For centuries the Catholic Church has upheld and celebrated her saints among the great holy women of history. Even from the moment of the Fall of Man, God promised a Redeemer Whose power would conquer sin and reopen to us our heavenly home; and in that moment He also promised us a mother who would be so powerful as to crush the head of Satan and cooperate with her Divine Son in reopening those gates of paradise. Womankind finds in Christ’s own Virgin Mother the perfect imitation of Christ, and in her is found all the treasures of virtue wanting in every woman. Fittingly, God’s women saints imitate and copy Our Lady’s greatness through His omnipotent power. Unlike pagan and Moslem cultures that often demean the female as something more akin to an animal, due to a naturalistic attitude of prizing the superiority of physical strength over spiritual strength, our Holy Mother, the Catholic Church has not hidden those loving sisters of Christ. She has, conversely, sought to proclaim God’s glory and will through the artful hands of women, knowing full well God’s plan for them as capable of great spiritual strength, and even miraculous physical strength beyond comprehension. All the while, the holy women in the life of the Church do not overshadow the great men, but rather compliment them beautifully in all their varied rôles.
The book was first published in 1939 and is an anthology of essays by Jesuits, retelling the brilliant histories of fifteen women saints throughout the course of the Catholic Church. Starting with Saint Agnes in ancient Rome, and finishing with St. Thérèse in the twentieth century, the subjects covered are varietal. Many geographical locations are visited, and almost every era of the Church and station in life are the setting for the accounts. In storybook fashion, the various authors give inspiring and often dramatic accounts of these saints’ lives. As the preface is forward in stating, the authors had sought to dramatize the events vividly to give the stories life and color. They do this very well, giving the reader a sense of truly having lived among these women. One can imagine easily each saint’s various trials and can have, therefore, a greater appreciation of their victories. This writing is a tool that greatly inspires, because when these true-life stories are laid out in this fashion, one gets a sense of the reality of sainthood and how attainable heroic virtue can be. After all, many of the same battles fought daily by modern-day women who aspire to holiness are no different than those battles also endured by yesterday’s holy-women
A common theme echoes in each story, which is that each chapter details for the reader the extraordinary love with which these ladies lived their daily lives. While it is not a surprising reality that men and women who want to increase God’s glory on earth will have in common this great love, it appears obvious that this collection of stories was intended to make a march along this theme. Heroines of Christ accomplishes well that to love Christ is to do all, lose all, and gain all for Him.
Among these pages, learn how the unwavering love and faithfulness to Christ are qualities which made the difference between any one soul and the souls of the saints. It is through the example of the female saints that we come to the knowledge of what is truly necessary in the female soul. If modern woman is to counteract and win the battle over liberalism and feminist philosophies, she must first be armed with the knowledge of the past champions of true femininity. In their souls flames forth an unwavering constancy to the Christian Faith, and a wholesome obsessive love for Christ. At first glance, there is nothing more extraordinary in the women saints of God than what is in any other woman’s capability, but due to their virtues, miraculous events and triumphs over the impossible mark their legacies.
The book is unique in that it not only instructs by giving a historical account, like some school-day lecture. Heroines of Christ also entertains through the literary methods of artistic narration that is vivid in its images and sprinkled with probable dialogue. Like any good work of historical fiction, the book certainly does give an excellent account of the lives of each saint while keeping the mind of the reader rapt in wonder. Written in this way, the mind is sure to remember the new exciting details as never before when reading a lives of the saints collection which contains only brief summaries of historical fact.
- Be inspired in your daily life by the attainable marvels that have been the lives of women saints since the time of the early Roman martyrs even until more recent times.
- Be strengthened by these women’s constancy and victorious battles over daily sufferings and the powers of hell.
- Look on as beautiful ladies choose their bridegroom to be Christ rather than highly eligible earthly suitors.
- Wonder as common and obscure folk rise to the great heights of such fame as to be known even among non-Catholics.
- Delight as little girls of no consequence bravely confound great rulers.
This true strength of woman gleams from among the pages of history, through the omnipotent power of Christ and His living Church. We stand strengthened that so triumphant an army looks down upon us and intercedes for us to do the same, knowing full-well our weaknesses and needs, having had lived them before in greater or lesser degrees. In reading Heroines of Christ, travel back in time with those women who would one day become saints, and walk with them along the road of this present earth toward sanctity and the reward of heaven.