My Life with the Saints (10th Anniversary Edition)

My Life with the Saints (10th Anniversary Edition)

Paperback(10th Anniversary)

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One of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year 
Winner of the Christopher Award 
Winner of the Catholic Press Association Book Award
WITTY, WRYLY HONEST, AND ALWAYS ORIGINAL, My Life with the Saints is James Martin’s story of how his life has been shaped by some surprising friends—the saints of the Catholic Church. In his modern classic memoir, Martin introduces us to saints throughout history—from St. Peter to Dorothy Day, St. Francis of Assisi to Mother Teresa—and chronicles his lifelong friendships with them. Filled with fascinating tales, Martin’s funny, vibrant, and stirring book invites readers to discover how saints guide us throughout our earthly journeys and how they help each of us find holiness in our own lives.

Featuring a new chapter from Martin, this tenth-anniversary edition of the best-selling memoir updates readers about his life over the past ten years. In that time, he has been a New York Times best-selling author, official chaplain of The Colbert Report, and a welcome presence in the media whenever there’s a breaking Catholic news story. But he has always remained recognizably himself. John L. Allen, Jr., the acclaimed Catholic journalist, contributes a foreword that shows how Martin has become one of the wisest and most insightful voices of this era.
“An outstanding and often hilarious memoir.” —Publishers Weekly
“One of the best spiritual memoirs in years.” —Robert Ellsberg
“Remarkably engaging.” —U.S. Catholic
“Martin’s final word is as Jungian as it is Catholic: God does not want us to be Mother Teresa or Dorothy Day. God wants us to be most fully ourselves.” —The Washington Post Book World

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780829444520
Publisher: Loyola Press
Publication date: 09/01/2016
Edition description: 10th Anniversary
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 76,914
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

JAMES MARTIN, SJ, is associate editor of America magazine. A prolific author, writer, and editor, his books include My Life with the Saints, A Jesuit Off-Broadway,Searching for God at Ground Zero, and In Good Company. He is the editor of Awake My Soul and Celebrating Good Liturgy. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Tablet, and Commonweal. Fr. Martin resides in New York City.

Read an Excerpt

When I was nine, my greatest pleasure was ordering things through the mail. The cereal boxes that filled our kitchen shelves all boasted small order forms on the back, which I would clip out, fill in with my address and send away, along with a dollar bill or two. A few weeks later a brown paper package addressed to me would arrive in our mailbox. Nothing filled me with more excitement. While the most attractive offers typically appeared in comic books, these advertisements rarely represented what the postman eventually delivered. The “Terrifying Flying Ghost” on the inside back cover of a Spider-Man comic book turned out to be a cheap plastic ball, a rubber band, and a piece of white tissue paper. The “Fake Vomit” looked nothing like the real stuff, and the “Monster Tarantula” was not monstrous at all.

Worst of all were the “Sea Monkeys.” The colorful advertisement depicted smiling aquatic figures (the largest one wearing a golden crown) happily cavorting in a sort of sea city. Unfortunately, my six week wait for them had a disappointing end: the Sea Monkeys turned out to be a packet of shrimp eggs. And while the Sea Monkeys did eventually hatch in a fishbowl on a chair in my bedroom, they were so small as to be nearly invisible, and none, as far as I could tell, wore a crown. (Sea Monkey City was nearly decimated when I accidentally sneezed on it during my annual winter cold.)

Other purchases were more successful. My “Swimming Tony the Tiger” toy, whose purchase required eating my way through several boxes of Sugar Frosted Flakes to earn sufficient box tops, amazed even my parents with his swimming skills. The orange and black plastic tiger had arms that rotated and legs that kicked maniacally, and he was able to churn his way through the choppy waters of the stopped-up kitchen sink. One day, Tony, fresh from a dip, slipped from my fingers and fell on the linoleum floor. Both of his arms fell off, marking the end of his short swimming career. I put the armless tiger in the fishbowl with the Sea Monkeys, who seemed not to mind the company. But even with my predilection for mail-order purchases, I would be hard-pressed to explain what led me to focus my childish desires on a plastic statue of St. Jude that I had spied in a magazine. I can’t imagine what magazine this might have been, since my parents weren’t in the habit of leaving Catholic publications lying around the house, but apparently the photo of the statue was sufficiently appealing to convince me to drop $3.50 into an envelope. That sum represented not only an excess of three weeks’ allowance but also the forgoing of an Archie comic book—a real sacrifice at the time.

