All Saints

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All Saints

Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time

A bestseller, hailed by Henri Nouwen as “a great treasure.” From Therese of Lisieux to Mother Teresa, from Moses to Gandhi, this classic and award-winning treasury offers us inspiration from the greatest saints of all times, places, and religions.

Holy people, trailblazers, and advocates for justice—365 of these guiding lights are gathered together for daily reading. Ellsberg's compact biographies deftly capture the essence and spirit of these great ones and articulate formative influences and key events in their lives. An life-changing daily reader, this book will also be a welcome source of contemplation and inspiration for church groups.

Included are biographies on: Mary, Mother of Jesus; Galileo Galilei; George Fox; St. Antony of Egypt; St. Agnes; Martin Buber; St. Brigid of Ireland; Hagar the Egyptian; Johann Sebastian Bach; Harriet Tubman; Baal Shem Tov; Dag Hammarskjöld; and many others.

Reviews and endorsements

"This book can change your life. Buy it now, read it every day and you won't be able to part with it. You will just have to buy more copies for everyone you love."
National Catholic Reporter

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"Quite simply the best contemporary one-volume compendium available. The writing alone ranks it well above others. A rich resource for reference and for daily reading. Individuals, families, preachers, teachers, and any number of parish groups looking for reflection material for prayer services or to start meetings will find this book a treasure for years to come."
Church magazine

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"A remarkably rich collection of meditations on men and women from all ages, mostly Christian, one for every day of the year. Most of them are capable of inspiring us to wish to do more with our lives: to dedicate ourselves to serving truth and justice in the way these heroes did. The whole book amounts to a kind of encyclopedia of moral and spiritual greatness."
—The Chesterton Review

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“In these short, splendidly wrought profiles, Robert Ellsberg gives us a vigorous cloud of witnesses—mystics, martyrs, social activists, artists, writers, composers—who do what all saints do: mediate the many and surprising ways in which grace makes discipleship possible. John Paul II has called for a millennial martyrology of unofficial witnesses to the faith who died in this century; he should start with this book.  The Maritains, Bloy and Bernanos, Mozart, Bach and Barth, Heschel and the Baal Shem Tov—all find their places in this richly imagined collection of mediating figures in a spiritual communion of many faiths.”
Kenneth L. Woodward, religion editor, Newsweek, author of Making Saints

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"This remarkable book sets a new standard by which all future books on the lives of the saints will be measured."
U.S. Catholic

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"A dazzling display of ancient and modern greatness that in many cases approaches godliness. An irresistibly inspiring experience. Enabling the browser and methodical reader alike to glimpse day-by-day the brightness of such 'brief lives' is one of the book's many merits. Another is the sheer scope of this impressive case of characters, who represent almost every form and imaginable condition of life. For ordinary people seeking inspiration, enlightenment, and hope, All Saints is a superbly realized resource, lovingly crafted by a scribe well-versed for the kingdom of heaven who has produced treasures both new and old."
Spirituality

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"This book renews hope. The stories are beautiful witnesses to the fact that people can be fully human, yet so illuminated with concern for others that they serve as true signs of God."
Catholic News Service

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"This book is enormously inspirational, It gives us a very broad perspective on the meaning of holiness in all ages, helping us to see that 'heroic sanctity' can and should be the destiny of us all."
—Award Citation, First Place in Spirituality, Catholic Press Association

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"Ellsberg's compilation comes as a particularly welcome gift of scholarship and devotion because he has made what could have been merely encyclopedic or pious, readable, challenging and inspiring. What makes his daily entries so engaging and often compelling is his own clear, unsentimental enthusiasm and admiration for the people whose lives he summarizes so well."
The Boston Book Review

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“Remember when you read Butler’s Lives of the Saints and you felt guilty about falling asleep after the third page? Relief is here, thanks to Robert Ellsberg. When you read All Saints you will not only stay fully awake but you’ll be hyperactively telling everyone you meet to read it. Make a nuisance of yourself. It’s not a sin, it's fun.”
Colman McCarthy, columnist, The Washington Post

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"By a verbal artist with the heart of a prophet and a scholar's eye for important detail."
America

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"Wide reading and measured judgement are evident in the 365 mini-biographies, but Ellsberg is concerned with something more than scholarship or even good writing. Dipping regularly into the pages of All Saints becomes a delightful way to absorb a great deal of Christian history and rediscover some of its most luminous figures; it is also a means of enlarging our understanding of holiness . . . Ellsberg has pondered his material deeply and combined psychological shrewdness with spiritual depth in his selections and commentary."
Cross Currents

