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James Martin's Living with the Saints

James Martin writes a wonderful “lived” encounter with some of the saints in the Catholic tradition.   He includes the stories of 17 different role models or companions on our journey from various centuries in his descriptions, but what is different and unique about these stories, is that Father Martin has had a relationship with each of these seventeen heroes or heroines over his lifetime.   Starting out when he was only nine years old, he recounts how a small statue of St. Jude made it to the top his dresser, even though his family was not overly religious, when he ordered it through a mail order catalog for $3.50.  
My Life with the Saints
What led him to do this, he tells us, was not some burning desire to pay some homage to one of the apostles, but rather he was fascinated by the bi-line in that catalog: here was the “Saint  of Hopeless Causes”.  Who knew when a saint like that could come in handy?  By the time he got to high school, however, when friends started coming over and began to hang out in his bedroom, he grew a little apprehensive about having to explain why this little plastic statue was atop his dresser, so St. Jude got relegated to the “sock drawer”.  Years later, when he entered the Society of Jesus novitiate and heard others talking about all the lives of the saints, and all their devotions, he felt ill-informed.  He began exploring the lives of some of those people, whom his novice director had told him were more like big brothers and sisters to whom one could look to for advice and counsel.   And then, one day at Mass, he found himself thanking God for raising up these holy men and women who gave witness to God’s love, who inspire the rest of us and who assist us with their prayers.   Later on, he writes that he thanked St. Jude: “For all those years stuck inside the sock drawer, he prayed for a boy who didn’t even know that he was being prayed for.”
Enjoy the tales of Fr. James’ accounts of how Joan of Arc, and Bernadette of Soubirous and Thomas Aquinas accompanied him along his way as well as Thomas Merton and Pedro Aruppe and Dorothy Day, and many of those formally uncanonized masses, who also led exemplary lives of holiness.  Add Mary and Joseph and Francis of Assisi and Pope John XXIII among others and you will find a marvelous compendium of saints’ lives that may have you asking yourself, “Who are my favorite saints?” or “Who do I identify as my role models?”  Do I ask them for guidance? or listen to what they learned about our God in their lifetimes?   
This book is not only readable and easy to understand, each chapter about each saint can stand alone.   One doesn’t have to start at the beginning and read it straight through.  One can pick and choose to learn about this saint or that saint, and come to understand through Fr. James’ lens and experiences, that the communion of saints in the Catholic tradition is one of our richest blessings! 

Call to Prayer

Endow Groups

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Endow Groups 



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St. Veronica Guiliani



Pope Francis

Prayer Links