of IcelandWho Rose Above Autism to Become Patron Saint of His People
Written by Aimee O'Connell
Illustrated by Sigurbjorg Eyjolfsdottir
Foreword by John C. Wilhelmsson
Iceland's history is told in the stories of its celebrated figures. From Viking explorers to Saga heroes, the voices that define Icelandic culture are well known. Yet one man in Iceland's past had difficulty finding the words to form his own voice and be known for who he really was: Thorlák Thórhallsson, declared by his people "The Patron Saint of Iceland" in 1198 and officially canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1984. Yet, despite these honors, few have ever heard Thorlák’s complete and true story: A child prodigy treated as an adult by those around him, a sorrowful boy from a broken home, a scholar of the emerging theology of merciful love, an innovator in pastoral leadership, and a man who understood the fundamental need to love and be loved. Thorlák of Iceland is an opportunity at last to celebrate this quiet hero who embodies the spiritual heart of the Icelandic people, and to learn from his inspiring true story wisdom for our own age.