Sunday 12 March 2023

All About the Angels - Father Paul O'Sullivan

All About the Angels
Father Paul O'Sullivan
ISBN 9780895553881
eISBN 9781618903631

A few years ago I picked up and read several volumes by Father Paul. I picked them up because they were part of a promotion from TAN books in an email blast. They were promoting a bundle of books by Father Paul O'Sullivan. I know I had seen the covers before. And based on when the books were first published maybe even back to the Catholic Book Stores of my youth. I looked at the 6 titles in the bundle and ended up reading them all. They did not disappoint, and before I even finished the first, I had picked up a couple of the other titles. For those not familiar as I was not:

“Fr. Paul Henry O'Sullivan, O.P., S.T.L., P.G., E.D.M., was born in Tralee, Ireland in 1871 and died in Lisbon, Portugal in 1958.”

Somehow I had missed this volume, On Goodreads his last name is spelt without the ’ so maybe I missed it that way. I ordered a copy of this for a Priest friend in a print edition and picked up the eBook for myself at the same time. The description of this volume is:

“A wonderful book showing how the angels have visited people innumerable times in the past, how they do so today, and would do even more if we asked them. Also, how they prevent accidents, comfort us, help us, and protect us from the devils. Contains many beautiful stories about St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel; plus, angel stories from St. Gemma Galgani, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Bosco, etc. One of our 3 most popular titles!”

The chapters in the book are:

Publisher’s Note
Foreword: Why Ignore Our Best Friends?
1. The Apparitions of the Angel Guardian of Portugal in the Year 1916
2. Some Angelic Appearances in Our Own Days
3. All About the Angels 
4. Where Are the Angels? 
5. When and Where Were the Angels Created? 
6. Our Angel Guardians 
7. Is It by Mere Chance—or Is It Our Angel? 
8. The Angels in the Sacred Scriptures 
9. Three Great Princes 
10. The Angels and the Martyrs
11. The Chronicles of the Dominican Order
12. Devotion of the Sisters of St. Dominic To the Angels
13. St. Frances of Rome and the Angels 
14. The Angels Help Us All 

We are informed in the publishers note that:

“All About the Angels is one of the best-loved books of Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. All of Fr. O’Sullivan’s works, in fact, have been favorites of Catholic readers for many years.”

Three of the other passages I highlighted were:

““Make friends with the angels” is the advice which the great Pope, St. Leo, gives every Christian and it is advice that everyone should follow. If we make friends with the angels—and nothing is easier—we shall receive innumerable and great favors which otherwise we shall never obtain. Our angel friends, too, will shield and protect us from countless dangers, evils, sickness and accidents which, without their help, we could not possibly avoid. In a word, these all-powerful and loving protectors will secure for us a degree of happiness that, without their assistance, we could not hope for in this vale of tears!”

“There are few books published about the angels, and these few are mostly doctrinal and abstruse. They do not appeal to the general public and fail to create in the heart of the ordinary reader that love and trust which they ought to have in the angels. It is so different in the case of the Saints. There are innumerable books attractively written about these great servants of God which help us to know them, to love them and follow their example. There are also pictures of all kinds, large and small, of the Saints which we hang on our walls, place on our work tables or use in our prayerbooks. We thus live, as it were, in the presence and company of the Saints. Pictures of the angels are few and to a certain extent misleading because the angel is, as a rule, represented as guiding little children; whereas, adults should, with equal reason, be reminded of their angels and have suitable pictures of them.”

“At the cost of inverting the natural order of our book, we will commence by relating some of the modern and best authenticated apparitions of angels. We do this, first of all, to stimulate the interest of our readers and secondly because many seem to think that angelic apparitions are a thing of the past. We shall then, following the doctrine of St. Thomas, tell our readers all about the angels, who they are, what they are doing, where they are, how beautiful, how lovable, how powerful, how eager they are to help us and what great advantages we gain by honoring and loving these great princes of Heaven. Next we will recall some of the beautiful stories of the angels which we find in the Scriptures, in the lives of the Martyrs and other Saints.”

This is another excellent read from the pen of Father Paul O'Sullivan. It was amazing to read the history of apparitions, and theology. It was excellent to read about the history and traditions. While I was reading this I shared a few quotes with my son (age 15) and youngest daughter (age 11) and they both want to read it.

This is another great read from father Paul O'Sullivan O.P.’s pen. It is a book that could be read repeatedly during your lifetime and benefit from with every reading. I know that I have plans to continue pursue his other works that are available in English and will likely return to this one and read it again. This book is clearly written, easily accessible. And a wonderful volume for any Catholic to pick up and read. I can easily recommend it.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Father Paul Henry O'Sullivan, O.P:
How to Avoid Purgatory
My Lord and My God, Or, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament
Our Lady of Fatima
Read Me or Rue It
St. Patrick and the Irish
The Divine Office: How to Say it Devoutly, How to Make it a Pleasure
The Glorious Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Story of a Great Man: Doctor Antonio de Oliveira Salazar
The Ten Commandments: For Real - For Now
What Ireland Owes to Portugal

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