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Franciscan Spirit Blog

Seven Books on Saints to Savor

Nov 15, 2021
statues of saints at the vatican | Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

At Franciscan Media, we see unmistakable evidence of the ongoing popularity of the saints of the Church. We know from the response of our readers and buyers, as well as from our website visitors, that books and articles and online features about the saints have high appeal for Christians today.

For those who want to deepen their understanding of Catholic saints, consider these six titles....


Celebrating Saints: Guides on Our Faith Journey

For the first time, the creators of St. Anthony Messenger magazine present a high-quality collector’s edition celebrating the saints—the perfect gift or keepsake to read over and over again! This collector’s edition offers an in-depth and popular look at the saints, including: “Sts. Clare and Francis: Assisi’s Most Dangerous Citizens” by Pat McCloskey, OFM “An Unlikely Patron Saint” by Shannon K. Evans “Blessed Carlo Acutis: The First Millennial Saint?” by Natalie Ryan “St. Joseph: Man of Virtue” by John R. Barker, OFM, and much more!

Excerpt: “The lives of the saints beckon us onto the road to Emmaus. They draw us into the conversation of faith, life, and the ways in which we can love each other and, in doing so, love God. They draw us out of isolation, indifference, and darkness to walk along a road that leads us to a table where everyone is welcomed to come and break bread with the Messiah. St. Oscar Romero, Servants of God Julia Greeley and Thea Bowman, Blessed Sister Rani Maria: Pray for us. Walk with us. Break bread with us.” From “Our Saints, Ourselves” by Vanesa Zuleta Goldberg

St. Anthony Messenger Saint Collector's Edition

Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare

This book will introduce St. Clare of Assisi to those who do not know her and those who wish to know her better. It leads the reader from Clare's birth to her death. While taking account of modern scholarship, Sr. Margaret Carney tells the story of this medieval woman in a way readers today can understand.

Excerpt: “So it was that Clare breathed her last in the house of San Damiano on August 11, 1253. At her side were the women, seen and unseen, with whom she had established the Poor Sisters’ way of life and the men whose loyal friendship was precious evidence of the mutuality that bound them. Clare would now belong not only to these brave founding men and women but to all future generations of Francis’ followers. Once news of Clare’s death was reported in the city, the people gathered at the monastery expressing grief and wonder. Now their city boasted a second saint whose life would be that ‘light to the world.’”

Light of Assisi: The Story of Saint Clare

Nourishing Love: A Franciscan Celebration of Mary

St. Francis had a deep and lifelong devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, committing his order to her care. Franciscan Murray Bodo explores that relationship in this evocative and deeply spiritual encounter with Marian devotion across the centuries.

Excerpt: “She knew from the moment of the rush of Gabriel’s wings and his lilting ‘Hail, full of Grace,’ that she was only the handmaid, the servant of the most high God, and Gabriel only the messenger of God’s message. But what she could not have known was that she was more than God’s servant; she, mysteriously, was to be a vessel of the living God, and she was afraid. And Gabriel knew she was afraid and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for he who will be born of you will be known as the son of God.’ How can this be, she thought, and immediately she knew that God had come to her because she was a woman, and she was pure potential for motherhood, and no one human would be the agent.”

Nourishing Love: A Franciscan Celebration of Mary by Murray Bodo

Thank God Ahead of Time: The Life and Spirituality of Solanus Casey

Appointed by the Vatican as the “External Collaborator to the Relator” for the cause of canonization of Capuchin Father Solanus Casey, the first man born in the United States to be declared “Venerable” by the Catholic Church, Michael Crosby gives us an inspiring and insightful story of one person’s unswerving faith in God’s abiding presence throughout the universe.

Excerpt: “As he had throughout his whole life and ministry, Solanus was offering himself in order to bring others to God. His words to Gerald Walker sum up his life: ‘I looked on my whole life as giving, and I want to give until there is nothing left of me to give. So I prayed that, when I come to die, I might be perfectly conscious, so that with a deliberate act I can give my last breath to God.’ God answered his prayer, for at the moment of his death, on July 31, 1957, Solanus suddenly opened his eyes, reached out his arms and said: ‘I give my soul to Jesus Christ.’ He died 53 years to the hour after his first Mass as a priest in Appleton, Wisconsin.”

Thank God Ahead of Time, Solanus Casey

Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration 

In this page-a-day book for women, Melanie Rigney gives us a wellspring of interesting and diverse female saints who aptly show the way to be better disciples of Christ. Through their lives and experiences, we find examples of how to meet the challenges of daily life, be strengthened in our faith, and, in the process, become the people God created us to be.

Excerpt: “This book is designed for today’s busy woman. For each day, you’ll find a short synopsis of the life of the saint or blessed, a paragraph about its relevance to your life today, a snippet from Scripture or the woman’s writings, and a challenge. The entries are based on themes in all of our lives, such as caregiving, cleaning, coping with illness or disability, involvement with a faith community, relationships, work, and the like. You’ll find the biggies here, of course, the ones we all know by first name: Mary. Teresa. Anne. Elizabeth. Monica. Juliana. Hildegard. But I hope you’ll also make some new friends, like Marianne Cope, Eugenie Smet, Agnes Phila, Laura Montoya, and Anna Schaffer.”

Sisterhood of Saints

Brotherhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration

In this page-a-day book, Melanie Rigney gives us a panoply of widely known and more obscure saints who show the way to be better disciples of Christ. They offer compelling examples of how to meet the challenges of daily life, be strengthened in your faith, and become the man God created you to be.

Excerpt: “Behind those stoles and miters and vestments are men just like you and me. They lost parents when they were young. They had trouble at the office, whether that office was a cathedral or an abbey or a hospital. They suffered heartache and physical aches and pains. For at least some of them, the pain was over relatively quickly. Some of the others, like us, lived with pain for years. Consider this book a gateway drug—a positive one. My prayer is that you’ll reconnect with your name saint or your confirmation saint or someone else who has inspired you along the way. But I also pray that you’ll find a man you’ve never heard of and that this taste of his life will intrigue you enough to find out more.”

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Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope

In this intimate biography, you will see the results of this humble Capuchin's prayers and discover for yourself the Source of his great hope. This updated edition contains five new chapters covering the years between beatification and canonization, St. Pio’s continued work in people’s lives, and the devotion of St. John Paul II to this extraordinary saint of our day.

Excerpt: “The life of Padre Pio was characterized by some of the phenomena typically associated with the paranormal world: bilocation, levitation, mind reading, premonitions, and clairvoyance. When his friend Angelo Battisti once questioned him about these things, Padre Pio told him: ‘Angelo, they are a mystery for me too.’ Since his death, Padre Pio’s renown has continued to grow. Some 200 monuments are dedicated to him. There are thousands of prayer groups around the world that draw their inspiration from him. He has faithful admirers and followers, even among Protestants, Buddhists, and Hindus. He is a man who will always be loved.”

Saint Padre Pio Blog Footer

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