Sunday, June 1, 2014

Angels and Saints Review and Giveaway (Image Books)


Scott Hahn is one of the greatest converts to Catholicism in modern history. His conversion story Rome Sweet Home alone has led many to the Faith and many more back to the Faith they left. This work alone would be enough to cement his legacy, but he has written a great many other notable works, including The Lamb's Supper and A Father Who Keeps His Promises, to further expound on the faith and teach converts, cradles, and reverts alike. Lately, Dr. Hahn has been publishing high theology works, which challenge us to grow in our faith and progress from spiritual milk to spiritual meat. Dr. Hahn has returned with a new work entitled Angels and Saints, which is a return to his way of writing that helped so many of us grow in the faith so many years ago.

Angels and Saints begins with a personal story of Dr. Hahn and his family travelling in Assisi when he and his children were younger. One of his children had just had an emergency appendectomy, but the doctor said he would be okay to go on the pilgrimage. Predictably, the child was fine at first but had complications while in Assisi, and his condition became life-threatening. Doing the only thing he knew how to do, Dr. Hahn prayed all night and thankfully the child recovered miraculously. The remainder of Part I of the book explains what saints are, titles the Church bestows on holy men and women on the path to sainthood, what saints do, and a brief description of what angels are and names for the different types on angels.

In Part II, we are treated to twelve chapters with each one focusing on a specific individual in Heaven. We see great men and women like St. Michael the Archangel; Mary, Queen of Heaven; and even Old Testament great, Moses. I will be focusing on one of my favorite saints, St. Jerome. Dr. Hahn begins with a brief description of St. Jerome's early life, his genius at an early age, and his places of study. He then details the path that led him to the priesthood and eventual composition/translation of the Vulgate. The most fascinating part of this chapter discussed St. Jerome's circle of friends/students. They were mostly women, but he taught them the Bible, Biblical languages, and Biblical exegesis that some even surpassed him in some of these categories. He challenged them and they challenged him, and all grew in their wisdom and love of Christ. It was a perfect example of steel sharpening steel and proof that saints don't get to Heaven alone, but with the help of others. The chapter closes with a passage from "Against Vigilantius" and has the brilliance and sharp tongue St. Jerome was famous for.

The other eleven chapters focusing on specific holy individuals are just as brilliant as the one on St. Jerome. Dr. Hahn then closes the book by bringing us back to Assisi to discuss family and salvation and calling us all to be saints. I can't imagine how tough it was for Dr. Hahn to narrow down his choice of saints for this book. He picked some big names in the Western Church, like St. Augustine, St. Aquinas, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I wish there would have been a few more Eastern saints, aside from St. Irenaeus of Lyons. It would have been great to read about St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius of Alexandria, or one of the Cappadocian Fathers. This does not lower my review of the book though. It is still a 5-star book, and a welcome addition to any Catholics library. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, please enter the giveaway below. To read an interview with Scott Hahn by my friend Sarah Reinhard click here.

This book was provided to me for free by Image Books. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!
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