I finally took some time to review the book I've had for an embarrassingly long time on my desk. And of course, I wish I had looked at it sooner. But, enough of that, on to the review.
Real Women, Real Saints: Friends for your Spiritual Journey by Gina Loehr is a great way to learn about the great women saints of our Church.
The book is organized into seven chapters, each chapter extolling saints of one particular virtue, such as Faith, Justice or Prudence and then listed in alphabetical order. Loehr's style is very down to earth and easy to read. She tells us the name of the saint, when she lived, what her roles were, feast day, and patronage.
As I usually do I first look if there is a saint with my name or close to my name. No. Then I look for my daughter's whose name comes from Elizabeth and of course, there are a few; St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Elizabeth of Portugal, Blessed Elisabetta Canori Mora all make an appearance. After that I check for my favorite saints, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Clare, St. Margaret of Scotland, all present and accounted for along with contemporary saints including St. Gianna and Dorthy Day. Loehr does an excellent job of choosing saints from our 2000 year history.
Each entry is brief, to the point, and informative. She also ties in sainthood to real life. The saints' struggles or flaws are not glossed over, but offered as evidence of God working within us to change and grow, even into sainthood.
The only thing I would have liked to see in the book was an alphabetical index of saints, for ease in looking up a particular person.
I think this would make an excellent gift to any young or not so young woman trying to find her place in the world and in need of positive role models.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book Reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Real Women, Real Saints.