Edited by Fr. Leonard Foley, O.F.M. Revised by Fr. Pat McCloskey, O.F.M. Cincinnati, Ohio: St. Anthony Messenger Press, September 2009. 408 pages. ISBN 978-0-86716-887-7. $19.95.
The first edition of this book came out in 1975 and was edited by the late Fr. Leonard Foley, O.F.M. It has now been revised and updated for the sixth time by Fr. Patrick McCloskey, O.F.M.
This book is well organized. The saints are presented according to the revised calendar approved by Pope John Paul II. Each entry starts with the date, the saint’s name, their profession or occupation, and when they lived. That introduction is followed by a short biography and a short commentary. Each entry ends with a quote by the saint or by someone else regarding the saint. The entries are a page and half to two pages long. The book offers a table of contents arranged by month. There is also an index at the end of the book.
The book includes saints and blesseds that most people are familiar with. Examples include Mary the Mother of God, St. Joseph, St. Benedict, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Therese, and St. Gregory the Great. New saints and blessed, such Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed John XXIII, St. Josephine Bakhita, St. Katharine Drexel, St. Damien of Molokai, St. Gianna Beretta Molla have been added to this edition.
While what is presented in this current edition is very good and very readable, one thing that detracts from the book is that it does not present a saint or a blessed for every day of the year. There are also days that have more than one saint or blessed presented. Also, at least one blessed has been placed on the wrong date in this book. Blessed John XXIII’s feast is presented by the book as being on June 3 when it is actually on October 11. However, it does not detract from the book itself, being a minor detail.
More saints and blessed could have been found to be placed on the days that this book leave empty. Perhaps the seventh edition will have a saint or blessed for each day of the year.
Ultimately, the biographies, comments, and quotes are very inspiring and informative.
This book is highly recommended to those interested in a down to earth book about some of the saints and blesseds.
* Catholic News Agency columns are opinion and do not necessarily express the perspective of the agency.