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Holy Women Hardcover – 1 Jul 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor Inc.,U.S. (1 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612785107
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612785103
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 1.7 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 938,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Starting with the first named female composer in Europe,the recently beatified Saint Hildegard of Bingen,His Holiness outlines the lives of the principal great holy women of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.For me the greatest inspiration of all is Dame Julian,the Lady Julian of Norwich ,who taught us that Jesus is our mother and that Love reigns supreme.Several of these pieces were set out in The Pope Emeritus's 'Christian Thinkers' but many more are added in this acceasible volume,including Saint Joan of Arc.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pope Benedict XVI is an amazing writer. I have read a few of his books, which I found incredibly insightful. I bought this book for information on some of the holiest women that have ever lived.

I highly recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x98276948) out of 5 stars 20 reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981ac3f0) out of 5 stars The Holy Father Looks at Holy Women 18 July 2011
By Kevin M. Derby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
In "Holy Women," Our Sunday Visitor continues publishing books containing the weekly addresses of Benedict XVI. Even the Holy Father's sharpest critics concede that Benedict is a leading theologian and historian--and this work, which focuses on some leading female saints, mystics and intellectuals mostly from the Middle Ages, clearly reinforces this. Benedict offers some interesting thoughts on some well known women (St. Joan of Arc and St. Teresa of Avila for example) but where he really shines is focusing on the less known figures. For example, the Holy Father offers an excellent introduction to the likes of St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. Veronica Giuliani. Reading this work, I was struck by how Benedict was able to offer quick sketches of the lives of these women but also offer a distinct synopsis of why they were important to the growth of Christianity and what modern readers can take from them (for example, Catherine of Genoa and purgatory; St. Gertrude the Great and justice). While the book certainly has an appeal to Catholics, any reader looking to understand the growth and shaping of Christianity would find the work very useful.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981ac5c4) out of 5 stars Entertaining & Inspirational 1 Dec. 2011
By Nicola Mansfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Reason for Reading: I love reading about the Saints and want to read more work of Pope B16.

This is a collection of articles on seventeen holy women of the church throughout the ages, most of the women are saints, though not quite all; most were nuns, but again not quite all. These writings are "derived from catecheses given by Pope Benedict XVI during his weekly general audience from September 1, 2010 to April 6, 2011." They have only been edited slightly to fit the book form. These are brief histories but meaty with information and inspiration, Benedict gets right to the heart of matters and tells a history of the woman's life, what lead her to her religious/spiritual way of life, tells us what these women achieved, how some were honoured and respected while alive, how others were martyrs for God. The Pope then winds each article down by placing the woman's achievements/religious teachings in our own modern times, showing how what she did or said is still relevant today and each ends with a relevant prayer. Most of the women are from the middle ages but the time span covered is broad ranging from 1098 to 1897 and the women are presented more or less chronologically with only slight deviation. The women included are:

St. Hildegard of Bingen
St. Claire of Assisi
St. Matilda of Hackeborn
St. Gertrude the Great
Bl. Angela of Foligno
St. Elizabeth of Hungary
St. Bridget of Sweden
Marguerite d Oingt
St. Juliana of Cornillon
St Catherine of Siena
Julian of Norwich
St. Veronica Giuliani
St. Catherine of Bologna
St. Catherine of Genoa
St. Joan of Arc
St. Teresa of Avila
St. Therese of Lisieux

The book is short and written in a very readable voice making it possible to quickly read through the book, however, I decided to take my time and read a biography a night so I could digest and process the information on each woman before going on to the next one. An highly enjoyable, entertaining, informative and, inspirational read!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x985e2eb8) out of 5 stars About the "...the determined, unrelenting, and charitable action of women." 19 July 2011
By K. M. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Pope Benedict XVI gave weekly talks from September 1, 2010 to April 6, 2011 on seventeen Catholic women who are remembered for their Godly characters and actions, and these short studies have been collected in this slim volume, Holy Women. Among those included are Julian of Norwich, St. Joan of Arc, St. Hildegard of Bingen, Bl. Angela of Foligno, three Sts. Catherine (of Siena, Bologna, and Genoa), St. Gertrude the Great, and St. Bridget of Sweden.

Naturally, these are not exhaustive biographies; rather, the pope's talks provide an quick sketch to orient his audience about when the mystic or contemplative lived and about the main events in each of their lives. Each chapter also connects the virtues of the given woman to what we can do in our own lives. For instance, although Joan of Arc is famous for her military year and for being burned at the stake, Pope Benedict reminds us that she was first and foremost a dedicated spiritual being whom we can emulate: "Dear brothers and sisters, with her luminous witness St. Joan of Arc invites us to a high standard of Christian living: to make prayer the guiding motive of our days; to have full trust in doing God's will, whatever it may be; to live charity without favoritism, without limits and drawing, like her, from the Love of Jesus a profound love for the Church."

HOLY WOMEN allows us to see these great women of the Church through the words of wisdom of Pope Benedict. Some of the seventeen are more familiar than others, but in each case, the pope's brief dissertation can prompt a desire to learn more about the respective servant of God. I'll just mention two volumes in my own bookcase that offer more extensive essays on a number of these same women and might be useful to others for further reading: Enduring Grace: Living Portraits of Seven Women Mystics and Women Mystics in Medieval Europe.

In the opening talk about St. Hildegard of Bingen, the pope begins by noting that Bl. John Paul II wrote, " 'The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the *feminine* 'genius' which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms that the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness.' "

This little book is a gentle commemoration, from the current Vicar of Christ, of some of those women.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a31621c) out of 5 stars B-16 Does It Again and Amazon Provides It 22 Nov. 2011
By Carl C. Eppig - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a compilation of seventeen noonday talks that Benedict XVI gave on lady saints in late 2010 and early 2011. Some I knew alot about, some I knew some about, and some I knew nothing about. It was all very enlightening.

A lesson for all of us is the following from the first chapter: "The person endowed with supernatural gifts never boasts of them, never flaunts them and, above all, shows complete obedience to the ecclesial authority."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x981ad054) out of 5 stars Wonderful 3 Aug. 2013
By A. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely book by a lovely man. I will never get why so many people seem to misunderstand Pope Benedict, he is such a gentle, sweet soul and so intelligent yet can write in such a simple way. In this book he writes a loving portrait for the more popular women of the church. He boils down the core of their contributions to a simple, moving essay on each. It is a quick yet satisfying read.
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