by Lisa M. Hendey
I love reading books about the saints and have read quite a few. This is one that surprised me with how well it connected the lives of saints (some of whom I thought I knew quite well) to the daily activities of my own life.
Lisa Hendey has compiled a book on the 52 saints that have been most helpful to her own life. In a surprising way, she has written about the lives of these saints, the lessons we can learn from them, and the support they can provide for women at all stages of motherhood.
For each saint, she provides a short biography, an explanation of how this saint has been her particular friend and when she calls on him or her, traditions associate with the saint, a brief quote, a week's worth of Scripture and short prayers related to how the saint is most helpful to mothers, activities for mom and for mom with the children, a prayer to be said each day for a week with the whole family, and a few thought-provoking questions. I had this book from inter-library loan, so I did not have the leisure of a year to spend with these saints, but I think I could benefit greatly from doing so. I think my children would happily pray with me to these saints during evening prayer.
I had only two complaints about this book, and they are small indeed. I prefer a different translation for the Scripture verses (easily remedied with my own Bible) and I would have liked a reference for the source of the quotes from the saints. A few I know are from Scripture, and many of the others were probably from books mentioned in the text, but I think it would be easier for someone to follow up on the quotes if there was a reference.
Overall, this is one of my favorite books on saints. I think it's appropriate for all Catholic women, though married women would probably appreciate it more. Ms. Hendey is open and comforting for both those who suffer with infertility and those who are overwhelmed caring for large families.