Recently published by Franciscan Media’s Servant Books, here’s Catholic blogger Jean Heimann’s Seven Saints for Seven Virtues! I’ve followed Jean’s blog, Catholic Fire, for years; the same careful scholarship and fervent faith she shows in the blog is revealed in this book.
What it’s all about: This book examines seven saints of the Church in association with a virtue for which each one is known.
- Charity: Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta
- Chastity: Saint Agnes
- Diligence: Saint Pope John Paul II
- Humility: Saint Joseph
- Kindness: Saint Catherine of Siena
- Patience: Saint Monica
- Temperance: Saint Augustine
What’s inside: A thoughtful foreword by Lisa Hendey of CatholicMom.com, Jean’s own introduction to the book, and a short bio of each saint, supplemented by a discussion of that saint’s particular virtue, quotes by or about the saint, information from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Jean’s reflection on the model of each virtue in her own life, suggestions for practicing each virtue, and a prayer at the end of every chapter. There’s also a generous Recommended Reading list in case you want to learn more.
Why I love it: Saints are often depicted as if they’re so holy, they’re almost not human. That’s not the case with this book. Jean brings out each saint’s special virtue and starts the reader on the path toward living that particular virtue.
How to read it: I’ll admit that after reading the foreword and the introduction, I skipped straight to Saint Monica’s chapter, because patience is one of those virtues that I really have trouble displaying. This book gave me a new perspective on what patience actually involves (hint: it’s more than just being peaceful about waiting in line). You don’t have to read this book in a straight line from start to finish. Choose the saint whose virtues you need the most right now. Start there, and you won’t want to stop reading about the other saints whose virtues Jean highlights!
Try this: Take this book to Eucharistic Adoration. In the space of one Holy Hour, you can read, pray and reflect on a saint and a virtue. Bring along your journal and resolve to work toward developing that virtue in your own life.
Barb Szyszkiewicz is a wife, mom of 3 young adults, and a Secular Franciscan. She is editor at CatholicMom.com. Barb enjoys writing, cooking, and reading, and is a music minister at her parish and an avid Notre Dame football and basketball fan. Find her blog at FranciscanMom and her family’s favorite recipes with nutrition information for diabetics at Cook and Count. Her booklet, The Handy Little Guide to Prayer, is available from Our Sunday Visitor.