Heroes inspire us and leave their mark on society — and modern-day saints are heroes. Their stories reveal what it means to be “in communion with the saints” and their lives model for us how to come face-to-face with eternal life. Saints typically are ordinary people leading extraordinary lives. Saints are holy people living not on earth but in eternal life; they are available to us. In their death they prepare a pathway for the living to communicate with God through intercessory prayer.

Hagiography is the study of or the stories of those faithful who have stayed true to their Christian faith unto death. Here we offer authoritative books on how a few of these saints made unique contributions to Catholic Christian theological understanding.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men… This is good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”1 Tim 2:1-4

 
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The Theologian of Auschwitz
St. Maximilian M. Kolbe on the Immaculate Conception in the Life of the Church

Many people are now familiar with the true story of how Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe, a Franciscan Conventual priest/friar incarcerated by Hitler’s Nazi regime in the Auschwitz death camp, freely volunteered to give up his life that another prisoner might live. (Incidentally, that prisoner survived the war, married and had numerous descendants.)

The Theologian of Auschwitz, however, focuses on Kolbe’s ministry in the decades prior to his incarceration. Fr. Kolbe had a very special and dedicated relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as the Immaculata— the Immaculate Conception. St. Maximilian founded monasteries from Poland to Japan in response to the directive that he received from a vision of the Immaculata.

St. Kolbe did not intend to be a professional theologian, and so many people do not think of him in that role. Yet in his need to share, communicate, and explain the vision that he had—indeed the directive that he received—he was prolific in writing and disseminating the theology of the created and uncreated Immaculate Conception: the Blessed Virgin and the Holy Spirit, and their relationships with the Father and the Son.

Kolbe writes in the great Franciscan Marian theological tradition of St. Francis, St. Bonaventure, and Blessed John Duns Scotus.

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Price:$ 36.95 USD
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Mother Teresa’s Mysticism
A Christo-Ecclesio-Humano-centric Mysticism

Known simply as Mother Teresa, Saint Teresa of Calcutta was born in Macedonia to an Albanian businessman father and deeply religious mother. As a Loreto nun teaching school in India in 1946, after what she described as a “call within a call” to serve Jesus Christ by serving the poor, Teresa instituted the Missionaries of Charity and dedicated herself entirely to serving the poorest of the poor in Calcutta. Her example and leadership would spread throughout the globe. After years of suffering, Teresa died on September 5, 1997. She was canonized in the Catholic Church by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016.

This book proposes that Teresa, through God’s divine intervention, originated a distinctive form of theological knowledge that the author names Christo-ecclesio-humano-centric mysticism, defined as a mystical theology demonstrated, in theory and practice, in both seeing Jesus Christ and serving Jesus Christ in the poorest of the poor.

God’s gift to Teresa of this experiential knowledge of Christ’s presence in today’s world is shown to be a significant source of theological and pastoral renewal in the Church of the twenty-first century.

Price:$ 19.95 USD
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Romero & Grande
Companions on the Journey

On May 23, 2015, Pope Francis beatified Salvadoran martyr Archbishop Óscar Romero who was murdered while presiding at Mass in 1980. Three years before his murder, Rutilio Grande, Jesuit priest and friend of the Archbishop, had been murdered for the same offense—speaking up for the poor and vulnerable.

Until this book, the stories about these men have grown elusive and vague. Now, Salvadoran native Ana María Pineda once again catapults these martyrs into our collective consciences through a story that is both significantly personal and painstakingly researched during multiple trips to her homeland where she discovered surprising facts very “close to home.”

Price:$ 19.95 USD
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