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All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time Paperback – September 1, 1997


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Frequently Bought Together

All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time + The Saints' Guide to Happiness: Practical Lessons in the Life of the Spirit + Blessed Among All Women: Women Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 608 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824516796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824516796
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Saints have typically been figures from the distant past, canonized for miraculous lives of perfection and self-denial. Orbis editor-in-chief Ellsberg here redefines this stereotype in this diverse and substantial compendium of the lives of men and women, ancient and contemporary, who gave themselves completely to their vocations. Well-known saints, apostles, and martyrs take their place beside lesser-known figures (the woman with a flow of blood who touched Jesus' hem), theologians and philosophers (e.g., Martin Buber, Simone Weil, Kierkegaard), artists (Van Gogh, Mozart, J.S. Bach), literary figures (Dante, Tolstoy), social reformers (Gandhi, Schweitzer), and numerous others who do not fit into neat categories. A different figure is introduced for each day of the year to coincide with feast days or birth/death dates, and helpful biographical sources are provided.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Publisher

A national bestseller, this comprehensive and inspiring treasury combines traditional saints with other spiritual giants whose lives speak to the meaning of holiness for our time.

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Customer Reviews

The book is intelligently written, with suggestions for further reading.
gagliajn@netcom.com
As I read and discover about the lives and accomplishments of these spiritual giants, I am totally astounded.
Suzie
Ellsberg provides a saint's biography for every day of the calendar year.
Danusha V. Goska

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 22, 1999
Format: Paperback
All Saints is truly remarkable. While there are many traditional collections honoring Catholic saints, this is the first I have seen that is truly catholic (universal) in embracing many different traditions and the best of those traditions. Ellsburg's book reminds me that saints are made, not born. Each day I am presented with the story of some man or woman who struggled to grow in relationship with God and to live well in the world around him/her. Many advocates of social justice and modern "saints" (as modern as the 90s) are included here, which is wonderful to see. I have ordered many copies for family and friends! No one who knows the value of role models should be without one.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mark on April 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
While one could fill a bookcase with one-volume guides to the saints, this new publication both takes a refreshing, innovative approach in its choice of spiritual models and sets new standards of such writing. Over one or two of the book's large-format pages, Robert Ellsberg presents each of his 365 insightful portraits of men and women who present inspiring and challenging role models for today's Christian. His selection puts individuals traditionally celebrated as saints alongside others also recognized today as spiritual giants, including some from non-Christian faiths.
The profiles are presented one per day, often on their official feast days, if this applies. At the end of each entry, Ellsberg provides one or two well-chosen suggestions for further reading. An index makes the book a useful reference, in addition to it being rich spiritual reading.
The merits of `All Saints' were well captured by Henri Nouwen when he commented on a draft version of the book prior to his death (Nouwen himself receives an entry in the finished book): `This book is a great treasure. Though not pious it is spiritually evocative; though untraditional, it is consistent with the larger Catholic tradition. While broadening the traditional vision of sanctity it calls us to explore our own ways of becoming a saint. I consider Robert Ellsberg to be one of the most significant spiritual writers in the United States, and this book puts him right into the center of contemporary spiritual literature.'
Ellsberg is editor-in-chief of Orbis Books and has written and edited a number of award-winning books, including works on Dorothy Day and Mahatma Gandhi. In `All Saints' he has produced a compendium of holy lives that will truly speak to and inspire today's women and men. [A Selection of the John Garratt Catholic Book Club.]
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By mafoster@mtco.com on May 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Ellsberg chronicles not only expected Saints, but also Old Testament figures, writers like John Donne and George Herbert, social activists like Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ, Dorothy L. Day, G.K. Chesterton, and the anti-Nazi Order of White Rose. Gandhi and Moses rub page-shoulders with Julian of Norwich, Sojourner Truth, and the Beguine martyrs. Well-documented readings feature a prefatory quote by the day's saint, a biography, and a reflective linking to other 'saints' of the day and subsequently. Have given two copies away already and am on-line to order more; like any good book, -All Saints- by Robert Ellsberg improves with every reading.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
. . . what this book is, and more importantly, what this book is not.

The book IS a collection of brief biographies of inspirational and prophetic persons throughout the ages, presented in a "saint of the day" format. (As another reviewer has pointed out, many of the persons presented are done so on their "official" feast day.)

The book is NOT an exclusive collection of Catholic (or Orthodox or Anglican) saints; nor is it limited even to Christians. The buyer needs to be aware of this fact prior to purchase, as this will undoubtedly turn off some potential readers -- and, most likely, pique the interest of others. If a buyer is looking for a "Lives of the Saints" in the strict, ecclesial sense of the word, this is not what you are looking for.

Some readers may also be put off by the rather obvious left-wing bias of the author evident both in some of the individuals chosen for mention -- and, frankly, in a certain amount of historical revisionism. (I read the entry for "Heloise" today, and as a professional historian, absolutely cringed.)

This is not to say, however, that the book is without value. Indeed, it is an eye-opening read, especially for those unfamiliar with some of the great spiritual and philosophical minds outside the realm of Christianity. There's a great deal of brilliance out there!

Just know what you're purchasing.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Suzie on May 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I'm just a plebe-- certainly not saintly quality, but I do want to improve my spiritual life. All Saints dropped into my life 3 weeks ago and I just can't put it down! It's a goosebump book about neat people, not just Catholic saints, but those who've stood for human goodness: ML King, Sojourner Truth, Henri Nouwen, Mollie Rogers, Stanley Rother, Simone Weil, Chief Seattle, even Van Gogh! As I read and discover about the lives and accomplishments of these spiritual giants, I am totally astounded. These people, for the most part, have been totally forgotten about (by lowly plebes anyway)and, as I slowly "rediscover" each one, I feel as if they're cheering up in the heavenlies. This book is way illuminating and could easily inspire you to gladly seek out that straight and narrow path. Like Augustine says, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee". Just get it.
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