Pope Benedict XVI >  Pope Benedict XVI Books >  Holy Men and Women

Holy Men and Women - Of the Middle Ages and Beyond

Item Number: 93739

Catalog Code: 9781586176204

Holy Men and Women

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Pope Benedict XVI continues his exploration of the greatest teachers and role models in the history of the Church with these sketches of twenty-six men and women from the Middle Ages and beyond.

From the start of his pontificate, the Pope has used his Wednesday audiences to present the timeless wisdom that has been expressed in the writings and lives of holy men and women down through the ages. He began with the Apostles and then moved to the Fathers of the Church. Next he presented the great Christian teachers of the late Roman Empire and the early Middle Ages. In this volume, he picks up the thread in the high Middle Ages with the inspirational St. Francis and St. Dominic, followed by some of the men and women they profoundly influenced, such as Clare, Bonaventure, and Thomas Aquinas.

The collection goes beyond the Middle Ages and includes some Counter-Reformation saints, for example, Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, and Robert Bellarmine. It concludes with a very popular saint closer to our own times who was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope John Paul II: Thérèse of Lisieux.

The theme that unites these men and women across time is the constant need of the Church for renewal. In every generation, God raises up holy ones who challenge Christians to live as they ought-as true disciples of Christ.

Pope Benedict XVI is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.













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St. Dominic

St. Dominic Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 08/08
Tridentine Calendar - 08/08

Patron Of: Astronomers, Choir Members, Dominican Order, Falsely Accused, Scientists

Born of wealthy Spanish nobility. Son of Blessed Joan of Aza. When she was pregnant, his mother had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth; a dog with a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the order which he founded, the Dominicans. At Dominic's baptism, Blessed Joan saw a star shining from his chest, which became another of his symbols in art, and led to his patronage of astronomy.

Studied philosophy and theology at the University of Palencia. Priest. Canon of the cathedral of Osma. Augustinian. Worked for clerical reform. Lifelong apostolate among heretics, especially Albigensians, and especially in France. Worked with Blessed Peter of Castelnau. Founded the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans) in 1215, a group who live a simple, austere life, and an order of nuns dedicated to the care of young girls. Friend of Saint Amata of Assisi.

At one point Dominic became discouraged at the progress of his mission; no matter how much he worked, the heresies remained. But he received a vision from Our Lady who showed him a wreath of roses, representing the rosary. She told him to say the rosary daily, teach it to all who would listen, and eventually the true faith would win out. Dominic is often credited with the invention of the rosary; it actually pre-dates him, but he certainly spread devotion to it, and used it to strengthen his own spiritual life.

Reported miracle worker who brought four people back from the dead. Legend says that Dominic received a vision of a beggar who, like Dominic, would do great things for the Faith. Dominic met the beggar the next day. He embraced him and said, "You are my companion and must walk with me. If we hold together, no earthly power can withstand us." The beggar was Saint Francis of Assisi.

    1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile

    4 August 1221 at Bologna

    13 July 1234 by Pope Gregory IX at Rieti, Italy Born: 1170 at Calaruega, Burgos, Old Castile

Died: 4 August 1221 at Bologna

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.


St. Rachel the Matriarch

Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 11/01

1 November
Old Testament Jewish Matriarch. Wife of the Patriach Jacob. She spent a lengthy marriage in shame over her sterility, considered a sign of God's disfavor. However, late in life she had two sons, Joseph, he of the many-coloured coat, and Benjamin.
17th-18th century BC
17th-18th century BC in childbirth; buried in Bethlehem
Name Meaning
the lamb

All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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