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The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

This classic devotional work testifies to St. Alphonsus Liguori’s love of Mary and is a treasury of Marian stories and teachings. In a fittingly scholastic style, he develops and extols the many virtues of devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

The Glories of Mary is divided into two parts. In Part I, Saint Alphonsus provides a phrase-by-phrase examination of the Marian hymn “Hail Holy Queen”. Part II contains meditations on various Marian themes, including her major feasts, her seven sorrows, her virtues, and practices of devotion in her honor.

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The Way of Perfection by St. Teresa of Avila

Of all of Teresa of Avila’s works, The Way of Perfection is the most easily understood. Written at the height of the controversy surrounding the reforms Teresa instituted in the Carmelite order, it instructed the nuns in the practice of prayer. Teresa discusses the three essentials of a prayer-filled life — fraternal love, detachment from material things, and true humility. Her counsels on these are the fruit of her practical experience.

The book develops these ideas and takes up directly the matters of prayer and contemplation. Teresa gives various maxims for the practice of prayer and concludes the book with her masterful and impassioned version of the Lord’s Prayer. “How is it that Thou canst give us so much with Thy first word?” she says of the “Our” at the beginning of that prayer.

The simple and practical nature of this mystical classic will appeal to all who seek a life of wholeness.

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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.

Finding God’s Will For You by St. Francis de Sales

If your life seems to make no sense, or if you don’t know which path to take, St. Francis de Sales will console and inform you. In this warm little book, he explains to you what God’s will is and how He reveals it yes, even to you, and even in the seemingly random events of your life.

No matter what you’re going through now (or may have gone through), you’ll see why you should love and trust in God’s will and long for its fulfillment. Best of all, you’ll learn a sure method for discovering God’s will in any situation today!

As you begin to discern God’s loving hand even in seemingly chaotic events, St. Francis de Sales will lead your mind and your heart to the still waters of God’s gentle consolation.

From St. Francis de Sales you’ll learn:

  • Four signs that your heart conforms to God’s will does yours
  • How to accept God’s will even when it seems terrifying and painful
  • Sacred inspirations: not just for the prophets. The many ways God may be knocking on your door — now!
  • Changing your life’s direction: how to spot and avoid all-too-common dangers
  • The simple rule of charity: how it can help you make vital decisions
  • Are you as mature in the virtues as God wills you to be?
  • How to distinguish zeal for God’s will from selfish arrogance
  • Three ways you can recognize a thought or sentiment that comes from God
  • The key ingredient that makes all your actions pleasing to God: can you name it?
  • Making decisions: practical advice to help you distinguish between times when you should move slowly and carefully, and when you should act quickly, without undue time for deliberation

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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.

Divine Mercy in My Soul - Diary of St Maria Faustina Kowalska

Divine Mercy In My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina

The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska chronicle Sr. Faustina’s great experience of Divine Mercy in her soul and her mission to share that mercy with the world. In the Diary, this woman mystic’s childlike trust, simplicity, and intimacy with Jesus are stirring. Her spiritual insights will are surprising and rewarding. “Only love has meaning,” Faustina writes. “It raises up our smallest actions into infinity.”

Though she died in obscurity in 1938, Sr. Faustina was hailed by Pope John Paul II as “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.” On April 30, 2000, the Pope canonized, saying that the message of Divine Mercy she shared is urgently needed at the dawn of the new millennium. More than 800,000 copies of the Diary have been sold world wide. How did St. Faustina grow in deeper trust and intimacy with Jesus? What promises did He make to her? Discover the answers to these questions and many more in the Diary of St. Faustina.

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.

Introduction to the Devout Life

Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales’s Introduction to the Devout Life has remained a uniquely accessible and relevant treasure of devotion for nearly four hundred years. As Bishop of Geneva in the first quarter of the seventeenth century, Francis de Sales saw to the spiritual needs of everyone from the poorest peasants to court ladies. The desire to be closer to God that he found in people from all levels of society led him to compile these instructions on how to live in Christ.

Francis’s compassionate Introduction leads the reader through practical ways of attaining a devout life without renouncing the world and offers prayers and meditations to strengthen devotion in the face of temptation and hardship.