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"The reflections are beautifully crafted; they not only broaden our traditional understanding of holiness but also challenge us to a life of generous self-giving both to God and to others, especially the poor and marginal in our modern world."
Worship

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"In this masterful collection of essays, Robert Ellsberg has given us a litany of 'all saints' for our time. All Saints imparts, in an almost palpable way, an awareness of God's action in history, of the Spirit molding and shaping the human heart, so that through these luminous lives one sees a greater light, and hearts turn to God in praise and adoration."
Catholic Worker

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"Buy a copy of All Saints for yourself and for every teacher you know. Relish it and talk about it; for it is these women and men who have gone before us, who faced the same trials and sufferings as ourselves, that are still with us to help us face one more day in faithfulness."
Catholic Agitator

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"All Saints will become something of a classic. Read as part of a daily schedule, it can keep us mindful that what is most real is immeasurable but nonetheless accessible, and that the community in which we have a part extends far beyond our own space and time."
Fellowship


“This book is a great treasure.  I consider Robert Ellsberg to be one of the most significant spiritual writers in the United States, and this book puts him right into the center of contemporary spiritual literature.”
Henri J. M. Nouwen, author of Life of the Beloved

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“We are essentially imitative creatures. We cannot imagine it until we see it ‘in the real.’ Robert Ellsberg has put some fine lamps on the lampstand for all of us to see—and catch the light. No theory here, only human lives in all their dignity.”
Richard Rohr, author of Job: The Mystery of Suffering

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"A wonderfully broad, knowing, and narratively compelling look at human goodness as it has been tested by life—this book will give us the very best kind of moral and spiritual education."
Robert Coles, author of The Moral Life of Children

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“This book should be in every home, on every shelf, in every library. It raises the standards of life. It is the kind of book which, if read to our children, could change the tone of the next generation. All Saints is a gift of unusual proportion, a tour de force of both history and insight.”
Joan Chittister, author of The Psalms

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“Ellsberg proves that we do not have to search far for heroes and saints. They are in our midst. Some have been canonized, many have not been; many never will be. What brings them all together is love of God and love of neighbor, high ideals, and a willingness to sacrifice self for others. Ellsberg brings all these heroes of our tradition, even those who may seem peripheral to it, to life again.”
Most Reverend Rembert G. Weakland, O.S.B., Archbishop of Milwaukee

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“Each entry in All Saints is as crisp as freshly picked lettuce. Robert Ellsberg has a rare gift for getting a great deal into a small space and always getting to what matters most.”
Jim Forest, author of Living with Wisdom: A Life of Thomas Merton

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“‘Take and read,’ said the voice reaching St. Augustine from a neighboring house. He took up Scripture and what he read transformed his life. This is one of the accounts in All Saints, a book telling of 365 holy ones, compiled by Robert Ellsberg. ‘Take and read’ these vibrant accounts. You may not be transformed, but you will be enriched, your heart moved and exhilarated, and your mind delighted.”
Eileen Egan, author of Such a Vision of the Street

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“What a rich compendium, a vade mecum for every day of the year! Where else but in this wise and generous book would one find a famed modern theologian side by side with a first-century woman, a Christian Zen monk near a Quaker artist, a mystic of the Holocaust and then a desert hermit? Here we meet the capacities and, yes, the glories of humankind.”
Daniel Berrigan, S.J., author of Isaiah

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“Ellsberg makes the biblical ‘cloud of witnesses’ come alive in these sharply etched portraits. This is a sanctoral cycle for the twenty-first century. Highly recommended.”
Lawrence S. Cunningham, author ofThe Catholic Heritage

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“A richly diverse spiritual banquet generously laid before us, offering daily sustenance for the searcher and the pilgrim. Who cannot benefit from this book? I plan to make it part of my individual and family prayer.”
Paul Wilkes, author of The Good Enough Catholic

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“Well-suited for daily prayerful reading, Robert Ellsberg’s reflections help us to enter into the mystery of the communion of saints.  These 365 cameos are crafted by a verbal artist who has the vision of a prophet and a scholar’s eye for the important details. Because All Saints includes those at the margins as well as in the mainstream of the Christian tradition, it offers both invitation and challenge to reexamine our understanding of holiness and to think anew about what it takes to be a saint.”
Michael Downey, editor, The New Dictionary of Catholic Spirituality

Awards

Christopher Award Winner

9780824516796
Paperback / 608 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4
CROSSROAD, 1997

Keywords:
Christian Church, History, Women Saints
Categories:
Saints, Women