From Publishers Weekly
Martin, a Jesuit priest and associate editor of America
magazine, takes a splendid idea and develops it masterfully by weaving stories from his life into those of his favorite saints. Leading off with St. Jude, whom he affectionately dubs "the saint of the sock drawer" (where his statue of the saint of impossible causes took up residence after the author entered high school), Martin relates how he discovered various "saints" and how each has affected his life. Thomas Merton, for example, influenced his decision to leave a corporate career for the priesthood, and John XXIII taught him how to live chastely as a member of a religious order. Both Merton and Jesuit Pedro Arrupe served as models for obedience to religious superiors even as Martin's own superiors instructed him to avoid certain controversial topics in writing this book. Martin's personal experiences of befriending saints provide convincing testimony as to their efficacy as role models. He draws a distinction, however, between the superstition that sometimes surrounds Catholics' reverence for the saints and true devotion to them. Despite a theme built on a particular facet of Catholic belief, Martin's animated style and wide-ranging experiences make this a book readers of diverse backgrounds will enjoy. (Mar.)
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It is one thing to read the lives of the saints, quite another to read about somebody who lives with the saints, who thinks about, researches, and calls upon certain saints regularly. Such a person is, today, a rarity. Such a person is GE-exec-turned-Jesuit Martin, associate editor of the national Catholic weekly America,
who details his introduction to and relationship with more than a dozen of his favorite haloed heroes in this book. They include Jude, patron saint of lost causes, whom Martin refers to as "the saint of the sock drawer" because that's where, when a young man, Martin kept a statuette of Jude; Ignatius Loyola, who inspired Martin to look for God in his daily life; and St. Joseph, whose quiet service to Christ motivates Martin. With wit and candor, Martin brings those and his other seemingly distant role models down to earth, citing instances from their biographies and, with deepest effectiveness, revealing his personal connection to each and how each has assisted his life. Donna ChavezCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved