Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Book Review: Saint Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions edited by Friar Jack Wintz is a collection of articles on this popular saint.  The most of articles came from past issues of St. Anthony Messenger magazine and a few chapters were written specifically for this book.  This volume is actually an expanded revision of Saint Anthony of Padua: The Story of his Life and Popular Devotions.

St. Anthony is one of those saints who I frequently am asking for his intercession, but I really knew very little about him outside the fact that he's the patron saint of finding lost things.  After reading this book I feel like I know this old friend of mine much better.

This book is separated into five parts:  A portrait of St. Anthony, which covers his life.  The Legends of St. Anthony, which takes a look at some of the legends surrounding him and the reasons for the symbolism frequently depicted in paintings and statues of him.  St. Anthony, the Contemplative which discusses his hideaways and contemplative life. Praying to St. Anthony, which looks at popular devotions, tracing his footsteps and a lovely novena. And finally, a section on the shrines of St. Anthony.

I enjoyed this book and felt like I really got to know so much more about St. Anthony from reading this book.  I learned things about St. Anthony that I never thought much about before.  I feel like I met my sainted friend for the first time after having read this book.

Now because this book is a compilation of articles on St. Anthony from various authors, there is a bit of redundancy here and there.  In one chapter you may read about an aspect of his life only to find another blurb about it in a later chapter.  If the book wasn't a compilation of articles, I'd think the author was a bit scatterbrained at times, but given the nature of the book, I don't think it's much of an issue.  It's just something that caught my attention here and there while I read the book.

Overall, I'd say this is a pretty good book for getting to know this popular saint.

I was provided with a review copy of this book by the publisher, St. Anthony Messenger Press, in exchange for my honest review.

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