Spiritual Tools

Blood Brothers - Elias Chacour

Blood Brothers

“Blood Brothers” by Archbishop Elias Chacour (book)

As a child, Elias Chacour lived in a small Palestinian village in Galilee. The townspeople were proud of their ancient Christian heritage and lived at peace with their Jewish neighbors. But in 1948 and ’49 their idyllic lifestyle was swept away as tens of thousands of Palestinians were killed and nearly one million were forced into refugee camps. An exile in his native land, Elias began a years-long struggle with his love for the Jewish people and the world’s misunderstanding of his own people, the Palestinians. How was he to respond? He found his answer in the simple, haunting words of the Man of Galilee: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

In Blood Brothers Chacour blends his riveting life story with historical research to reveal a little-known side of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the birth of modern Israel. He touches on controversial questions such as: What behind-the-scenes politics touched off the turmoil in the Middle East? What does Bible prophecy really have to say? Can bitter enemies ever be reconciled? In a world of tension and terror, this book offers hope and insight that can help each of us learn to live at peace.

Originally published by Chosen Books in 1984 and now expanded with a new introduction by the author, a new foreword by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and a “Since Then” epilogue by writer David Hazard, this compelling book offers readers hope-filled insight into living at peace in the most volatile region of the world.


You can obtain a copy of Blood Brothers through Pilgrim Center of Hope for a $10 donation.

Want to show your solidarity with Christians in the Middle East? Wearable Jerusalem Cross pins are available at the Pilgrim Center of Hope for a $5 donation. All proceeds will benefit the Church in the Middle East.

Contact us to obtain Blood Brothers or a Jerusalem Cross pin.

An Examination of Conscience

An Examination of Conscience Booklet

“An Examination of Conscience: A Preparation for the Sacrament of Confession” by Fr. Robert Altier (Booklet)

This booklet is softcover, small enough for a man’s pocket or woman’s purse, and includes:

  • “Why should I confess my sins to a man?”
  • “The loss of the sense of sin”
  • “Forgiveness of sin”
  • “How to go to Confession”
  • Prayer before and after Confession
  • Examination of Conscience
  • Mortal Sins & Venial Sins
  • Imperfections

You can obtain copies of this booklet by calling the Pilgrim Center of Hope: 210-521-3377.  Please offer a donation to the Pilgrim Center of Hope to cover costs.

A Doctor At Calvary - The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon - by Pierre Barbet, MD

The Doctor at Calvary

A Doctor at Calvary: The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ as Described by a Surgeon by Dr. Pierre Barbet

What the Gospels don’t reveal about Christ’s sufferings, science does.

The results of a renowned surgeon’s unprecedented research into the physical sufferings of Our Lord–about which the Gospels reveal only the barest essentials–are collected in this mind-opening book. Dr. Pierre Barbet, writing in the early 1950s, relied heavily on his close analysis of the Shroud of Turin to re-create every stage of the Passion with precision and detail. The result: a minor classic of spirituality–by a layman. Back in print after 40 years, the book discusses, among much…

  • The painful hemorrhaging phenomenon which corresponds to Jesus’ sweating “drops of blood”
  • Evidence that Christ received more than the customary number of blows during the scourging
  • The “flagrum” used for scourging
  • The crown of thorns: more like a cap cutting into the head at very part
  • Did Christ simply drag the Cross to Calvary, as is typically depicted? Evidence suggests otherwise
  • Countless medically accurate details on the Shroud that no medieval artist could have forged, or even know about
  • Were Christ’s feet nailed separately, or one over the other?
  • Why his violent thirst?
  • The determining cause of Christ’s death: asphyxia after prolonged struggle

Published by Roman Catholic Books
Publication date: September 1993
ISBN: 0912141042
16 photographs and illustrations accompany Dr. Barbet’s text

Christ and the Beloved Disciple icon


Icons are holy images; paintings or mosaics representing the saints, the Lord Jesus, or images of the Lord’s life. They are the “official art” of the Church as it developed in the early centuries. Over time, those of us in the western tradition of the Church opened up to other forms of religious art, but our art also continues to be based upon the original style of icons.

Icons are sometimes called “theology in color” because they are not simply artwork, but the result of intense prayer and a rich spiritual life. Those who make icons are called iconographers. They live a lifestyle of simplicity, modeled after monastic life, praying and fasting as preparation for creating the icons. In fact, sometimes instead of ‘painting’ an icon, an iconographer is said to ‘write’ an icon. This is because icons are like theology or prayer. As someone might write a prayer using words on a page, an iconographer writes an icon to be their own prayer, with color and lines, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

When icons are blessed, they are sacramentals. Other sacramentals you may be familiar with are rosaries, crucifixes and holy water. All these things prepare us more readily to receive God’s grace in our lives.

We at Pilgrim Center of Hope have many icons at the Center, and certainly invite you to come and pray with them. You can also find icons at your local Catholic bookstore, or even in books at the library.

One of our Speaker Team presenters also offers a talk on icons for parishes, schools, or other groups.

Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From the entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection

Jesus of Nazareth – Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, by Pope Benedict XVI

For Christians, Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, who died for the sins of the world, and who rose from the dead in triumph over sin and death. For non-Christians, he is almost anything else–a myth, a political revolutionary, a prophet whose teaching was misunderstood or distorted by his followers.

Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God, and no myth, revolutionary, or misunderstood prophet, insists Benedict XVI. He thinks that the best of historical scholarship, while it can’t “prove” Jesus is the Son of God, certainly doesn’t disprove it. Indeed, Benedict maintains that the evidence, fairly considered, brings us face-to-face with the challenge of Jesus–a real man who taught and acted in ways that were tantamount to claims of divine authority, claims not easily dismissed as lunacy or deception.

Benedict XVI presents this challenge in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, the sequel volume to Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration.

Why was Jesus rejected by the religious leaders of his day? Who was responsible for his death? Did he establish a Church to carry on his work? How did Jesus view his suffering and death? How should we? And, most importantly, did Jesus really rise from the dead and what does his resurrection mean? The story of Jesus raises many crucial questions.

Benedict brings to his study the vast learning of a brilliant scholar, the passionate searching of a great mind, and the deep compassion of a pastor’s heart. In the end, he dares readers to grapple with the meaning of Jesus’ life, teaching, death, and resurrection.

Visit the book’s website to learn more.

Purchase this book at your local Catholic bookstore or online. Don’t forget – if you shop on Amazon, make sure to start at Smile.Amazon.com and request that Pilgrim Center of Hope receive a portion of your purchase at no cost to you. Thank you for your much-needed support of this ministry.

Stewardship: A Disciple’s Response by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

If you say you are a follower of Jesus, then you must be a steward of God’s creation. That is the challenge presented in this pastoral statement from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

For pastors; parish and diocesan finance, development, and stewardship committees; coordinators of adult faith formation, youth ministry, and religious education; and evangelization.

Available for free from the USCCB website in English. Also available for purchase in book format, in English or Spanish.