Blessed Among All Women

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Blessed Among All Women

Women Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time

The blessed, the prophets, the heroes of love and faith—these dynamic women come to life in this new collection of biographies from the bestselling author of All Saints. Be uplifted by the courage and spirit of this gathering of women.

Let the lives of the great women of history inspire you! Robert Ellsberg's devotional sketches offer insight into the hearts, minds, and circumstances of women from all faiths and backgrounds whose contributions have changed the world. 

Grouped according to the beatitudes, entries in the collection include: St. Clare of Assisi, Little Sister Magdeleine of Jesus, the Anointer of Bethany, Margery Kempe, Anne Frank, Lucretia Mott, Pandita Ramabai, Mother Jones, St. Hildegard of Bingen, Rebecca Nurse and many others.

Reviews and endorsements

“Ellsberg’s crisp, inspiring, and insightful writing enhances this excellent illustration of the use of the literary genre of biography in the Christian tradition . . . Blessed Among All Women is excellent spiritual reading for a daily/weekly routine or for a  retreat experience. Moreover, it would be of intellectual interest as a more inclusive source of our Christian history and spirituality.”
New Theology Review

,

“This book should be on every Christian school shelf and church library, as well as used often in the liturgies and services where people gather to embody the Christian narrative."
Sojourners Magazine

,

“The diversity of women represented here is extraordinary. Ellsberg has identified holy women in various centuries practicing their faith amid cruel or ordinary circumstances.”
America Magazine

,

“This easily readable anthology makes female saints more understandable and makes sainthood seem more attainable for the rest of us. I recommend it for ordinary Catholics and for religious.”
St. Anthony Messenger website, online book review

,

“I was so touched to see Ellsberg’s respect for great women since the time of Christ, especially those whose hands I had shaken and whose work I had underscored in my writing since the days of Vatican Council II.”
The Catholic Free Press

,

“Ellsberg has a special place in his heart for laywomen who have tried to practice their faith in the realms of work, family, community, and the ordinary business of life.”
Spirituality & Practice Magazine

"Finally we have here in Robert Ellsberg’s Blessed Among All Women a collection of women saints whose lives and spiritual gifts are recounted with respect and with depth. As a history of the strengths routinely modeled by women, it is essential not only for the spiritual life of women but most of all, perhaps, for the development of the spiritual sensitivity of men. The introduction alone, in fact, is worth the price of the book because it expands the notion of the so-called 'female' virtues to include the broadest scope of human qualities. This book makes a serious contribution to the newly emerging consciousness of the full equality of women, spiritual as well as professional. It is necessary spiritual reading for us all."
Joan Chittister, O.S.B., author of Called to Question and The Rule of Benedict

,

"Robert Ellsberg is one of the most significant spiritual writers in the United States."
Henri J. M. Nouwen, author of Return of the Prodigal Son and Life of the Beloved

,

"This is a book that, in honoring women, honors humanity in its longing to become free and lovely children of the God who made us male and female, and 'saw that it was good.' Robert Ellsberg casts his authorial net very wide; he tells us of Bible women, canonized saints, women of other religions, famous women, women known only to God (like the Mothers of Argentina). There are poets here, an artist, a photographer, a murderer, millionaires and beggars: all are shown in their inspiring courage, and the quotations are breathtakingly beautiful. They brought tears to my eyes."
Sister Wendy Beckett, author of Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting

,

"Those who have complained about the absence of women in the calendar of saints have found their answer at last. These stories inform and surprise us, combining holy women we know with many from other cultures and religions we don’t, and introducing us to a few who have lived among us. It’s delightful to read. Put it next to his All Saints for frequent reference."
Sally Cunneen, author of In Search of Mary

,

"What a gathering of saints Robert Ellsberg has convened. From Mary to the present, here they are—the excommunicated, the heretics, saints of the church and saints of the people, the prostitute, a tough union organizer called 'Mother,' one executed by the state of Texas, little children, women we have heard of and women rescued from anonymity. Robert Ellsberg has brought them to our table, Christian and non-Christian alike, speaking truth to power whether that power be state or church. What an honest gathering of saints this is—women whose lives, beliefs, and accomplishments are simply breathtaking. I urge you, read from this collection to your young children. Begin or end each day yourself with one selection, the story of one saint, until you have read them all. Then think of their lives and the pathways of service they open to us. As I read, I kept thinking of all these remarkable women sitting around a table and exchanging their ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. What a gathering of saints that would be. What a joy it would be to draw up a chair and listen."
Sister Dianna Ortiz, author of The Blindfold’s Eye

,

"Human lives are more compelling than concepts. Holy lives are more persuasive than narrative. Women’s lives are too often untold. Robert Ellsberg does it all again—and with magnificence!"
Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs

,

"Robert Ellsberg has given us a rare and eloquent gift. Spanning centuries and continents, recounting the lives of missionaries and martyrs, activists and authors, Blessed Among All Women provides intimate portraits of women who changed the world. Together, these portray a panoramic landscape of feminine courage and strength. This inspiring classic should be on the shelf of anyone serious about faith and its transforming power."
Joyce Hollyday, author of On the Heels of Freedom

,

"Blessed Among All Women not only retells familiar stories of popular saints with the author’s trademark spirit and style, but also restores unjustly forgotten women heroes to their proper place in our spiritual consciousness. Simply put, stories in Ellsberg’s comprehensive new volume are utterly fascinating, consistently well written, and always inspiring. This is a stunning achievement."
James Martin, S.J., author of In Good Company

“Ellsberg’s crisp, inspiring, and insightful writing enhances this excellent illustration of the use of the literary genre of biography in the Christian tradition . . . Blessed Among All Women is excellent spiritual reading for a daily/weekly routine or for a  retreat experience. Moreover, it would be of intellectual interest as a more inclusive source of our Christian history and spirituality.”
New Theology Review

,

“This book should be on every Christian school shelf and church library, as well as used often in the liturgies and services where people gather to embody the Christian narrative."
Sojourners Magazine

,

“The diversity of women represented here is extraordinary. Ellsberg has identified holy women in various centuries practicing their faith amid cruel or ordinary circumstances.”
America Magazine

,

“This easily readable anthology makes female saints more understandable and makes sainthood seem more attainable for the rest of us. I recommend it for ordinary Catholics and for religious.”
St. Anthony Messenger website, online book review

,

“I was so touched to see Ellsberg’s respect for great women since the time of Christ, especially those whose hands I had shaken and whose work I had underscored in my writing since the days of Vatican Council II.”
The Catholic Free Press

,

“Ellsberg has a special place in his heart for laywomen who have tried to practice their faith in the realms of work, family, community, and the ordinary business of life.”
Spirituality & Practice Magazine


"Finally we have here in Robert Ellsberg’s Blessed Among All Women a collection of women saints whose lives and spiritual gifts are recounted with respect and with depth. As a history of the strengths routinely modeled by women, it is essential not only for the spiritual life of women but most of all, perhaps, for the development of the spiritual sensitivity of men. The introduction alone, in fact, is worth the price of the book because it expands the notion of the so-called 'female' virtues to include the broadest scope of human qualities. This book makes a serious contribution to the newly emerging consciousness of the full equality of women, spiritual as well as professional. It is necessary spiritual reading for us all."
Joan Chittister, O.S.B., author of Called to Question and The Rule of Benedict

,

"Robert Ellsberg is one of the most significant spiritual writers in the United States."
Henri J. M. Nouwen, author of Return of the Prodigal Son and Life of the Beloved

,

"This is a book that, in honoring women, honors humanity in its longing to become free and lovely children of the God who made us male and female, and 'saw that it was good.' Robert Ellsberg casts his authorial net very wide; he tells us of Bible women, canonized saints, women of other religions, famous women, women known only to God (like the Mothers of Argentina). There are poets here, an artist, a photographer, a murderer, millionaires and beggars: all are shown in their inspiring courage, and the quotations are breathtakingly beautiful. They brought tears to my eyes."
Sister Wendy Beckett, author of Sister Wendy’s Story of Painting

,

"Those who have complained about the absence of women in the calendar of saints have found their answer at last. These stories inform and surprise us, combining holy women we know with many from other cultures and religions we don’t, and introducing us to a few who have lived among us. It’s delightful to read. Put it next to his All Saints for frequent reference."
Sally Cunneen, author of In Search of Mary

,

"What a gathering of saints Robert Ellsberg has convened. From Mary to the present, here they are—the excommunicated, the heretics, saints of the church and saints of the people, the prostitute, a tough union organizer called 'Mother,' one executed by the state of Texas, little children, women we have heard of and women rescued from anonymity. Robert Ellsberg has brought them to our table, Christian and non-Christian alike, speaking truth to power whether that power be state or church. What an honest gathering of saints this is—women whose lives, beliefs, and accomplishments are simply breathtaking. I urge you, read from this collection to your young children. Begin or end each day yourself with one selection, the story of one saint, until you have read them all. Then think of their lives and the pathways of service they open to us. As I read, I kept thinking of all these remarkable women sitting around a table and exchanging their ideas, thoughts, and beliefs. What a gathering of saints that would be. What a joy it would be to draw up a chair and listen."
Sister Dianna Ortiz, author of The Blindfold’s Eye

,

"Human lives are more compelling than concepts. Holy lives are more persuasive than narrative. Women’s lives are too often untold. Robert Ellsberg does it all again—and with magnificence!"
Richard Rohr, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs

,

"Robert Ellsberg has given us a rare and eloquent gift. Spanning centuries and continents, recounting the lives of missionaries and martyrs, activists and authors, Blessed Among All Women provides intimate portraits of women who changed the world. Together, these portray a panoramic landscape of feminine courage and strength. This inspiring classic should be on the shelf of anyone serious about faith and its transforming power."
Joyce Hollyday, author of On the Heels of Freedom

,

"Blessed Among All Women not only retells familiar stories of popular saints with the author’s trademark spirit and style, but also restores unjustly forgotten women heroes to their proper place in our spiritual consciousness. Simply put, stories in Ellsberg’s comprehensive new volume are utterly fascinating, consistently well written, and always inspiring. This is a stunning achievement."
James Martin, S.J., author of In Good Company

Awards

Winner of Three Catholic Press Awards

9780824524395
Paperback / 320 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4
CROSSROAD, 2007