Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Book Review: Saints and Bloggers

No, I did not find a book about saints and bloggers, but if one isn't already published I'm sure someone will write one soon.

I love reading books about saints' lives and I don't read them nearly enough. Some of my favorites have been The Life of St. Catherine of Siena by Blessed Raymond of Capua, and Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta.

Another biography you can add to your reading list I just finished this week: Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal by Joseph I. Dirvin, C.M. 

My mother gifted me a Miraculous Medal for my 18th birthday and I wore it pretty much every day. However, I really didn't know anything about how it came to be. I vaguely knew that Mary appeared to a young Sister, Saint Catherine Laboure. I also knew the saint's body resided in Paris, France and was incorrupt. In 2006, I had the opportunity to visit the chapel where the apparitions appeared and see St. Catherine Laboure on Rue du Bac. 
Rue du Bac, Paris, France

Oh how I wish I'd read this biography before visiting eight years ago! 

This little saint, affectionately known as Zoe to her family, had an intriguing personality and lived through some of France's most tumultuous history . Sometimes perceived as cold, St. Catherine was extremely practical yet zealous, quiet but determined, submissive and at the same time, a leader. Her postulancy began on January 22, 1830 and only three months later she was welcomed into the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity in Paris. That same year the Virgin Mary appeared to Catherine three times. 

In Saint Catherine Laboure of the Miraculous Medal, you'll find rich detail about the saint's life weaved into France's volatile history, and read about the astonishing conversions and miracles attributed to the power of the Miraculous Medal. 

One of St. Catherine's attributes that particularly stuck with me was her humility. Compelled to tell the world about Mary's incredible apparitions to her, she successfully managed to keep her own identity a secret. It wasn't until the final year of Catherine's life, that she revealed to the world, that she was the little Sister who saw Mary. She knew how important it was for the focus to be on Mary's message and the spread of the medal rather than the world recognizing God's servant on Earth.

"Favored though she was with visions and celestial delights, she did not advertise herself to seek worldly fame, but took herself merely for the handmaid of God and preferred to remain unknown and reputed as nothing."
                                                                                  ~Pope Pius XII, July 27, 1947 

It must seem so ironic to the secular world, that this person who strove to remain unseen during her earthly life, has become such a well-known, honored, and beloved figure in the largest religious institution on Earth! 

So, if you've ever wanted to learn a little more about the medal you see everyone wearing at church, this book is a wonderful resource! Reads like a story and extremely easy to understand, I felt it to be a very thorough and well researched biography. 

The other book I'm currently plowing through is How to Blog for Profit: Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup. The author would be proud because I borrowed it via the kindle lending library (Ruth writes a blog about saving money) per Katherine's recommendation. 

I waffle between getting really excited and then discouraged while reading this. I certainly haven't started this blog with the mindset of making money, but I do really want to improve the quality of my content and visual aspects of the blog. There are so many good tips here, but one minute I start jumping out of my chair thinking "This is so cool, I can't wait to do this!" to wailing into a pillow "My blog has no direction, no creativity... It's going NOWHERE!". 

This isn't meant to be a pity party by any means, I guess I'm just finally coming to grips (and appreciating) how much work writers put into their blogs. For example, it took me HOURS to write this post and that didn't even include prepping pictures. Successful bloggers are working many hours every day at perfecting their content, taking pictures, and promoting their site. The people that make this a full time job are working HARD. 

My little space here isn't intended for anything grandiose, but I'm still hoping to use the information in this little e-book to improve what I have. I would recommend this book to any beginner blogger no matter what their goals are for their blog!

And, since I know you're all really here to see pictures of my cute kid....

We got to go outside today! It was fifty degrees. It was sunny. It was glorious!

Linking up with Jessica at Housewifespice!


  1. Now that I got the correct address, I've been reading through all your posts--this is a great blog, Rachel! So much fun, and your photos are awesome.
    I can't remember the author, but I read a biography of St. Catherine of Laboure when I was sick for a weekend as a teenager, and it really stuck with me. We named Zoe after her!

  2. I didn't know Zoe was named after her! That is so special. So sorry about the mix-up on the link :-P Oh, and please let me know any of your blogging expertise!

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