Book Review: Manual of Practical Devotion to St. Joseph

I freely admit that this title first struck me because it boasted of being “practical”. After all, what good is something to me if it’s unpractical? We can theorize all day long, but it won’t benefit us unless we can put it into practice. Thus, I am happy to report that ‘A Manual of Practical Devotion to St. Joseph’ fulfills its claim. The work is divided into three parts: the first part is dedicated to telling the motives for devotion to Saint Joseph, the second describes the protection and patronage of Saint Joseph, and the third and final part consists of practices, prayers, hymns, etc. in honor of Saint Joseph.

Father Patrignani does an excellent job. After Our Lady, St. Josephis the man we should turn to in our need. His patronage is extensive and effective, as Fr. Patrignani outlines in the first two parts. St. Teresa of Avila had a great love and devotion to St. Joseph which Fr. Patrignani describes well in the first part. St. Theresa said of St. Joseph that,

“Among all those who are sincerely devoted to him, and who make an open profession of honoring him, I know not a single individual who does not daily advance in virtue, so powerfully does he assist all those who place themselves under his protection.” (p. 85).

St. Joseph has granted numerous gifts and favors to those devoted to him, and Fr. Patrignani gives plenty of examples. Once we have been sufficiently convinced of the motives and efficacy of devotion to St. Joseph, the third part of ‘A Manual of Practical Devotion to St. Joseph’ provides practices for every day, particular seasons, numerous prayers and hymns (some in Latin!) to honor St. Joseph. Especially helpful is the breakdown for the month of March, traditionally dedicated to St. Joseph. Fr. Patrignani provides a short meditation (taken from the motives for devotion to St. Joseph), a hymn, and a prayer toSt. Joseph for each day in March.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of A Manual Of Practical Devotion To St. Joseph for the free Catholic book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and First Communion Gifts.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

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Happy Feast of All Saints!

Today the Church celebrates the Feast of the Church Triumphant– all those glorious Saints in Heaven, whether canonized or not, who have fought the good fight of faith and won. It’s a great day to pray the Litany of the Saints. Praying the Litany of the Saints always brings to mind the first verse of Hebrews 12, and when reading Hebrews 12, I call to mind the Litany of the Saints…

“And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.”

Hebrews 12:1-3

We are not alone in the battle for sanctity. We are surrounded by the witness of those who have gone before us and left us examples of heroic virtue in faith and holiness. We look to them for guidance, strength, and encouragement knowing that we can do all things by the grace and merit of Jesus Christ.

So today, pray the Litany of the Saints… ask the Saints to intercede for you… and read up on the lives of the Saints!

Good Reads for All Saints Day:
Any biography on the lives of the Saints
Saints Who Raised the Dead by Fr. Albert Hebert
Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles: In the Lives of the Saints by Joan Carroll Cruz

Happy Birthday to the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies, and against the enemy of the whole human race. Give me strength humbly to pray to thee. Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers, through the merits of thy most sacred nativity, which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.

Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin, filled with the Holy Spirit, didst merit to conceive thy God, as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity, glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David, didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.

Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. Amen.

(Prayer by St. Anselm)

September 8th the Church celebrates the birth of Our Lady, esteemed Mother of God, who, by her Immaculate Conception was also born free from all stain of sin. She is the solitary boast of our race. So in honor of Our Lady’s birthday pray the Rosary, pray the Angelus, the Litany of Loreto, the Salve Regina, and don’t forget Mary’s own prayer: the Magnificat

Good Reads:
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort

Book Review: Saints Who Raised the Dead

Okay, bottom line: Everyone should read this book. I apologize for not writing this review when TAN was selling it for $9.95 (half price!)… mea culpa! But it’s well worth even full price.

Father Hebert’s Saints Who Raised the Dead is truly an awesome book. We read a few accounts in the Sacred Scriptures about persons who raised the dead: the Old Testament prophets Elijah and Elisha, of course Jesus’ resurrection miracles in the New Testament, and also the Apostles Peter and Paul. And we even read Jesus’ words in the Gospel to His Apostles telling them to perform such great deeds (cf. Matthew 10:8). However, the sheer volume of resurrection miracles recounted by Father Hebert is amazing. Before I read this book, I had no idea that so many Saints– even Saints who I thought I knew quite a bit about– had raised the dead. Nor did I have any idea that there were so many purported resurrection miracles!

In his introduction Father Hebert assures his reader that he has only included miracles of proven or accepted authenticity, and that this book is not meant to be an encyclopedia of all such cases. Still, the nearly 400 miracles recounted by Father Hebert are a testament to the veracity of the Catholic Church’s claims, and God’s action in the world in and through His Saints.

As Father Hebert also underscores, these miracles are not a testimony to the greatness of the Saints, but a testimony of the power, glory, and providence of God. The miracles are His actions. It is unfortunate that so many, even priests, theologians, etc., in our current day deny or downplay the miraculous; going so far as to deny even the miracles recorded in the Bible. Father Hebert’s book Saints Who Raised the Dead is their cure. We need to be reminded of God’s providence, of God’s power, and of the fact that God still is truly active in the world today. He hears our prayers, He performs miracles in confirmation of Faith. Read. Be inspired. Preach the Good News.

Why should it be thought a thing incredible, that God should raise the dead?

Acts 26:8

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

Book Review: Queen Mother

Edward Sri’s Queen Mother is part of the Letter & Spirit Project run by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (founded by Scott Hahn). Thus, it focuses almost exclusively on the Sacred Scriptures. Though there have been criticisms regarding the lack of recourse to Sacred Tradition, I don’t think this is ultimately detrimental, nor am I surprised since the goal of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is biblical theology (hence the name). It does not deny or negate the importance of evidence from Sacred Tradition, or the Magisterium, but simply seeks to draw out a deeper understanding of the biblical evidence of certain themes and doctrines of the Catholic faith.

Dr. Sri’s book is an examination of the Theology of the Queenship of Mary from a solidly biblical perspective. This theology of Mary’s Queenship is important as it explains and identifies her role as Queen of Heaven and Advocate. Mary’s role in God’s plan of Salvation was not limited to her earthly life, and this book provides biblical evidence for Mary’s role in Heaven. She is the prime intercessor to her Son, the King of Heaven, and the spiritual Mother of the Church.

The book is divided into four parts: an introduction, evidence from the Old Testament, evidence from the New Testament, and then summary conclusions. It is a relatively small book, only about 100 pages, but the back half of the book is filled with copious notes, references, and a great bibliography for those inclined to deeper study of Marian doctrines.

I think Dr. Sri’s book will also be of value to those practicing apologetics. The Marian doctrines of the Church, and especially the acknowledging of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church, have always been a concern of Protestants. Dr. Sri’s Queen Mother presents a biblical view of Mary that should provide an excellent response for apologists defending the biblical view of Mary.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of Queen Mother for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.