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on June 25, 2010
Throughout my life I have always turned to the Saints for guidance and intercession. It's nice to see that Fr. Trigilio and Fr. Brighenti chose the saints as their next topic to write about. This book has insightful facts on the lives of over 100 saints, along with a well organized appendix, which lists the saints next to the particular area of need they can assist with or a country they are patron of. I found this reference book so thorough, that it even contains a section on the ten most popular litanies and novenas to saints. Definitely a reference book that will be used time and time again.
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on April 27, 2011
Saints for Dummies is a nice reference book for some litanies and novenas, a list of patron saints, and a calendar of feast days. However, I thought it a little odd that on page 131 of my copy, this book describes the rosary as contemplating the 15 mysteries of Christ. I'm not a Catholic, but I'm pretty sure there are 20 mysteries. In "Catholicism for Dummies," by the same authors, they list the 20 mysteries. I have to wonder how this discrepancy slipped past the proofreaders.
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on April 4, 2010
After reading Catholicism for Dummies, I told myself that I would purchase any book written by Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti that I came across. So when I saw a copy of Saints for Dummies at the local book store, I did not hesitate to buy it. For the most part, I do not regret this purchase.

Few Catholic authors are able to break down Catholic teaching like Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti can. In Saints for Dummies, the authors start from the beginning and work their way up; they assume that the reader has no knowledge of what a saint is and how someone becomes a saint. They provide some details in to the lives of the most popular saints, and even break them down into categories like "Saintly Pastors" and "Saints of Nobility." They give you just enough information about each saint to encourage you to conduct further research. Then Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti provide a list of those that are currently being considered for canonization, famous novenas to the saints, and a list of ten popular saint shrines. At the back of the book is a list of feast days for the saints. Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti were even able to include St. Damien of Molokai in this text, which I think is remarkable considering St. Damien was just canonized in October 2009.

The first, main gripe I have with this book is that it apparently does not have a nihil obstat or imprimatur. For those of you who do not know what this means, they are basically two declarations that the text book in question does not contain anything that is damaging or contrary to Catholic faith and morals. As a Catholic, I will normally not even look at a book if it does not contain these two declarations. Nihil obstat means "nothing hinders" and imprimatur means "let it be printed." In short, two different authorities review the book before granting the nihil obstat and imprimatur. Catholicism for Dummies had both a nihil obstat and imprimatur, so that makes me really wonder why Saints for Dummies does not. If it weren't for the reputations of Father Triglio and Father Brighenti, I would not have even looked through this book. It does leave burning questions as to why they did not pursue these declarations, or if they did, what was rejected (and why didn't they change it)? Granted, I do not know how the whole process works, but as a Catholic I count on these two declarations.

The second gripe I have with the book is that it seems a bit presumptuous regarding the holy people that are currently "in the pipeline." In Chapter 18, titled "Waiting for Their Halos: Saints in the Pipeline," Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti provide details of those that are currently in the canonization process, and they include a section about each person titled "What canonization will mean." In these sections, Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti make statements like "Because they were brother and sister, canonizing Jacinta and Francisco will have a great impact on family life in general and in each individual family as well." In my humble opinion, Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti are making an argument that these people will be canonized, not if. As they mention in the text, just because someone is in the canonization process, it does not mean that they will be declared a saint. It is quite possible that the Church will not be able to find evidence of any intercessions attributed to Blessed Jacinta and/or Blessed Francisco, for example. I think we all want to see Mother Theresa canonized, but to presume that she will be is not fair to her and it puts an unfair burden on the shoulders of those investigating her.

Overall this book does provide a lot of information about saints. If one can look past the two gripes I listed, I think they will realize that they have a book that they can read repeatedly. It certainly has been added to my rotation.
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on October 11, 2010
What an opportunity and blessing for the For Dummies series to introduce Catholic saints to their reader base. Many of whom would not normally be exposed to such a religious topic. Unfortunately the book is so dull I had to struggle through it. How can you take a power charged topic of a relatively small group of people who were worthy enough to receive God's special graces, many who threw down miracles, who changed the world with their faith and turn such wonderful stories into such an emotionless book?? Why are so many saint summaries bland? Where was that saint's lightening??

There are few pictures. There is not even a picture as Our Lady of Guadalupe; the most common picture of the Mary in the Western hemisphere! There are few sidebar boxes; those famous boxes of interesting tidbits that make the Dummies series entertaining.

Of course with a topic as large this will have many omissions. There is no mention of St. Joan of Arc. There would be no modern day France without her. St. Joan of Arc captivates the imagination of many a young girl because she is such a riddle. St. Cecilia is known to the world as the patron saint of music but the book does not even mention music in her write-up!! Page 13 lists only a few of the types of miracles saints performed. One miracle is bi-location, but nowhere is an example of a saint using bi-location. Why go on and on.

The different types of saints are smartly categorized into chapters but most chapters list the saints in alphabetical order rather than chronological order. So when read about martyrs you jump around in time from year 304 to 30 to 1535 then back to 304 to 1941 to 155. Why use alphabetical order?

A nice surprise is the inclusion of Byzantine saints and chapter 17 about shrines. The book has the most comprehensive list of "Calendar of Feast Days" in Appendix C . It hypnotized me with wonder. The litany prayers are also a nice touch.
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on June 12, 2010
Publishing deadlines, insistent publishers and the lack of a Bishop in one's own Diocese doesn't always make it easily possible to obtain a nihil obstat and imprimatur. Nevertheless, the content is solid as is always the case with these two orthodox authors who are very faithful to the Magisterium. Buy with the same confidence you had in Catholicism For Dummies, Women in the Bible for Dummies, and John Paul II the Great for Dummies!

Way to go Father Trigilio and Father Brighenti! You never disappoint us with your books. These books are great for general knowledge and research, but phenomenal for teaching! I've met many Religious Education teachers who tell me that they use Father Trigilio's books regularly to teach. Praise God that we know that their students are being taught the truth!
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on September 10, 2014
Rev. John Trigilio writes a great book for those wanting to learn more about their faith. This book is no exception! His "Catholosism For Dummies" really helped me when I was coming into the church and should really be the text book for RCIA classes. This would make a great supplement because we have so much we can learn from the saints.
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on July 10, 2010
Quick to read yet highly informative... a must for those who would like to know more about a particular saint or saints in general.
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on May 12, 2011
What a great education for me!!!! All about the way and the why's of Sainthood in the Catholic Church. Everyone should read this. M. Middleton
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on August 6, 2014
Great Research tool. So great to have it on my Kindle. I can take my Kindle to groups are discussing the Saints, and provide great information.
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on December 6, 2014
Very informative reading in easy to understand format. Very pleased with this book. Bring a new convert it has been extremely enlightening.
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