Review From User :
Sanctity in the unlikeliest places and reprobates who become learned Doctors of the Church...
Harlots who repent in the end and poor damsels who flee the lust of princes by entering a convent....
Medieval saints, all of 'em!
People you just won't hear about anywhere else.
These vivid stories run the gauntlet of brave ordeals, tortures and trials and helped fire the imaginations of ordinary folks all over the spooky landscapes of the Middle Ages.
Some seem fanciful, some syrupy - but ALL make for compelling reading!
You may be amazed to find yourself quite enjoying these tales.
They were written - or should I say, compiled (and embellished) - by a Bishop named Jacobus de Voragine, who lived from 1229 to 1298.
And you know how stories change as they spread
Well, who knows what REALLY happened to these people back when they were living their little Dark Ages lives And, more to the point, who cares who they REALLY were under our current Official Version of 'objective Reality'
The point is that the folks in these stories were living in the Spirit, and that people in our age - for the most part - are NOT.
And besides, as Samuel Taylor Coleridge once told us, the greatest secret of Enjoyable Reading is 'the willing suspension of disbelief,' for if we don't put our HEARTS into the stories we read, how then are we going to GAIN something from them
And about the only thing we REALLY know about these saints for sure is that their FAITH was real. If we enter heart-first into their lives, some of that magical fairy-dust of Faith might even rub off on us...
And the refreshing pneuma of the Spirit within them may waft into our lives!
When my wife and I first moved into our forever home, one beautiful fall day, I introduced myself to our new next-door neighbour and his young family.
They were Catholic like us, and often in those early days he'd take me over to his church on Sundays. He was originally from Central Ontario, quite a long way away from this, my own home town.
Anyway, during the summer his family would vacation in his home town and I'd housesit for them.
As a gift on their return, one year, they gave me that classic book we all used to hear about in the old days, Lives of the Saints.
Well that, and my old 'Story of a Soul' by St. ThÃ©rÃ¨se, began to whet my appetite for such fabulous tales... until I discovered THIS book!
This is the CADILLAC of ancient saints' lives.
Now, and here's the important part:
If you ever decide to wade your eager soles through the pristine awesome sanctity of this HUGE collection, try getting only the first volume to wet your feet -
But make sure it's the great, modern translation published by Penguin (they also publish it in one large volume).
I made the mistake of getting the e-book for my Kindle as well - and, hey, was I taken for a ride.
It's a prolix Elizabethan translation, full of typos. Yikes!
So, a solid five stars for hours and hours of fascinating reading - in BOOK form!
Media Size : 48.3 MB