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Showing posts with label AliceCurtayne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AliceCurtayne. Show all posts

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2018

My total books this year is down a bit from last year, but my page count is actually up. Just variations in the length of material read. And I am finishing the year at just under a book a day with 359 books read over the year, down a bit from the 380 last year. The year by the numbers:

359 books read
215 received 5/5 stars
35 of those had been read before
137 were non-Fiction
78 were fiction

So here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the fourth quarter 2018. 

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books of 2018 are:

1. Alice Curtayne's Books
2. The booklets by Helena Scott and Ethel Tolansky:
3. Inspiration from the Saints - Maolsheachlann O Ceallaigh
4. Father Damien's Letters - Joseph Damien De Veuster
5. Catholic Truth Society Booklets
and more.
6. From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God - Derya Little 
7. The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order - Scott Hahn
8. The Fourth Cup: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper and Christ's Crucifixion - Scott Hahn
9. How to Think Like Aquinas: The Sure Way to Perfect Your Mental Powers - Kevin Vost
10. Overcoming Lukewarmness: Healing Your Soul's Sadness - Francis Fernandez-Carvajal

Yes there are more than 10 books on the list. But it is 10 groupings of books in some cases. There were so many incredible reads this year it was so hard to narrow it down to just 10.

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Pamphlets, Booklets, and Books What’s the Difference?

Pamphlets, Booklets, and Books What’s the Difference?

This year I have read and reviewed numerous pamphlets and booklets. I was asked by a read about the formats and functions of the three. It started with the discovery of two Catholic Authors; Alice Curtyane, and Daniel A. Lord. Both were prolific writers in the last century. Both wrote books, booklets and pamphlets. And unfortunately, most of their works are currently out of print. While doing research on these two authors I encountered booklets by The Catholic Truth Society, and have since read 40 books and booklets from CTS. In response to the honest inquiry of non-Catholic, non-Christian reader he is my attempt to add some clarification.

If I were to compare the three formats to fiction to provide some background. If we take the three:

Pamphlet – Short Story
Booklet - Novella
Book – Novel

So, the first distinction is simply length. I cannot give a specific length difference between pamphlets and booklets; but can give some antidotal. Pamphlets art typically printed on thinner paper, and the cover is often the same style of paper, or occasionally a same weight but with color copy. Pamphlets are like tracks or brochures you would pick up at a medical office, or governmental office. Booklets have a heavier card stock cover and are often much longer. I would say most pamphlets are under 50 pages, booklets are between 75-175 pages. Both Pamphlets and booklets have a staple binding.

So that would be the big distinction between booklets and books. Booklets are staple bound, are always ‘paperback’. And are on the shorter side. Books have a glued, glued and stitched binding.

A second factor is the actual process of publishing. Both Blessed James Alberione (1884-1971) and Cardinal Vaughan (1832-1903), were visionaries in using printing presses, and media in evangelization. Cardinal Vaughan founded the Catholic Truth Society, and James Alberione founded the Pauline Family of ministries, including Pauline Books and Media. Both organizations are known to have historically owned their own printing presses. From what I have seen of physical copies of the CTS booklets You can tell when I book was published based on the style, size and format. Again, aligning to the presses, they owned.

For example, older CTS Booklets are printed on a size that matches standard trade paperback. Where the newer CTS booklets are smaller in format. Also, for the newer size you can tell the rough time of printing based on cover designs as they have changed over times, or for some series the color changes every few years.

Now I have been clear in the past that I much prefer electronic books. But the photos below are of physical copies of booklets and books from CTS that I have, that are not available electronically. But with finding authors that I love, and their stuff being out of print I have been ordering scanned copies of old books and booklets from libraries around the world.

And finally, for the purpose. Pamphlets are usually to give a quick introduction, or overview of a topic. The difference between pamphlets and booklets are just length. I have read booklets on single topics, or related topics.  For example I read these three booklets: Saints of North America, Saints of South Asia, and Saints of Africa. Each of these represented numerous saints who were from or served in a specific geographic region. But I have also read booklets of the exact same size and length on specific saints.   


To move from the fiction analogy to a food one; a pamphlet is a taste, a booklet a snack and a book is the whole meal. And what I have loved this year is having so many great snacks from CTS to read. I hope that provides some clarity for the reader who asked the question, and that other readers find it interesting and informative.

