Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Book Review: 39 New Saints You Should Know

I just had the pleasure of reading Brian O'Neel's 39 New Saints You Should Know.  In the introduction of this book O'Neel notes that John Paul II canonized 482 saints and beatified 1,338 individuals during his papacy.  With numbers like that, I think it goes without saying that there are probably a lot of newer saints that are virtually unknown to the masses.  This book takes a look at 39 individuals who have either been canonized or beatified.  Call me a stickler if you like, but I was actually a bit surprised that 28 of the individuals featured in this books aren't canonized yet.

I thought the book was well done and nicely written.  This isn't a book where you'll sit there and think that Sainthood is the impossible dream.  Many of the saints in this book are ordinary people who simply did their best to love God and grow in holiness in simple ways that speak volumes.  The book is nothing short of inspiring.

The story of each saint is only a few pages long which is pretty typical for a book of this sort.  For each saint you'll find a short biography and the details of why this person is such a holy example for the rest of us.  At the end of each chapter is a short prayer relating in some way to the particular saint or saints featured and the lesson we can learn from their example.

It's a great book if you're interested in learning about some of the newer saints.  As with any compilation on saints, you can use this book as a jumping off point.  Find a saint that speaks to you and then see what other books are available on him or her so you can learn more.

I, for one, was surprised to learn that there were so many recent martyrs.  Not only was I surprised by that, but I also picked up a few bits of information regarding the Nazi regime that shocked me (although it really probably shouldn't have given their proclivity for inflicting torment).  With that in mind, I'm fairly certain that you'll probably learn something new if you give this book a whirl.

For more information on this most interesting read visit The Catholic Company.  This review was written as part of the Catholic books Reviewer Program for the The Catholic Company.  I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to look for this book, I am always on the look out for books on the saints that give a bit more info than just a paragraph or two so thanks for he recommendation.
    Take care,


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