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Exceptional biographical portraits of saintly Catholic laywomen.

  • May 6, 2013
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Being a lay Catholic in the modern world is not always easy, for there are many impediments that prevent people from slowing down and finding the simple quite time in their lives to pray and to contemplate the divinity of the Holy Trinity, the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist and Mass and the Blessed Virgin; it is a whole different domain of thinking. But the saintly laywomen as profiled in Joan Carroll Cruz's book made it work to such an extent that they made it to the honors of the alter, and if they didn't make it there as of yet, their candidacy is still on the positive diocesan level while others simply need a miracle, due to their intercession, to be validated. In the book, seventy-five laywomen are examined, and their professions and lives run the gamut from medical doctor (St. Gianna Beretta Molla) to rape victim (Blessed Pierina Morosini) to abused wife (Servant of God Praxedes Fernandez) to math professor (Wiera Ida Francia) to medical student and victim soul (Venerable Benedetta Bianchi Porro) to administrator and politician (Servant of God Hildegard Burjan). There is a laundry list of careers and Catholic movements that these women were involved with. Some, too, had families of their own or were stepmothers. But their love was all giving. Some women were college students and others domestic servants, but the commonality that united them all together was their deep-rooted and unyielding commitment to live the truth of Jesus Christ and the Catholic doctrine fully, completely, healthily and honestly. In reading some of these profiles, their witnesses were not all rosy and charismatically spirit filled to the point where they swooned and then spoke in glossolalia. It was more down-to-earth and even humdrum sometimes. The core dramatics would stem primarily from the women who were the martyrs for purity (Pierina Morosini. Teresa Bracco. Santa Scorese) or those murdered for their faith. Each profile is a fascinating chapter, unique in every way, because where one holy woman might have been a rich socialite (Servant of God Matilde Salem), the other was a long suffering indigent (Servant of God Maria Carolina Scampone). They are profiled side-by-side as witnesses to the ultimate truth. The great thing about the book, Saintly Women of Modern Times, as it was with Saintly Men of Modern Times, is that it showcases the deep faith of laymen and laywomen. It is not just nuns and priest who are saintly - literally. The focus is shone into the working world of those who do not have vocations to the religious life but who still strive to reach toward the pinnacle, to the world beyond this one. Additionally, a reader can just open the book to any page and start reading a profile, not like other books where you have to start form the beginning and read to the end. It's like a reference book. As a layman myself, I appreciated much of what I read of these heroic women. And while they were all saintly, the woman who resonated with me most was Dr. Wiera (Ida) Francia, a professor of math. I saw so much of my own religious attitude in her, for as she herself stated, "I am so cold in religious matters...so impatient. Today I would have preferred not to got to church because it bores me to go, and to remain there annoys me." Page 241. While I am not an enthusiastic church-goer myself, it takes a lot of will power for me to do the rosary or go to confession and Mass, essentially all that is required to live a Catholic-Christian life. It is terribly hard and often irritating. But then, Wiera hits a note of truth, "I'm so un-mortified." Page 241. She found that religion gave her structure and an inward peace when she was alone, so that she could pray and contemplate, the true things that she valued above all else. Even though she was introverted, because of her job, she had to become extroverted; she had to be in the public domain. She willed herself (much to her dislike) to such a high degree of exceptionality that she rose to the high ranks of Catholic Action, even though she wasn't enthusiastic about their activities or the social elements. However, she ironically became president of the diocesan section of the organization, a role that she had accepted with extreme repugnance. Page 242. She lived such a heroic life for trying daily to overcome herself. When death was nearing upon her, she received a special blessing from the pope by way of her bishop. I personally would love to see this woman canonized, for she is with me when I do pray. Maybe one day she'll even be made the Patron Saint of Struggling Apathetic Parishioners. But her cause is on the books, and that is a true blessing!
Exceptional biographical portraits of saintly Catholic laywomen.

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review by . August 22, 2010
Being a lay Catholic in the modern world is not always easy, for there are many impediments that prevent people from slowing down and finding the simple quite time in their lives to pray and to contemplate the divinity of the Holy Trinity, the mysteries of the Holy Eucharist and Mass and the Blessed Virgin; it is a whole different domain of thinking. But the saintly laywomen as profiled in Joan Carroll Cruz's book made it work to such an extent that they made it to the honors of the alter, and if …
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Each story is different.Each ending is the same. Single, married, widowed, separated, abandoned, divorced...Childless, an unwed mother, a parent of many children, a stepmother...Born into high society, a member of the middle class, destitute...From Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, the Americas. None of the accounts in Saintly Women of Modern Times is a fairy tale, but each woman ended up finding a Prince who loved her completely, a Prince who had been calling to her even as she had been searching for Him. Each of these twentieth-century laywomen fell deeply in love with Christ, the Prince of Peace, and that made all the difference in the world - a difference in this world, and the next. Here are the women who prove that - no matter the circumstances - a life of heroic virtue is possible. A life that centers on Our Lord and His Blessed Mother, a life of sanctity and of service to
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Books, Catholicism, Catholic Women

Details

ISBN-10: 1592760031
ISBN-13: 978-1592760039
Author: Joan Carroll Cruz
Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor

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