First Printed: 11-09-2001
It will come as a surprise to many, if not most, to learn that there are at least some 137 men and women who have lived in North or South America who have been beatified or canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Sixty of them were canonized and 77 beatified. Most of these, fifty of them, came from Mexico and another 33 were from Brazil. The United States and Canada together can claim eight North American Martyrs. Individually Canada boasts another twelve saints or blesseds and the United States, nine. Seven were from Peru; three each were from Colombia, Ecuador, and Paraguay; two each were from Argentina and Chile; and one each from Guatemala, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. All except eight of these were beatified or canonized within the last one hundred years or so. Of these, Pope John Paul II was responsible for the canonization of 28 and the beatification of 32 others. This little book is a fascinating, brief introduction into the lives and struggles of these saintly men and women.
About the Author: John F. Fink has spent more than fifty years in the Catholic Press, including thirty years at Our Sunday Visitor, where he was president and publisher for eleven years, and twelve years as editor-in-chief of The Criterion, the Indianapolis Archdiocesan newspaper. As editor emeritus of The Criterion since 1997, he continues to write a weekly column and editorials. He also writes a regular column and reviews books for the secular newspaper, The Indianapolis Star. The author of the Alba House books Married Saints (1999), The Doctors of the Church, 2 volumes (2000), American Saints(2001), and Letters to St. Francis de Sales (2003), he has served as president of the Catholic Press Association and of the International Federation of Catholic Press Associations. In 1981 he was given the Saint Francis de Sales Award by the Catholic Press Association for his outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism. He and his wife have seven children and ten grandchildren.
Book: 174 pages
Prod. Code: 0900-5
"In American Saints John Fink traces much of the history of the Catholic Church in the Americas through readable, concise, accurate biographies of 19 well-known saints/blesseds of the Americas and 47 quick vignettes stretching the reader's view of history and culture with seventy amazing stories of faith! Mini-maps show the geographical location of the major saints. A great tool for teachers and catechists as well as a unique addition to libraries of faith-parish, school and home." --Mary C. Blooming, HM in Catholic Library World, November 1, 2003
"One hundred thirty-seven men and women who have lived in either North or South America have been recognized as saints or have been beatified. The Church has recognized most of them in the 20th century, especially in the reign of Pope John Paul II. John F. Fink, the former publisher of Our Sunday Visitor and The Criterion, the archdiocesan newspaper of Indianapolis, has written a handy guide to them all in his book American Saints: Five Centuries of Heroic Sanctity on the American Continents. Mr. Fink had a formidable task. Because he set out to provide brief biographical information on each of these noble men and women, he provides a number of pages for some of the better known saints such as Katharine Drexel and paragraph entries for some of the lesser known saints such as Julio Alvarez Mendoza, a parish priest who was martyred in Mexico in 1927. I found the book's organization helpful. In each chapter, the author will deal with the men and women who are contemporary with each other in a given country or area. I found the treatment of some of the Canadians such as Blessed Marie of the Incarnation and Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys especially informative. I think John F. Fink has done the parish priest a favor by writing this hagiographic compilation. I recommend American Saints: Five Centuries of Heroic Sanctity on the American Continents as a good addition to the basic library of anyone who teaches religion to the young or preaches at weekday liturgies." --Rev. Don Piaro in The Priest, October 2002
"137 men and women of the Americas have been beatified or canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. Author Fink provides lively introductions to several. Sister Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) converted and "was immediately forsaken by most of her family and friends," but not by her five children. Saint John Neumann (1811-1860) increased the number of children in the Philadelphia diocese's parochial schools from 500 to 9,000. The most saints come from Mexico, and there are short tales of the 26 men who were martyred in Mexico in the twentieth century -- Fr. David Galvan Bermudez calmly told his prison companion, "Today we are going to go to eat with God"; Fr. Roman Adame Rosales unsuccessfully tried to save the life of a soldier who would not shoot him, and went to his death resolved and humble; Fr. Pedro de Jesus Maldonado Lucero was pistol whipped while carrying a ciborium with consecrated hosts. And the miracle worker, Blessed André Besette of Canada: "Soon after Brother André began to visit the sick and rub them with Saint Joseph's oil, it became evident that cures were taking place.... Cured people left crutches, canes and braces behind when they no longer needed them." More than a million people passed by his coffin as he lay in state before his burial in 1937. An important and absorbing study, marked by indispensable research." --The Book Reader, Spring/Summer 2002