Thursday, November 3, 2011

Saints for Catholic Moms: Review & Giveaway

Book Cover from Ave Maria PressFor the last two weeks I haven’t accomplished very much, spending most of my time resting and recovering from childbirth. However, while nursing my newborn son, I’ve had Lisa Hendey’s newest publication, A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms, at my side.

Written especially with mothers in mind, this book introduces us to 52 saints, chosen to represent various topics found in motherhood ranging from Diligence in Domestic Tasks (St. Zita of Lucca) to Serving as Good Stewards of Our Family Finances (St. Matthew). Each saint is also assigned with an element describing how they nurture mothers in heart, mind, body, or soul.

For this project, Lisa pulls in a wide variety of saints, both new and old. Some will sound familiar: The Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Bernadette, St. Patrick, and St. Joan of Arc; some may be unknown to many: St. Rose Venerini, St. Margaret Clitherow, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, and St. Maria Goretti. Lisa even included some very recently beautified saints: Blessed John Paul II, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Chiara “Luce” Badano, and Blessed Andre Bessette.

Each chapter opens with a brief biographical sketch, followed by a lesson or reflection, popular devotions or traditions assigned to the saint, a quote of wisdom from the saint, a daily scripture and brief prayer for meditation for one week, saint inspired activities, a family prayer, and “something to ponder.”

In a stroke of true divine inspiration, Lisa captures a format that makes the book highly functional for her readers. It stands out from other saint publications and offers a broad appeal to all. This is not just another biographical book on the lives of saints. Instead, Lisa identifies some aspect from each saint that relates their lives to our own vocation as a mother. It doesn’t matter where you are in your stage of motherhood, there is something for all: new mothers, mothers of large families, single mothers, grandmothers, homeschooling mothers, empty nesters, mothers caring for ill children, mothers who have lost children, mothers in need of spiritual reawakening, and mothers in need of reassurance.

The way each saint is presented, you have the opportunity to sit and read straight through the book, skip around from saint to saint, or choose one saint for a weekly meditation or daily devotional. Personally, I love the daily scripture for each saint. I’m simply in awe at the amount of thought and consideration that went into selecting each passage in a way that truly captured the focus for each saint.

A Book of Saints for Catholic Mothers will provide you with an opportunity to learn, inspiration to meditate and pray, and reassurance of your role as “Mom,” within the presented community of saints.

My personal copy of this book will never reside on my bookshelf. It has earned a semi-permanent spot tucked between my nursing pillow and the couch cushion to be at the ready when I’m sitting with a nursing baby in the middle of the night. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy for yourself or your favorite Catholic Mom.

Since we received a gratis copy of Lisa Hendey’s book, A Book of Saints for Catholic Mothers, from Ave Maria Press in return for our honest review, we are offering this copy to one of our lucky readers. Your name can be entered into the random drawing by leaving us a comment on this blog post, becoming a new follower of @SoundMindSpirit on Twitter, or by clicking “Like” on Facebook. Do each one and your name will be entered three times! A random drawing will be held on Thursday, November 17.

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