This book is a culmination of Father Zeno's life work. With the cooperation of the Oratorian Fathers, he was given full access to all of Newman's letters, diaries, and complete published and unpublished sermons. From all this he has drawn together the interior struggles Newman faced from childhood until his death. Zeno allows Newman to speak through his work and writings, an exceedingly rich source. This is a landmark work considered one of the best spiritual biographies of John Henry Newman ever written.
This book was first published in Dutch and met with immediate and extensive acclaim. It covers Newman's young life as an Anglican, the doubts he faced in light of his historical studies, his conversion to Catholicism, the trials he faced as a result of his conversion, and his remarkable growth in holiness and the interior life.
"It took me, all in all, fifteen months to examine the 430 files of letters in the Archivium and the formidable collection of papers, journals and memoranda in the cupboards of the Cardinal's room... Studying the forty-five volumes of Newman's works which had up to then been published also required much time. While I read and copied out what threw light on his inner life, the outlines of Newman's soul gradually became clear to me: the following pages are the result of this labor of love."— From the Introduction
Father Zeno, O.F.M. Cap., one of the world’s foremost Newman scholars, obtained a Ph.D. in English language and literature and did his doctoral thesis on Newman’s epistemology.