It certainly wasn’t any interest on the part of my family, or any knowledge about St. Jude, that drew me to his statue. I knew nothing about him, other than what the magazine ad told me: he was the patron saint of hopeless causes. Even if I had been interested in reading about him, there would have been little to read; for all his current popularity, Jude remains a mysterious figure. Though he is named as one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, there are only three brief mentions of Jude in the entire New Testament. In fact, two lists of the apostles don’t include him at all. Instead they mention a certain “Thaddeus,” giving rise to the name “St. Jude Thaddeus.” To confuse matters more, there is also a Jude listed as the brother of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.

And though some ancient legends mention his work in Mesopotamia, the Encyclopedia of Catholicism says candidly, “We have no reliable information about this obscure figure.” But Jude’s story didn’t concern me. What appealed to me most was that he was patron of hopeless causes. Who knew what help someone like that could give me? A tiger that could swim in the kitchen sink was one thing, but a saint who could help me get what I wanted was quite another. It was worth at least $3.50. In a few weeks, I received a little package containing a nine-inch beige plastic statue, along with a booklet of prayers to be used for praying to my new patron. St. Jude the Beige, who held a staff and carried a sort of plate emblazoned with the image of a face (which I supposed was Jesus, though this was difficult to discern), was immediately given pride of place on top of the dresser in my bedroom.

At the time, I prayed to God only intermittently and then mainly to ask for things, such as: “Please let me get an A on my next test.” “Please let me do well in Little League this year.” “Please let my skin clear up for the school picture.” I used to envision God as the Great Problem Solver, the one who would fix everything if I just prayed hard enough, used the correct prayers, and prayed in precisely the right way. But when God couldn’t fix things (which seemed more frequent than I would have liked), I would turn to St. Jude. I figured that if it was beyond the capacity of God to do something, then surely it must be a lost cause, and it was time to call on St. Jude.

Excerpted from " My Life with the Saints (10th Anniversary Edition)"
by .
Copyright © 2016 James Martin.
Excerpted by permission of Loyola Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Foreword .................................................. xi
By John Allen Jr.

The Saint of the Sock Drawer .................. 1
An Introduction

Child of God ............................................. 11
Joan of Arc

Inward Drama ........................................... 27
Therese of Lisieux

The True Self ............................................ 41
Thomas Merton

Ad Mjorem Dei Gloriam ............................ 71
Ignatius of Loyola

More Than Ever ........................................ 101
Pedro Arrupe

In the Grotto of Massabieille ..................... 123
Bernadette Soubirous

Share This Joy with All You Meet .............. 149
Mother Teresa

Vicar of Christ ............................................ 175
Pope John XXIII

Living in Her World .................................... 203
Dorothy Day

For I Am a Sinful Man ............................... 223

Fides Quaerens Intellectum ...................... 245
Thomas Aquinas

Fools for Christ .......................................... 261
St. Francis of Assisi

