Story Behind the Words
One of the first phrases that a person new to the University learns is Tolle Lege. Meaning "take up and read," the words are etched in campus buildings and on Villanovans' minds.
Here's why they matter.
Augustine, overhearing these words sung by children playing in a garden, picked up the nearest book—a Bible—and opened it. His eyes fall on Paul's words to the people of Rome: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ." As he describes it in his Confessions, a masterpiece of literature, the moment was critical in Augustine's conversion to Christianity. His life changed forever.
The phrase focuses all Villanovans on why they are here: to pursue the truth with their whole selves in the company of other learners.