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The Big Book of Women Saints Paperback – March 13, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fascinating collection that profiles more than 400 inspiring Catholic women. A refreshing view of Christianity from a feminine perspective.” (Library Journal)

About the Author

Sarah Gallick is the author of seven books and a founding member of Catholic Women at Work. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, as well as Vogue, Harper's, and Star magazines and online at Godspy.com. She lives in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (March 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006082512X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060825126
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #634,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Gemma Star on April 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
The goal for every one of us is to become a saint, so it's encouraging to read the lives of women who stumbled and struggled as we all do. The saints in this book include former prostitutes and Scarlet Women, intemperate daughters and wives, struggling peasants and afflicted princesses, gifted professionals, including physicians and educators, and the uneducated including shephardesses, laundresses and scullery maids.

The book is structured as a day-by-day biographical entry, one for each day of the year. In addition to a brief biography of each woman's life, there is a capsule summary of each saint's special genius plus a biblical reflection that captures her spirit and/or the special lesson of her life.

The Big Book of Women Saints is a wise and sensible book and a wonderful any-occasion gift, including a bread-and-butter thank you, birthday, confirmation, Mother's Day, or Christmas gift. I'm gifting this book to several friends. Some are even Catholic. These women's lives are encouraging and inspiring to all of us, Catholic or not.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By T from NYC on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This excellent book came out about a year ago, but as today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, I thought I'd post a review.

Ms. Gallick has done an exceptional job of writing a lucid, easily-accessible book on women saints. For each day of the year on the particular saint's feast day, the book contains biographical information about a woman saint, usually no longer than one page of text. The information about the saint is followed by short sentence or two supplied by Ms. Gallick explaining the "genius" of the saint.

(Example: For Saint Lucy Filippini on March 25, her genius is described as follows: "Lucy recognized that teaching is a vocation, a calling from God, and she lived the advice of her mentor, Cardinal Barbarigo: 'The Church of God is not a restful garden but a working vineyard.'")

I found Ms. Gallick's observations on each Saints' "genius" to be succinct and insightful. Each Saint's entry then ends with a "Reflection" from scripture that Ms. Gallick has selected; the scripture quote thematically relates to the Saint's life.

(Example: Blessed Barbe Acarie, a beautiful society girl, dedicated herself to bringing the Carmelites to France. The scriptural reflection provided by Ms. Gallick is from Proverbs: "Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; The woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." Prov. 31:30.)

This book is a worthy addition to any Catholic's library, suitable as a daily devotional or a quick reference guide. (I hope that non-Catholics would find it interesting and inspiring, too!). As another reviewer mentioned, it would make a great gift (note the very handsome cover art), particularly perhaps for a teenage girl being confirmed, since the individual entries lend themselves to a quick read.

I give this book five stars.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Patrice Fagnant-macarthur VINE VOICE on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
The wonderful thing about learning about the saints is that there are so many of them, each person is bound to find someone she can relate to and look up to as a positive example. In "The Big Book of Women Saints," Sarah Gallick has done a tremendous job of bringing together information about 500 women saints. While all the famous women saints are included, there are also many who are relatively unknown. Gallick divides her book into a reading for each day (some days feature groups of saints such as the four martyrs of Wangla featured on June 28th). This set-up makes it very easy to read and reflect on a life of a saint every day.

In the "Introduction," Gallick describes the canonization process for Catholic saints, a process not formalized until the 10th century. Prior to this saints were "recognized by popular acclamation, which was later confirmed by the local bishops." Interestingly enough, the first woman officially canonized by the Vatican was Wiborada of Saint Gall in 1047. She is featured on May 2. Gallick goes on to state that each of the women profiled in this book "shared a unique quality that has been called the feminine genius." Indeed, on each day's profile, Gallick includes a description of that woman's particular genius, the example she offers to each of us as we travel along our spiritual journey. Another helpful portion of "The Big Book of Women Saints" is the "Annotated Sources and Web Sites" which lists each saint and offers sources for further study about that person. She also provides a general bibliography.

"The Big Book of Women Saints" is a fascinating book, unique for the number of women saints Gallick profiles. It would be a wonderful companion throughout the year to learn more about these women who, coming from a variety of circumstances, have all had a profound effect on the Church and their respective communities. Their stories also provide hope and inspiration for all of us trying to live holy lives.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Higgins on July 13, 2007
Format: Paperback
What I love about Sarah Gallick's Big Book of Women Saints is the emphasis on the saints' lives, rather than their deaths. Here, worldly women give themselves freely to their faith, and in the process, establish religious orders, set up and run schools, labor as diplomats among kings and Popes, and lead armies into battle. What better way to show contemporary young women (like my three daughters) how ordinary people can be touched by the divine? The fact that the book is organized by date makes it perfect for the bedside, with one-page readings per saint. (The first thing we did: We checked out the saints of our birthdays.) A compelling read and a perfect First Communion or Confirmation gift.
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