Friday 6 July 2018

Saints of South Asia - Jean Olwen Maynard - Catholic Truth Society

Saints of South Asia
Jean Olwen Maynard
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784691240

This was the second book I have read by Jean Olwen Maynard and it will not be the last. There are three books in this specific series from the catholic Truth Society and they are: Saints of North America, Saints of South Asia, and Saints of Africa. But there are some significant differences across the books. The one on North America Focused on regions and time and grouped numerous saints in each chapter. Where this book each chapter is dedicated to a different person, some are saints, some are blessed, and some the cause is just under way. There are twelve holy men and women profiled in this book.

The chapters in this book are:
2000 Years of Christianity in India
St Gonsalo Garcia
St John de Britto (Arul Anandar)
St Joseph Vaz
Bl Devasahayam Pillai
St Kuriakose Elias Chavara
St Eurphraisa Elvathingal
Bl Mariam Theresia Chiramel Mankidiyan
St Alphonsa Muttathupadathu of Bharananganam
Bl Augustine (Kunjachan) Thevarparampil
St Teresa of Calcutta
Theotonius Amal Ganguly
Clement Shahbaz Bhatti

I must admit that Mother Theresa was the only saint I was familiar with before reading this book. But who in the world does not know about her and her works. What this book does is present these 12 people in an exciting and engaging way. In this book you will read about the first saint that was born in India. You will read about a priest who dressed as a day labourer to get into and out of area's he was banned from preaching in. about a man you could have had a life at court in Italian, in fact when he went home his childhood friend now King Pedro II tried to keep him from returning to the mission field. You will read about a woman tormented by spirits who devoted her life to others and founder schools, and missions. And another woman of means who gave it all up and became a servant in the convent because she was deemed to not be able to complete her schooling.

The description of this booklet is:
"The Christian heritage of South Asia stretches back to the time of the Apostles, yet what do most of us know about the saints and holy people of these lands? The history of St Thomas the Apostle, St Francis Xavier and the evangelisation of the region is given here, along with information on how the people of these regions developed and defended their strong Christian faith. With short biographies of saints such as Gonsalo Garcia, John de Britto, Joseph Vaz, Teresa of Calcutta, and others."

And it does that, these twelve lives are incredible reads. Heroes, servants, martyrs and more. The only pity is this book is only available as a physical volume where the other two are available electronically. Give this book a try and I am sure your faith will be challenged, and you will be inspired. Another excellent read from the Catholic Truth Society!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Published work by Jean Olwen Maynard:
Privately published by religious orders/parishes:
Greyfriars Convent, Elgin (2006)
A History of St Mary and St Michael’s Parish, Commercial Road, East London (2007)
Sisters of Mercy Bristol (2008)
150 Years of Mercy: A History of the Sisters of Mercy Commercial Road East London (2009)
The Saint of Hoxton (2011)
Saint Monica’s Church Hoxton Square (2018) 
150th anniversary history brochure for Parish of Guardian Angels, Mile End (2018)
150th anniversary history brochure for Parish of Our Lady and St Catherine of Sienna, Bow (2020) 
Immaculate Heart of Mary and St Dominic, Homerton 1873-2023 – 150 Years: A History of the Parish (2023)

CTS Booklets:
Isidore Bakanja 
Joseph Vaz

Between Christendom and Islam, The Martyr Mystic Christian de Chergé and the Atlas Cistercians in Algeria, in: Catholic in Religious Dialogue: Monasticism, Theology and Spirituality, ed Anthony O’Mahoney and Peter Bowe OSB, Gracewing, 2006
Campaign for the Catholic Workhouse Children, in: British Catholic History, Vol 31: Issue 4 Oct 2015

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