Grateful for Dante

How the Great-Souled Tuscan Saved My Life

On a warm October day in Ravenna, the ancient Roman imperial capital on the Adriatic, I walked down a street that runs by the Franciscan basilica and dead-ends at a small neoclassical monument topped with a dome. This is the Tomb of Dante, erected in the city where the fourteenth-century poet spent the final years of his life, and died. I entered the shaded portico quietly and stood to the side, waiting for German tourists to finish their inspection of the sarcophagus. Then, alone at the grave of the man whom God had used to deliver . . .

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Rod Dreher is the author, most recently, of Live Not By Lies (2020). The full story of how reading Dante restored him can be found in his memoir, How Dante Can Save Your Life (2015).


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