Summary of The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince has captured the hearts of readers around the world since he first appeared in 1943. Written by pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry while in America, the tale was inspired by his experiences in the French Air Force.

On the surface it’s a simple story, but there’s a good reason why this 80-page novel has managed to sell more than 140 million copies worldwide.

Martin Heidegger considered it “one of the greatest books of existential philosophy of this century.” It serves as both a children’s allegory and an existential dialogue that challenges readers on what is truly important in life.

Here are 3 life lessons on the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love we can learn from this enchanting tale, as told through some of my favourite quotes.

1. Faith: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

In the book, adults have a distorted sense of what is most important. They deem money and fame at the top of the pyramid. These are the tangible things that don’t stay with them as time passes. By contrast the little prince discovers that what is essential is discovered with the heart.

— Goodbye, — said the fox. — And this is my secret. It’s very simple: you can only truly see with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye. — What is essential is invisible to the eye, — the little prince repeated, so he wouldn’t forget.

2. Hope: “What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.”

For the virtue of hope, the Little Prince learned that we have to be explorers, not geographers. For even in the desert, we can always have hope of finding a well.

3. Love: “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.”

“What exactly does ‘tamed’ mean?”

“Well, it’s something too often forgotten,” said the fox. “I suppose it means: to make some kind of relationship.”


“Yes,” said the fox. “I’ll explain. To me, you are just a just a little boy like any other, like a hundred thousand other little boys. I have no need of you and you have no need of me. To you I am a fox like any other, like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, you and I, we will have created a relationship, and so we will need one another. You will be unique in the world for me… If you were to tame me, my whole life would be so much more fun. I would come to know the sound of your footstep, and it would be different from all the others. At the sound of any other footstep I would be down in my hole in the earth as quick as you like. But your footstep would be like music to my ears, and I would come running up out of my hole, quick as you like.”

— It’s the time you wasted on your rose that makes your rose so important. — It’s the time I wasted on my rose… the little prince repeated, so he wouldn’t forget. — Men have forgotten this truth, — said the fox. — But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose … — I am responsible for my rose… — the little prince repeated, so he wouldn’t forget. 95

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