My current collection of physical booklets and books from CTS.


A Simple Prayer Book in English and Spanish are booklets bound by staples. The Marian Prayer Book is roughly same size but twice the length and bound by glue with a much heavier cover.


The top two are much older out of print CTS Booklets, the bottom two are more recent booklets.
 

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Three Great Catholic Writers That You Might Never Have Heard Of! Curtayne - Lord - Powers

Three Great Catholic Writers That You Might Never Have Heard Of!
Curtayne - Lord - Powers

I have a habit of coming across writers, falling in love with their works, trying to track down all of their works. The three authors featured in this piece are writers I consider to have exceptional skills. But other than powers most of their works are out of print, and proving hard to track down. I will give some brief information on each of the authors, and provide links to any reviews I have written, and I strongly encourage you to track down some of their writings and sample them for yourself. I am going to present the authors in the order I encountered them.


J.F. Powers
July 8th 1917 - June 12th 1999


My introduction to the works of J.F. Powers was a short story The Warm Sand, it was a story that really stuck with me, in fact I stated that it haunted me. I wrote about this story and eventually tracking it down again here. It stuck with me and once I found out it was part of a larger story I devoured the works of Powers. I was so intrigued by the works of Powers that in my final year of university I made arrangements to do an independent reading course on his life and his works. He published 2 novels 25 years apart, and both won the National Book award. He also published 4 collections of short stories with some overlapping stories.  Currently both his novels and a collected volume of stories and available in print and electronic formats. In a previous essay I quoted Joseph Bottum who stated that J.F. Powers was: "'The greatest Catholic Writer of the 20th Century'. Up until encountering the following two authors I would have agreed, now I consider the three of them excellent and could not pick a favourite.


Alice Curtayne
November 6th 1898 - 1981


I first encountered the writings of Alice Curtayne through an eBook of Twenty Tales of Irish Saints. I immediately loved it and started researching the author and her works. The hard part is that many of her works did not have North American printings, and all but 2 are currently out of print. I believe she wrote 23 books and 10 booklets. Her booklets were published for the Catholic Truth Society and other publications. Of the 33 works I have identified to day I have been able to track down 17, and have read and reviewed 9. He writing about saints is masterful. And her collections of short stories about Irish Saints are wonderful, and loved by my children and I. The rest of her works are not available in Canada through inter library loan. So I am slowly working on purchasing scanned copies from libraries in Australia, Ireland, England, and Scotland. One book I have tried to purchase used three times, the first was the wrong book when it arrived, the second time it disappeared in the mail, and the third the book seller cancelled because they could not find it after it was ordered. Everything of hers that I have read is excellent. 


Daniel A. Lord
April 23rd 1888 - January 15th 1955


A priest and author posted about Daniel A. Lord and piqued my interest. My first foray into his works is a booklet called I Don't Like Lent, it is simply brilliant. I read it three times this past lent, and have sent a download link to numerous friends. In the introduction to his autobiography Played by Ear I was astonished to read: "He wrote exactly thirty adult books and twelve booklets. His pamphlets must number nearly three hundred. He wrote forty-eight children's books. He wrote twenty-five plays, twelve pageants, three musicals; and he published five separate musical compositions, not to mention the tunes incorporated in his pageants, some written in collaboration with others." If Powers is known by the sparseness of his published works, Lord takes the cake for his prodigious output. Currently all of his fiction seems to be out of print, as well as his booklets. But 45 of his pamphlets are available electronically on Kindle. And numerous are available through The Australian Catholic Truth Society Archive. From what I have read to date, his works like the authors above are well worth tracking down.


So there you have an introduction to three great Catholic authors, leave a comment with who you would recommend. My to be read pile is so high now there is no harm adding to it.


