June 25, 2010

39 New Saints You Should Know

By Br. Benet S. Exton *

By Br. Benet S. Exton *

O’Neel, Brian. Cincinnati, Ohio: Servant Books, May 2010. 156 pages. ISBN 978-0-86716-928-7. 

This new book details the lives of 30 new saints and blesseds –also known as beati. Most of the people in this book were canonized by Pope John Paul II or, more recently, by Pope Benedict.

Some of the saints that O’Neel mentions are relatively well known. Most people are familiar with the stories of Mother Teresa, Padre Pio, St. Charbel Makhlouf, and the parents of St. Terese the Little Flower.

However, alongside their biographies, O’Neel has provided information about many saints and beati that many people have never heard of. Anyone who picks up this book will learn about people such as Blessed Emperor Karl I of Austria, Blessed Alberto Marvelli, Saint Jan Sarkander, Blessed Marie of Jesus Crucified, and Blessed Mariam Thresia Chiramel Mankidiyan.

The structure of the book gives the saint’s name, their general information such as birth and death dates, as well as when they were beatified and canonized. Each biography is quite readable and inspiring. They vary in length from a page to four pages.  O’Neel concludes the biographies with a prayer in honor of the holy person.

Endnotes are also included for further discovery of these holy people, as most of the 39 are blessed or beati and have not been canonized saints yet. 

This book is highly recommended to those interested in learning about the new saints or beati, as well as the church in the 20th century. 

Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., St. Gregory's University, Shawnee, Oklahoma.

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