Friday, May 23, 2008

Book Review from the Irish Family Press (out of Ireland)

Catholic Saints Prayer Book

By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Review by Gary Brady

When my family and I visit the various heritage centres around Ireland there is invariably some kind of book outlet at the site. This excellent little hardback book by Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle looks exactly like the books one finds in such outlets. However, whilst the sort of books one usually discovers in such shops paint St Patrick as some kind of New Age superhero and St Bridget as Ireland’s first Catholic feminist, this book gives an orthodox view of Saints from which we can all learn.

Mrs O’Boyle is the author of three other books and writes for numerous websites and newspapers usually concentrating on the sanctification of the home and the family - including the Irish Family Press. She has received awards from both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Each chapter is indeed a ‘flash’ account of the lives of each Saint, detailing thirty two Saints in just eighty pages, which also include a prayer to each particular one, their feast day and a famous quote. However, there is enough information to ignite an interest for any reader who may wish to learn more.

The book is a nice mix of the various Saints such as Peregrine, Thomas More, Patrick, Maximilian Kolbe etc and it was nice to see St John Neumann, the first American Bishop to be canonised, included. His love for the Irish people is little mentioned these days, yet the fact that he learned the Irish language himself in order to minister to Irish emigrants says everything.

‘Let us invoke the Saints often, asking for their holy assistance, even praying along with them, striving to imitate their virtues while praying to become saints ourselves. In doing so, we hope not just to make it to heaven one day, but rather to bring countless souls with us because of our life and how we have loved.’

(From the introduction to Catholic Saints Prayer Book)

Available from all good Catholic Bookshops

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