My Reviews and Articles on Powers:
1962 - Morte d'Urban - novel
1963 - Lions, Harts, Leaping Does, and Other Stories
1988 - Wheat that Springeth Green - novel
1991 - The Old Bird, A Love Story - Illustrated Edition
1999 - The Stories of J. F. Powers
J.F. Powers Selected Bibliography
J.F. Powers Book Covers
That Elusive Story
The Warm Sand
Meme Booked By 3 May 2007
Meme Book Meme
Meme Booked by 3 February 2007


RS398 Directed Reading - The Religious Fiction of J.F. Powers
Essay - Why J.F. Powers
The Prince of Darkness and Other Stories
The Presence of Grace
Morte d'Urban
Look How the Fish Live
Wheat that Springeth Green
Essay - J.F. Powers Literary Life and Legacy


Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society and others)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

The servant of God, Mother Mary Aikenhead
The Holy Man of Dublin; or, the Silence of Matt Talbot
Croagh Patrick. An account of the great national pilgrimage to Ireland's holy mount. 
The New Woman Transcript of a Talk

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin


Books by Daniel A. Lord:

Father Finn, S.J., The Story Of His Life Told By Himself For His Friends Young And Old

Played by Ear


Children's Books:


Novels:
Red Arrows in the Night

Pamphlets:
Our Nuns: Their Varied and Vital Service for God and County
I can read ANYTHING!? All right! - then read THIS!
Confession is a joy?
Religion and Leadership
Fashionable Sin - A Modern Discussion of an Unpopular Subject
My Mother, The Study of an Uneventful Life
You Can't Live That Way
The Call to Catholic Action
Our Part in the Mystical Body
I Don't Like Lent


Saturday, 30 June 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2018

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2018

It was an excellent quarter. I have found an author I love, Alice Curtayne, even though her books were published between 1930 and 1980 and most never had North American printings. And a publisher the Catholic Truth Society. Between the two of them there are over 30 reads this quarter. The Quarter by the numbers:

102 books read
60 received 5/5 stars
6 of those had been read before
34 were non-Fiction
20 were fiction

Like I stated a good quarter. My problem is even with reading over a book a day my to be read pile is always growing faster than I can read. It was by no way easy to narrow these down to a top ten list for fiction and non-fiction. But this is what I managed to come up with.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:

1. Alice Curtayne's Books
2. Catholic Truth Society Booklets
and more.
3. Encounter the Saints Series
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight - Saint Teresa of Avila
4. The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order - Scott Hahn
5. Daniel A. Lord S.J.
6. Mary and the Christian Life: Scriptural Reflections on the First Disciple - Amy Welborn
7. Heroic Catholic Chaplains: Stories of the Brave and Holy Men Who Dodged Bullets While Saving Souls - Thomas J. Craughwell
8. Further Up & Further In: Understanding Narnia - Joseph Pearce 
9. What the Saints Never Said - Trent Horn
10. Moving in the Spirit - Richard J. Hauser

Non-Fiction Bonus Books:
The Life and Letters of Father Damien, Apostle of the Lepers Joseph Damien De Veuster Edited by Paul E. Nowak
Theology of the Body for Beginners: Rediscovering the Meaning of Life, Love, Sex and Gender Revised Edition - Christopher West
Working Well, Working For Love: On The Sanctification Of Work In The Teachings Of St Josemaría Escrivá - Javier López Díaz

Top Ten Fiction Books:

1. West Brothers Series Theresa Linden
2. Outwalkers - Fiona Shaw  
3. Secrets Visible & Invisible - Catholic Teen Books Anthology
4. Fight for Liberty - Theresa A. Linden - Chasing Liberty Book 3.0
5. Rightfully Ours - Carolyn Astfalk
6. Crimson - Arthur Slade
7. The Priest and the Peaches - Larry Peterson
8. A Battle for the Faith: Two Short Stories -  John Paul Wohlscheid and Theresa Linden
9. Stink Hamlet and Cheese - Megan McDonald and Peter H. Reynolds - Stink Moody Book 11
10. Body Swap - Sylvia McNicoll 

Fiction Bonus Books:
The Demons of Abadon - Larry Peterson - The Complete Series
No Fixed Address - Susin Nielsen 

If you give some of these a try I am sure they will be with the read!

Note: I did not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they were in the bonus section. As stated it was no easy task making this quarter. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list. This post is going up early because of the end of the quarter falling during holy week.

Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

193 - January to June 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996




Thursday, 14 June 2018

St Francis of Assisi Founder of the Franciscan Order - Alice Curtayne

St Francis of Assisi
Founder of the Franciscan Order
Alice Curtayne
Australian Catholic Truth Society
April 10th 1936


It is hard to tell from the cover of the booklet if it was number 702 and number 59 of 1936. This little booklet is 36 pages including the two covers. I have become fascinated by the works of Alice Curtayne would be an understatement. In the last 6 months I have tracked down 15 of her works, read 9 and reviewed 8. Yet each time I do research on her, I find more books or booklets I was previously unaware of. I currently have a list of 32 books and booklets, so I am not even half way there yet. I have yet to start on trying to investigate reading all her articles, in magazines, periodicals, and newspapers. Her books appear to have the widest publican in Ireland, as would be expected for an Irish writer. But there are also several her books and booklets available from Australia such as this volume, and the one on Saint Philomena. The majority of her works are out of print currently. According to one of her grandsons, none of her books are in print in the UK; and based on my research only 3 are in print in North America. But with each one I track down I have a greater appreciation for the woman and her faith. For her incredible skill as a hagiographer.

This booklet begins with these words:

"The literature on Saint Francis has by now assumed the proportions of a new Tower of Babel, erected by writers of all creeds and tongues. There is no devotee of Franciscanism who cannot find within that edifice the writing of his choice.

The thirteenth century saint was, in a manner of speaking, rediscovered by the nineteenth century. It was then his fate to be hailed as an inspirer of the troubadours, a kind of romantic vagabondus, and as such he was appropriated by the most prosaic, the most staid, the most conservative, and the most un-Catholic period of the modern ers.

What, then, is the defence for adding to the Franciscan tower of literature even one pebble such as this brief presents? It is the same reason which explains the very bulk of Franciscan literature, in which all the discordant voices are unanimous in proclaiming the attraction of Francis. His is a story that is forever being told, and is never told."

Now, I am by no way a scholar of Saint Francis.  I have read a few books but never done intensive study as I have with other saints. But this little volume sparked flames hereto unknown, of an interest in Francis and Franciscan spirituality.  This book is split in half, the first half is a biographical brief on Francis and his founding of the three orders. The second half is an appendix with the following sections:

The Advantage of a Rule of Life
The History of the Third Order
The Rule of the Third Order
Compendium of the Rule
     Each Day
     Each Month
     Each year
     At All Times
Communication of Spiritual Privileges
The Soul of Catholic Action
The Popes and the Third Order
The Third Order Does Not Invade The Field of Existing Societies
Conclusion

The conclusion is basically a challenge to join the third order, if one is not already a member. It is interesting reading this book 82 years after it was published. I have tried to verify if Alice Curtayne was herself a member of the third order, from the read of this book it would appear so. Or she wrote the first half and the second half was tacked on. But I have not been able to confirm that conclusion one way or the other. 

I know that there are often comparisons made between Saint Francis and Pope Francis. I am not scholar enough to comment on them either way. But while reading this, I wondered how Alice Curtayne would write about our current Pope, and if she would add to the babel and tower of words surrounding him. In fact there are many saints I wish Curtayne had written about, Damien the Leper, Kateri Tekakwitha, and more. Or even that it was easier to track down what she did write. 

This was a wonderful little booklet to read. And to be honest everything I have read by Curtayne is excellent. If you can lay your hands on this or any of her works I give them my best of the best, and highly recommend them. My children and I love everything by Curtayne that we have read.

As an aside: It is cool to see the mission of the Australian Catholic Truth Society, and the advertisement on the pamphlet. The Australian Catholic Truth Society has been digitizing all of the only booklets. When this one becomes available it is worth tracking down. I also found copies in Libraries in Australia, Scotland, and Ireland. If you can lay your hands on this I give it my highest recommendation. And to see the advertisement on the back cover for 4 great books from 1936.





Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society and others)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

The servant of God, Mother Mary Aikenhead
The Holy Man of Dublin; or, the Silence of Matt Talbot
Croagh Patrick. An account of the great national pilgrimage to Ireland's holy mount. 
The New Woman Transcript of a Talk

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Saint Philomena - Alice Curtayne

Saint Philomena
Alice Curtayne

Australian Catholic Truth Society
1934


To say I have become fascinated by the works of Alice Curtayne would be an understatement. In the last 6 months I have tracked down 14 of her works, read 9 and reviewed 8. But every time I do research on her, I find more books or booklets I was previously unaware of. And I have not even started trying to investigate reading all her articles, in magazines, periodicals, and news papers. Her books appear to have the widest publican in Ireland, as would be expected for an Irish writer. But there are also several her books and booklets available from Australia such as this small volume. And almost all of her works are currently out of print. According to her grandson, none of her books are in print in the UK; and based on my research only 3 are in print in North America. 

