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The Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

Item Number: 59412
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Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan

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In this complete lifetime reading plan, noted Catholic author and educator Father John A. Hardon has compiled an invaluable guide to books discussing what the Catholic Church is, what it believes, and what its great teachers have thought, felt, and imagined. Father Hardon journeys through the centuries to find the authors he believes can be read for spiritual profit. In his appraisals of over a hundred writers, he considers pertinent biographical information, recommends favorites, and provides moving quotations from the books under discussion. His range is wide--he is illuminating on both the inspirational writing of St. Therese, the Little Flower, and the fundamental assertions of faith by St. Francis. Religious literary masterpieces such as St. Ignatius Loyola's "Spiritual Exercises" are noted, as are less well-known authors, including St. Robert Bellarmine, whose "Disputations" was used by the First Vatican Council in drafting its definition of papal infallibility. Father Hardon also recommends modern novelists, and shows how the works of literary giants such as Dante, Chaucer, and Cervantes are anchored in underlying principles of Catholic faith.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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9781518800061
299
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St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 10/04
Tridentine Calendar - 10/04


Patron Of: Animal Welfare Society, Animals, Birds, Catholic Action, Fire, Merchants, Needle Workers, Solitary Death, Zoos

Profile
Son of Pietro Bernadone, a rich cloth merchant. Though he had a good education and became part of his father's business, he also had a somewhat misspent youth. Street brawler and some-time soldier. Captured during a conflict between Assisi and Perugia, he spent over a year as a prisoner of war. During this time he had a conversion experience, including a reported message from Christ calling him to leave this worldly life. Upon release, Francis began taking his religion seriously.

He took the Gospels as the rule of his life, Jesus Christ as his literal example. He dressed in rough clothes, begged for his sustenance, and preached purity and peace. His family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; Francis formally renounced his wealth and inheritance. He visited hospitals, served the sick, preached in the streets, and took all men and women as siblings. He began to attract followers in 1209, and with papal blessing, founded the Franciscans based on a simple statement by Jesus: "Leave all and follow me." In 1212 Clare of Assisi became his spiritual student, which led to the founding of the Poor Clares. Visited and preached to the Saracens. Composed songs and hymns to God and nature. Lived with animals, worked with his hands, cared for lepers, cleaned churches, and sent food to thieves. In 1221 he resigned direction of the Franciscans.

While in meditation on Mount Alvernia in the Apennines in September 1224, Francis received the stigmata, which periodically bled during the remaining two years of his life. This miracle has a separate memorial on 17 September.

In the Middle Ages people who believed to be possessed by Beelzebub especially called upon the intercession of Saint Francis, the theory being that he was the demon's opposite number in heaven.

Born
1181 at Assisi, Umbria, Italy as Francis Bernardone

Died
4 October 1226 at Portiuncula, Italy of natural causes; relics in Assisi, Italy



All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 07/31
Tridentine Calendar - 07/31


Patron Of: Jesuits, Retreats

Profile
    Spanish nobility. Youngest of twelve children. Page in the Spanish court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Military education. Soldier, entering the army in 1517, and serving in several campaigns. Wounded in the leg by a cannonball at the siege of Pampeluna on 20 May 1521, an injury that left him partially crippled for life. During his recuperation the only books he had access to were The Golden Legend, a collection of lives of the saints, and the Life of Christ by Ludolph the Carthusian. These books, and the time spent in contemplation, changed him.

    On his recovery he took a vow of chastity, hung his sword before the altar of the Virgin of Montserrat, and donned a pilgrim's robes. Lived in a cave from 1522 to 1523, contemplating the way to live a Christian life. Pilgrim to Rome and the Holy Land in 1523, where he worked to convert Muslims. In 1528 he began studying theology in Barcelona, Alcala, and Paris, receiving his degree on 14 March 1534. His meditations, prayers, visions and insights led to forming the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus on 15 August 1534; it received papal approval in 1541. Friend of James Lainez, Alonso Salmerón, Nicholas Bobadilla, Simón Rodriguez, Blessed Peter Faber, and Saint Francis Xavier, the group that formed the core of the new Society. He never used the term Jesuit, which was coined as an insult by his opponents; the Society today uses the term with pride. He traveled Europe and the Holy Lands, then settled in Rome to direct the Jesuits. His health suffered in later years, and he was nearly blind at death.

    The Jesuits today have over 500 universities and colleges, 30,000 members, and teach over 200,000 students each year.

Born
    1491 at Loyola, Guipuzcoa, Spain as Inigo Lopez de Loyola

Died
    of fever on 31 July 1556 at Rome, Italy

Beatified
    27 July 1609 by Pope Paul V

Canonized
    12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

   

St. Therese Of Lisieux

St. Therese Of Lisieux Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 10/01
Tridentine Calendar - 10/01
Roman Rite Calendar - 01/10


Patron Of: African Missions, AIDS Sufferers, Air Crews, Aircraft Pilots, Aviators, Florists, Flower Growers, France, Illness, Loss of Parents, Missionaries, Missions, Domestic, Tuberculosis

Also known as
Teresa of the Infant Jesus; Therese of the Child Jesus; the Little Flower; the Little Flower of Jesus
Profile
    Born to a middle-class French family. Her father, Louis, was a watchmaker, her mother, who died of cancer when Therese was 4, was a lace maker, and both have been declared Venerable by the Church. Cured from an illness at age eight when a statue of the Blessed Virgin smiled at her. Carmelite nun at age 15. Defined her path to God and holiness as "The Little Way," which consisted of love and trust in God. At the direction of her spiritual director, and against her wishes, she dictated her famed autobiography Story of a Soul. Many miracles attributed to her. Declared a Doctor of the Church in 1997 by Pope John Paul II.

    "For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy." - Saint Therese of Lisieux

Born
    2 January 1873 at Alcon, Normandy, France

Died
    7pm Thursday 30 September 1897 at Lisieux, France of tuberculosis

Venerated
    14 August 1921 by Pope Benedict XV

Beatified
    29 April 1923 by Pope Pius XI

Canonized
    17 May 1925 by Pope Pius XI


All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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