Friday, November 11, 2011

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms Encourages and Uplifts


“Every time a Catholic mother asks me what author she should read, I have a ready answer: Lisa Hendey,” says noted author Fr. James Martin, S.J.

Amen, Father Martin.  Lisa Hendey is a seemingly omnipresent champion to Catholic women everywhere.  Hendey has a big presence online, where she runs her encouraging and informative website CatholicMom.com.  She also is a featured blogger at the popular Faith & Family Live! web community,, and she speaks and writes on new media as a way to spread the Catholic faith. 

A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms is such a great companion and natural “sort-of sequel” to The Handbook for Catholic Moms, Hendey’s first book. (Incidentally,  that was the second book I ever reviewed here at the Catholic Post.  Lisa was also my first author interview, since Fulton Sheen, author of first book review Treasure in Clay, was unavailable for an interview). 

I appreciate how handsomely the book is designed and “feels.”  Especially lovely are the illustrations/icons for “heart, mind, body and soul,” such a great theme in The Handbook for Catholic Moms and continued here.  Each saint has an icon of either heart, mind, body or soul based on the saint’s particular charism—for instance, a heart for St. Monica, mother of St. Augustine, and a body for martyr St. Maximilian Kolbe.

There are 52 great saints, some well-known, others not so much.  I enjoyed discovering newish-to-me saints like St. Rose Venerini (mind) , a 17th century lay educator, and St. Theodore Guerin, who helped bring the Sisters of Providence to the US.   There are also fresh reflections on saints like St. Jerome (soul) and  St. Jane Frances de Chantal (heart).

Each saint/chapter is divided into five sections:  lessons (an essay/reflection on the saint; traditions (charming familiar and obscure observances associated with the saint); saintly wisdom (a quote from or about the saint); scripture for each day of the week; and saint-inspired activities for mom alone or with kids.

I read through The Book of Saints cover to cover, but it would be a great resource to have at hand throughout the year.  A reader could choose to use this book as a bedside devotional to “keep up with the saints” all year, or get even more practical by planning some of the activities for the family.  Any way it is utilized, The Book of Saints for Catholic Moms is an enduring treasury for heart, mind, body and soul.

This is my monthly column in the print Catholic Post.  Check back all month long on the blog for discussions, giveaways and more about this book and many more.

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