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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.

St Therese of Lisieux

Story of a Soul

The Story of a Soul (l’Histoire d’une Âme) is the autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. It was first published on September 30, 1898, a year to the day after her death from tuberculosis at the age of 24. The book was a single volume formed from three distinct manuscripts – manuscripts of different length, written at different times, addressed to different people, and differing from one another in character. The work of unifying these disparate manuscripts was carried out by Pauline, the sister of Thérèse. It was initially published with a limited audience in mind, the Carmelite convents and certain religious personalities, and just 2000 copies were printed. It quickly became a publishing phenomenon however and Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was canonized in 1925.

Manuscript A, entitled The Story of a Little White Flower, and dedicated to her sister Pauline, was written between the beginning of January 1895, and the 20 January 1896. Pauline has described how, as she sat with her sisters on a winter evening in the one room of Carmel where there was a fire, the writing of the first manuscript was decided. ” One evening in the beginning of the year 1895, I was with my two sisters Marie and Thérèse. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus told me several happenings of her childhood and Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (my eldest sister Marie) said to me; ‘O Mother, what a pity that all this should not be written down for us. If you were to ask Sister Thérèse to write down her childhood memories, how much pleasure this would give us!’..I turned to Sister Thérèse, who laughed as though we were teasing her, and said: ‘I order you to write down your memories of your childhood.’

Manuscript B is a letter to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart (the eldest sister of Thérèse), and written at her request in three days between the 13 and 16 September 1896. Marie asked Thérèse to write down her spiritual discoveries, what Marie described as her little way of trust and love.

The origin of the third part of the autobiography of Thérèse has been described by Pauline : “It seemed to me that these accounts were incomplete. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had concentrated on her childhood and early youth as I had asked her to do, her life as a nun was hardly sketched in. ..I thought it a great pity that she had not described the development of her life in the Carmel in the same way, but just then I had ceased to be Reverend Mother and Mother Marie de Gonzague held this office…seeing that Sister Thérèse was so ill..about midnight on the evening of the 2 June 1897..I went to see Mother Prioress.” Pauline asked the Prioress to order Thérèse to write about her life as a religious and the next morning Marie de Gonzague did so… Most of this manuscript was written during the month of June, 1897. Thérèse stopped writing in the first days of July, 1897. “Eventually the pencil fell from her hand as she wrote the last word, love. It is the final word of all three manuscripts.”

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A Story of a Soul is available for reading at Storyofasoul.com and Project Gutenberg.

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.

St Joseph of Nazareth

On Devotion to St. Joseph (Quamquam Pluries)

“On Devotion to St. Joseph (Quamquam Pluries)” encyclical by Pope Leo XIII

“In Joseph, faith is not separated from action,” said Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. For centuries, the model of St. Joseph has quietly resided in the hearts of Christians. Many popes have called his example out of the quiet, so that we would gain from friendship and devotion to him – towards a stronger faith in Christ.

Pope Leo XIII was one of these popes. His encyclical demonstrates why St. Joseph is so special, and why we should look to him for prayerful help, protection and guidance in following the Lord. At the end of the encyclical, he also mentions a special prayer to St. Joseph that we should especially include during our Rosaries for the month of October:

To thee, O blessed Joseph, do we come in our tribulation, and having implored the help of thy most holy Spouse, we confidently invoke thy patronage also. Through that charity which bound thee to the immaculate Virgin Mother of God and through the paternal love with which thou embraced the Child Jesus, we humbly beg thee to graciously regard the inheritance which Jesus Christ has purchased by his Blood, and with thy power and strength to aid us in our necessities.

O most watchful Guardian of the Holy Family, defend the chosen children of Jesus Christ; O most loving father, ward off from us every contagion of error and corrupting influence; O our most mighty protector, be propitious to us and from heaven assist us in our struggle with the power of darkness; and, as once thou rescued the Child Jesus from deadly peril, so now protect God’s Holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity; shield, too, each one of us by thy constant protection, so that, supported by thy example and thy aid, we may be able to live piously, to die holy, and to obtain eternal happiness in heaven. Amen.

Perhaps your parish office would print a copy for you in exchange for a small donation, as well.

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.