Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Friday, March 21, 2014

Therese, Faustina and Bernadette by Elizabeth Ficocelli

The Blurb: In Thérèse, Faustina, and Bernadette: Three Saints Who ChallengedMy Faith, Gave Me Hope, and Taught Me How to Love author, speaker, and retreat leader Elizabeth Ficocelli introduces her readers to three remarkable women saints who became not only her role models, but also her life-changing friends. Thérèse, Faustina, and Bernadette taught Ficocelli about faith, hope, and love, and showed her what true Catholic womanhood looks like.
Some of the best saint stories are not about wonder-workers, but rather the everyday saints—friends who understand the challenges of marriage and motherhood and the banalities of day-to-day life. Bestselling author Elizabeth Ficocelli discovered three such friends in Thérèse of Lisieux, Faustina of the Divine Mercy, and Bernadette of Lourdes. The witness of their lives moved Ficocelli to cultivate the virtues of faith, hope, and love as she journeyed from a successful career as a marketing executive to what she found was a more authentic, even counter-cultural Catholic womanhood. Ficocelli offers women the wisdom of these saints for their own spiritual journeys.

In Short: Oddly compelling, but at the same time hollow feeling.  It feels like the author is rehashing stuff she’s done before (I say that not having read anything else she’s written.)

The Long Version:   I am (still) fascinated with non-fiction books about other people’s spiritual journeys. In particular, I enjoy it when people convert to another religion, or in this case from non-practicing-Christian to Catholicism.  I am ALSO fascinated with Catholicism. I requested this one from NetGalley  They weren’t mothers, nor where they even wives.  That said, I could see understand that one might learn something from them. For example, Saint Therese was an example of pure love. And, in all honestly, I did see where the author is going here. I can see how you should learn from the book that You! Too! Could be sainted if you only love Jesus/everyone enough, but I absolutely could not tell how the author was relating that to her life. Her personal stories were interesting, but they didn’t relate to the specific saints that she was claiming she was learning from.

I also didn’t feel like the book itself delved very deep. Let’s take for example Faustine of the Divine Mercy. Ficocelli repeated “Divine Mercy” roughly every other sentence, but barely even touched on what “Divine Mercy” means. Yes, I can see, God’s Mercy. Whatever. Tell me what that really means and why I WANT that, don’t assume that I know. OR assume that I am well versed in Catholic theology and write ALL the book like I know what you’re talking about. (It’s like telling someone they have a “Federally Compliant ID card” but not explaining what that is or why it matters.) Ficocelli also continually refers to books she’s written or read about each or the saints prior to writing this one, and I couldn’t tell what new thing this book brought to the table. Sure to me it’s all new, but I hate to read something that feels like a summary of something else. Perhaps if she’d done a better job of relating her personal stories to each saint and tying it all together I would not have felt this way. I really came out of it feeling like this is a 60 minute speech she gives somewhere and she padded it out to be a 180 page book.

In the end, I am more interested in the lives of these saints, and exactly what made them a saint, but I didn’t feel that this book was one I’d recommend to other people.


  1. I'm sorry you were disappointed, When I saw your title, I thought hmm, I've read about two of these ladies lives, but how could an author have tied them together. Interesting. I like to read books about women and how they became saints too. Although personally I think most mothers should be saints.

  2. The topic intrigues me but it doesn't sound like this is the book to start with.

  3. The premise sounds fascinating, but it definitely sounds like the execution fell short. Bummer!


Thanks for visiting, please leave a comment! Whenever possible I reply to comments via email, so please leave an email address if you want a direct reply. Anonymous users, I'm sorry, but until you stop leaving spam, you can't comment.

  © Blogger templates Psi by 2008

Back to TOP