Hidden Lives .............................................. 287

Who Trusts in God ..................................... 303
The Ugandan Martyrs

The Most Precious Thing I Possess .......... 319
Aloysius Gonzaga

Full of Grace .............................................. 333

Holy in a Different Way .............................. 359
A Conclusion

Still Trying to Become a Saint .................... 379
An Epilogue


General Trade

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My Life With The Saints 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I heard Fr. Martin speak at a conference and immediately added his book to my list. I'm completely AMAZED at the way he puts things together in such a realist way! This book is great for anyone to read *especially young adults* His reference guide in the back is also a great tool! Thanks Fr. for sharing your gift!
RoadTripOR More than 1 year ago
This book had so much information, fun stories, and interesting anecdotes that I had a hard time putting it down. I wanted to keep reading after it ended. Some of these Saints were new to me and I felt like I learned so much. I also love that the author allows you into his own life and thoughts because it made me feel like he understands "real" life instead of preaching.
pattiMG More than 1 year ago
I have my dog eared copy of "My life with the Saints". I read this book while on a two week vacation in Paris. Every night after seeing the wonderful sights,Notre Dame, St Eustache, filling my days and after my dinner I would plunge into this wonderful book. I am re reading it again and love it just as much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fr. Martin does a fantastic job of connecting Saints of the past with his own spiritual journey. Don't stop reading before the last chapter "Holy in a Different Way: A Conclusion" which speaks to each reader individually. This books helps us to see that we are not only our journey towards holiness and becoming saints in our own way!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are interested in the saints, you will enjoy Fr. Martin's stories of how he chose his favorites and how they have influenced his life. It is humorous and very informative. A real pleasure to read.
thor42 More than 1 year ago
I've read many books about saints. Most are dry, factual and boring. James Martin offers a stimulating and enjoyable journey with him as he has come to know saints in his life. He combines lively writing with spiritual awareness that leaves one satisfied and inspired. What a gift.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is very inspirational. Fr. Martin is an excellent writer and every page reveals a gem of a story, personal insight, or historical information. The book reminds me of my own life in some ways. The heroes of this book are the Saints who remind us that we too can be close to God, each in our own personal way, and have the support of the Communion of the Saints on a daily basis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im 12 years old and I go to a catholic school, so this book was required as my summer reading list. I thought it was going to be boring, but as I read I got interested, and pretty soon I started reading it whenever I could. It was a really good book, and I definetly reccomend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a wonderful book and very inpirational
KublaiKhan More than 1 year ago
The author does a wonderful job of weaving together parts of his own faith journey, with stories of the most ispiring aspects of the lives of his favorite saints and holy people. He artfully makes the saints seem like people anyone could relate to, and shows how people can apply this inspiration to their own lives. I'd highly recommend this book!
cfink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a very intriguing book. When I first picked it up, on recommendation from my wife, I had my doubts. After the first saint, I still had my doubts. After the third, I was hooked. Its not so much a history of the saints that got me. Its the way Martin interwove his life around the saints. Both were inspiring. In fact, I have to cut this review short and go do some saintly work :)My wife and I had great discussions after we both read this book. Enjoy!
ctkcec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A brief history of some well known and some lesser known figures in Catholic history told from a personal point of view by a Jesuit priest
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the intro funny, but subsequent chapters dry. I came across a passage that discussed the great love that might be experienced with one's spouse or partner. This caused me to research the author, a Catholic priest. I discovered that he is publicly and vocally pro LGBT lifestyle. If you are Catholic and take seriously the morality of the Church, I recommend that you not bother with this book. I find it disturbing that people who claim to be Catholic can be at odds with fundamental Biblical truths.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A remarkable approach to autobiography written with the focus centered on spiritual mentors, the saints and near saints. Refreshing and inviting invitation to a deeper kmowledge of God through His human creation. In a word, inspiring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew essentially nothing about the Saints - even who most of them were - prior to reading this. It was very interesting, well written, and I would recommend it.
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Wonderful uplifting experience
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KTRanger More than 1 year ago
Father Martin is a wonderful writer. His gift of introducing the saints in their humanity has been an inspritation to me. My prayer life has improved greatly through his friendly instruction. I recently read "Between Heaven & Mirth" and found it an equally valuable and entertaining experience.
PJ11 More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by Fr. Martin and I enjoyed this very much. Fr. Martin writes so well and how he gives the reader insights to his own life makes this a very personal book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago