“There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.”

Myoshin, of the Salt lake Buddhist Fellowship, was suspicious of this one: “There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.”

It’s also found as “There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle.”

It’s certainly not the Buddha, but unfortunately I haven’t yet found the source. I’m posting this here in case someone with better search skills than I can help track it down.

The second, “small candle,” version seems to be the oldest. It’s mostly attributed to “Robert Alden,” who is most likely the Robert L. Alden who wrote a series of commentaries on the Psalms. Alden was Professor of Old Testament at Denver Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary.

The “Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations” attributes it to Robert Aitken, but no other source does.

Unfortunately none of the citations I’ve seen point to an original source, and I can’t find the quote in the two books of his that appear in Google Books.

For what it’s worth, the oldest attribution I’ve found in a book is in Andy Zubko’s “Treasury Of Spiritual Wisdom,” which was originally published in 1996.

It also appears, quoted by a Chamber of Commerce leader, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from January 12, 1995.

That’s a rather late attribution for the “Little House On the Prairie” Alden, who passed away in 1911, but would make more sense for Robert L. Alden, who was still writing in the 1970s.

6 thoughts on ““There isn’t enough darkness in all the world to snuff out the light of one little candle.””

  1. “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle,” is often attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi. But even that is debatable.

    1. I’m virtually 100% sure it’s not St Francis. The quote must be of recent coinage, since it doesn’t appear in books until the late 20th century.

      1. And it’s everywhere – including countless Roman Catholic sites. But there appears to be no valid/viable source.

        Sidebar: I fairly regularly come to your site to verify quotes, and nearly every time my suspicions are confirmed (of course, who knows how many times I don’t suspect something when I should!). Thanks for providing such an amazing resource.

    1. Hi, Hector.

      The problem is that what you heard was probably wrong. If you find this quote in the writings of St. Francis, please let me know.

      All the best,

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