Saints, Encyclopedia of

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9780816041336: Saints, Encyclopedia of

The Encyclopedia of Saints offers thorough and fascinating accounts of familiar and little known holy men and women of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Drawing from documented accounts and supplemented with additional extensive research, more than 400 entries describe their lives and religious journeys, mystical experiences, important influences and motivations, and historical and philosophical contributions. Interwoven throughout these in-depth biographical accounts are colorful and little-known facts about the saints, including St. Francis of Assisi's life prior to his conversion, St. Teresa of Avila's miraculous healing, and the dream that turned St. Augustine away from his pagan beliefs. Detailed appendixes - including information on patron saints by topic, a calendar of feast days, beatified and canonized popes, an explanation of the canonization process, a glossary of terms, a glossary of heresies, and more - provide a comprehensive, in-depth understanding of sainthood. Saints profiled include Blessed Andre Bessette, Anselm, Barnabas, Catherine of Sweden, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fabian, Pope Gregory I, Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Lucy of Syracuse, Mark the Evangelist, Nicodemus, Rose of Lima, Simon Stylites, Thomas Aquinas, William of Norwich, and Zita.

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Product Description:

Prior to his religious conversion, St. Francis of Assisi was a liar, thief, and virtual madman known for running naked in the streets. Teresa of Avila healed herself on her deathbed by praying to her patron saint. St. Augustine converted after a terrifying dream in which God beat him black and blue for his pagan beliefs.

These are just some of the colorful and riveting details that can be found in the Encyclopedia of Saints. This single-volume guide includes more than 400 entries that offer detailed biographical accounts of principal saints of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Drawing on extensive research, the book explores their lives and religious journeys, mystical experiences, philosophies, and important influences. Appendixes include information on patron saints by topic, a calendar of feast days, beatified and canonized popes, an explanation of the canonization process, a glossary of terms, and a glossary of heresies.

Saints profiled include:
Blessed Andre Bessette, Anselm. Barnabas, Catherine of Sweden, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Fabian, Pope Gregory I, Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Lucy of Syracuse, Mark the Evangelist, Nicodemus, Rose of Lima, Simon Stylites, Thomas Aquinas, William of Norwich, Zita.

From Booklist:

This alphabetical compendium profiles more than 400 saints recognized by either the Catholic or the Orthodox Church. Entries range from a brief paragraph to several pages and provide complete name, alternative names and spellings, biographical information, summation of religious experiences, reports of miracles or apparitions, and, when available, noteworthy dates: beatification, canonization, and feast day. Each saint's area of patronage is also noted. Some longer entries feature further reading citations listing books, journal articles, and Web sites. Occasional black-and-white illustrations--photographs, woodcuts and reproductions--appear throughout.

Twelve appendixes supplement the data. Three list Doctors of the Church, Fathers of the Church, and canonized popes. Others identify patron saints by topic or place, provide a chronological calendar of feast days, or explain the processes of beatification and canonization. Three are devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary: feast days, authenticated apparitions, and unauthenticated apparitions. There is one glossary of general terms and another glossary of heresies. A detailed index completes the work.

Written for the general public, the readable entries establish social and historical context and do not shy away from identifying controversial or unsubstantiated claims. In her introduction, the author tells that she was motivated to produce this work by a personal mystical experience. Despite this, she does not attempt to interpret or proselytize. Instead, she allows the facts to speak for themselves, as she has in her previous Facts On File publications, including Encyclopedia of Angels (1997) and Atlas of the Mysterious in North America (1994).

Readers seeking inspiration through the lives and examples of historical figures have a multitude of titles to choose from. Recent offerings range from Richard P. McBrien's Lives of the Saints: From Mary and Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa (Harper, 2001) to Heaven Help Us: The Worrier's Guide to the Patron Saints, by Alice La Plante and Clare La Plante (Dell, 1999). Public libraries in need of a basic, accessible resource for the reference collection, or collections that need to update (Guiley includes saints canonized as recently as 2000), will be well served by this volume. RBB
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Guiley, Rosemary Ellen
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