Tracking down this booklet has proven very timely. A friend's daughter has chosen Saint Philomena as her confirmation saint, and I was able to share this booklet with her and her parents. My own daughter chose Saint Brigid and used 4 works by Curtayne in preparing her speech on the saint she chose and why. 

This little booklet was a fascinating read. I was aware of the name Saint Philomena, and that she was a martyr. But did not know anything else about her. To read about the discover of her crypt. The message on the sealed tomb, and the miracles attributed to her so soon as she was on her way to a specific church was amazing. 

Curtayne in this booklet presents, the archeology, history and papal intervention in the cause and formation of the cult of Saint Philomena. And even though this booklet was published, I believe by the Catholic truth Society in both the UK and Australia, in 1934 it is a wonderful booklet to read today. The booklet begins with a history of the City of the Dead beneath Rome. The tomb was found by accident when workmen were clearing out a tunnel in the cemetery of Saint Pricilla. Considered to be one of the oldest catacombs and dating to the second century at the latest. Curtayne states:

"The Tomb-recess from which the earth had been cleared away was a small one. There was an immediate touch of pathos in this; for these recesses are pierced of unequal length, each designed to fit the body for which it was intended. The shelf tomb was not quite five feet long, and, therefore, the Christian sleeper within had not been of Herculean proportions. The recess was sealed by means of three large terra-cotta slabs, or tiles, closely cemented into place. … An inscription ran the length of the tiles, not an incised inscription, but letters painted, or rather daubed crudely, very much as a present-day schoolboy would scrawl them with some red pigment, like vermilion."

And thus, the discover of Philomena was made. The transcription of the symbols is 'Philomena Peace be with you.'. and after 17 centuries in the earth the bones of the saint would again see the light of day. Soon a priest from a small town of Muggiano, not far from Naples, went to Rome to petition the pope for relics of a saint. Pope Pius VII encouraged Father di Lucia to take the relics of the martyr Philomena. And while the reliquary was on the way, it stopped at Naples for a month, and that is when the miracles began. Requests for the authorization of her cult began almost immediately, and from sources around the world. Word quickly spread about the miracles of this saint, and her intercession was sough often. 

Two of Saint Philomena's historic supporters were Pauline Jaricot, and the Cur of d'Ars. In fact, Pope Gregory XVI, was witness and supporter of one of the miracles attributed to Philomena. It is amazing how much material that Curtayne packed into this booklet that only contained 32 pages of text. 

As an aside: It is cool to see the mission of the Australian Catholic Truth Society, and the advertisement on the pamphlet. The Australian Catholic Truth Society has been digitizing all of the only booklets. When this one becomes available it is worth tracking down. I also found copies in Libraries in Australia, Scotland, and Ireland. If you can lay your hands on this I give it my highest recommendation.




Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Alice Curtayne:
St. Catherine of Siena
A Recall to Dante
Saint Brigid of Ireland
Saint Bernard Abbot Of Clairvaux And Doctor Of The Church
Saint Anthony of Padua
Saint Columcille: the Dove of the Church
St Francis of Assisi: Founder of the Franciscan Order
St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland
House of Cards
Borne of the Wind
Lough Derg: St. Patrick's Purgatory
Twenty Tales of Irish Saints
More Tales of Irish Saints
Irish Saints for Boys and Girls
Jean-Baptiste Debrabant
Patrick Sarsfield
Saint Bernard and His Friend Saint Malachy
The Trial of Oliver Plunkett
The Irish Story
Francis Ledwidge: A Life of the Poet

Booklets by Alice Curtayne:
(Catholic Truth Society and others)
Saint Philomena
Saint Brigid, The Mary of Ireland
St. Bernard Doctor of The Church 1933
Saint Catherine Of Siena A Woman Who Changed The World
The Story of Knock

The servant of God, Mother Mary Aikenhead
The Holy Man of Dublin; or, the Silence of Matt Talbot
Croagh Patrick. An account of the great national pilgrimage to Ireland's holy mount. 
The New Woman Transcript of a Talk

Books Edited by Alice Curtayne:
The Complete works of Francis Ledwidge

Books Translated by Alice Curtayne:
Labours in the Vineyard by Giovanni Papin