After learning that his grandfather's late cousin would soon be canonized (declared a saint), Catanoso, a journalist, made several trips to southern Italy, taking part in family feasts and funerals and listening to stories about Padre Gaetano Catanoso's holy life and amazing miracles. Back home again, he researched the American branch of the family founded by his grandfather, Carmelo, Born eight years and half a mile apart, the two young men would take differing paths. Gaetano stayed in Calabria and became a priest; Carmelo emigrated to America in 1903, fathered nine children and rarely spoke of his Italian roots. The book starts slowly, with a barrage of information about the saint, the province of Reggio Calabria and the immigrant experience. A hundred pages in, the writing becomes more personal: Catanoso meets his Italian cousins and begins reflecting on his own experience as a Catholic Italian-American. Informative and thought provoking throughout, the chapters on his brother's bout with cancer are especially poignant. Why, he wonders, would a family saint answer some prayers for healing, but not others? (June)
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“Justin Catanoso went to Italy in search of his canonized cousin. In finding the story of his own family, he has written a warm and candid memoir that I admire.” (Gay Talese, author of Unto the Sons)
“Glorious. . . . It’s a great story: part travelogue, part detective story, part spiritual journal, and beautifully told.” (America: The National Catholic Weekly)
“A fascinating quest for ancestry and an illuminating wrestling with faith.” (washingtonpost.com)
“Worth worth reading for the travelogue alone.” (Greensboro News & Record)
“A glorious book! Part spiritual journey, part detective story, part travelogue, Justin Catanoso’s engrossing new memoir shows how discovering God always leads to discovering yourself. His quest to learn about his saintly cousin leads him to a fuller and richer understanding of his faith, his family, and, ultimately, himself.” (James Martin, SJ, author of My Life with the Saints and frequent commentator for the New York Times and National Public Radio)
“A beautiful book that brings with it the joy and recognition of family and of faith.” (Antonio Monda, author of Do You Believe?: Conversations on God and Religion)
“Vividly brings to life one of the Church’s newest canonized saints.” (The Catholic Standard & Times)
“A book for history lovers. . . for students of theology, for those who question their faith, or for anyone stumbling down life’s highway.” (Cape May County Herald)
It is a great book, if you are Italian and your parents or grandparents came to America, you will truly relate.Published 11 months ago by Phyllis Cunniffe
My book club chose this book last month. I cannot remember why it was suggested. At first I was a bit leery about reading it. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Jeanette T. Dohnal
I had read this book when a friend loaned it to me. It was so wonderful that I bought it and am
re-reading it again. Read more
Superb book. Easy to be read, easy to be followed. Amazing stories inside!
I strongly suggest it to all readers.
This was not my favorite read, some parts I found very boring, a little too much religion, not what I had expected at all.Published on August 13, 2013 by Carol A. Signet
This is a brilliant book by a mediocre Catholic. It reads like a movie, it is hard to put down. The author is excellent at describing scene after scene, detailing people's... Read morePublished on April 24, 2013 by Marie C. Pruden
THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC, I JUST FINISHED IT, AND PLAN TO REREAD IT AGAIN. I AM OF ITALIAN DECENT AND FOUND THE BOOK VERY INFORMATIVE. I WISH I STILL HAD FAMILY IN MESSINA. Read morePublished on March 4, 2013 by MARY A
This lovingly written memoir details the author's journey to uncover the story and the meaning of having a saint in the family. Read morePublished on August 6, 2012 by J. Neill
It's an okay story and worth reading, but it's not a page-turner. The author embraces his Italian family roots but struggles throughout the book with his Catholic religious roots,... Read morePublished on December 8, 2011 by A customer