Tuesday 10 November 2020

16 Black Saints and Advocates For Racial Justice - Mary Leonora Wilson, FSP (Editor)

16 Black Saints and Advocates For Racial Justice
Mary Leonora Wilson, FSP (Editor)
eISBN 9780819891310

Over the last several years I have read many books each year about saints. When this one came out, I was very interested to take a look. And even thou I have read books and booklets about many of the men and women highlighted in this volume I picked it up to give it a read. The chapters in this volume are:

Saint Augustine – Seeker of Truth
Venerable Agustus Tolton – Faithful Trailblazer
Saint Benedict the Moor – Humble Hermit and Wise Guardian
Venerable Henriette DeLille – The Friend of the poor
Blessed Isidore Bakanja - Member of Mary’s Family 
Saint Joseph Mukasa, Saint Charles Lwanga, and Companions - Radiant Lights for Africa 
Saint Josephine Margaret Bakhita - Forever Free 
Saint Katharine Drexel - The Banker’s Daughter 
Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite Nengapeta - Sister among Sisters 
Saint Martin de Porres - A Man Among Men 
Saint Monica - The Mother Who Never Gave Up 
Saint Peter Claver - Slave of the Slaves 
Blessed Peter - To Rot An “Extraordinarily Ordinary” Man 
Venerable Pierre Toussaint - God’s Provident Hand 
Servant of God Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA - Prophet of Joy and Dynamic Witness 
Blessed Victoria Rasoamanarivo - Princess of Madagascar 
Resource List

The contributors in the volume were:
Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP

But none of the chapters are attributed wo we do not know who worked on which section. Each chapter has:

     A brief biography 
     Notes on their life – bullet points
     Lesser Known Facts
     In their own words

And a few of the chapters also have a prayer. In the introduction to this story we are reminded:

“In proposing saints as our models of life, the Church wants to encourage us to follow their example of virtue in order to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself is our primary model, the Way, the Truth, and the Life for all of us. But in the saints the Church gives us examples of people like us, ordinary men and women who lived what Jesus taught, even to the point of heroic sacrifices.”

And specific to those selected in this collection:

“The saints come from a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. They are found in every age of history and from places all over the world. Why a book on Black saints? The saints in this volume were selected because they represent the unique and special contribution of people of color. Since the sin of racism is unfortunately still alive, it is important for us as Catholics to honor and celebrate those saints who often faced obstacles and hatred because of the color of their skin. Their love for Jesus overcame all of those obstacles and can greatly move us as we struggle in our own lives.”

And later:

“One way of overcoming racism is to learn about and recognize the tremendous contributions that people of color have made throughout history. All of the saints in this volume made remarkable contributions to the life of the Church. That is because holiness is the greatest good and our ultimate goal.”

And the introduction concludes with these words:

“While this small volume is not comprehensive of all Black saints, it is meant to make better known the contributions and holiness of the saints included. We might ask ourselves: what would the world be like without these great saints? What would our theology be like without the genius of Augustine? What has the wonderful witness of holiness by all these saints added to our Church? Saint Martin de Porres, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Thea Bowman and the others in this volume have all enriched the fabric of our Catholic life of faith. It is our prayer that this book will help in some way to promote greater racial harmony in our society and our Church today.”

And it does an excellent job of that. If you are not familiar with some or all of the saints in this volume it will be of benefit. Even if you have read about most of them there is certain to be something for you to learn. It is an excellent volume. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! And other reviews from Pauline Books & Media.

Books by Mary Leonora Wilson, FSP:
16 Black Saints And Advocates For Racial Justice

Books by Marie Paul Curley, FSP:
See Yourself through God's Eyes 
Soul of Christ: Meditations on a Timeless Prayer
Saints Alive Gospel Witness
Saints Alive Faith Proclaim
Life for the World: A Way of Eucharistic Adoration for Today
Bread of Life: Prayers for Eucharistic Adoration
Eucharistic Adoration Prayer Book

Books by Mary Lea Hill, FSP:
The Church Rocks! 
Blessed Are the Stressed 
Prayer and You 

Books by Marianne Lorraine Trouvé, FSP:
A Scriptural Rosary
Sacred Heart of Jesus Prayer Book
Angels: Help from on High
Novena St Thomas Aquinas: Patron of Students and Catholic Schools
Purgatory Purifying Power
My Favorite Prayers & Novena
Praying Mysteries of Light
Praying the Rosary for Priests
Our Lady Undoer of Knots: Novena and Prayers
The Rosary with Pope Francis
Consecrated Life: John Paul II
Saint Thomas Aquinas: Saints By Our Side 

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