‘In Caelo et in Terra: 356 Days with the Saints’ is both beautiful and inspirational
Reviewed by Katie Bogner
“On earth as it is in Heaven.”
These are words that many of us say daily. During Mass, in our rosaries, together as a family, and in the quiet of our hearts, this petition in the Our Father reminds us that the will of God transcends time and place.
The saints discovered this truth during their lifetimes. These holy men and women venerated by the Church show us that the will of God is lived out here on earth in our love of God and neighbor and is also fulfilled by the call to our eternal home in Heaven.
The new saint anthology “In Caelo et in Terra: 365 Days with the Saints” by the Daughters of St. Paul provides a beautiful collection intended to inspire and guide our own growth in virtue.
CREATED BY THE DAUGHTERS OF ST. PAUL
Uniquely, this book was created in entirety by the Daughters of St. Paul. It was edited, illustrated, and designed by the Sisters with 25 of them contributing the saint biographies and reflections. The result of more than a decade of work, this is not just another standard encyclopedic gathering of the saints. This collection is intended to be an heirloom text used for years to come.
A beautiful mixture of saints and blesseds from the time of Christ until the 20th century and from all around the world, the beloved as well as lesser-known stories remind us of the universal call to holiness. Brief biographies make for an easy daily read, but the pages also include information on the saint’s lifespan, feast day, and patronages as well as a short reflection and prayer to close each page. Those final elements help elevate the factual text and transform the information into a cause for connection, challenge, and change in our own lives.
ORIGINAL ART ON EVERY PAGE
Usually we only expect quality illustrations as a hallmark for children’s books, but the original art on every page of “In Caelo et in Terra” enhances the text and engages the eyes. Each biography includes a unique image inspired by photographs or paintings of that saint and features symbols of their patronages, ministries, and martyrdoms. The details of the illustrations are allowed to shine within a simple black and white color scheme, and the pages present a variety of portraits, symbols, or the saint’s hands holding the instruments of their life’s work.
Thoughtful details also set this book apart. The striking hardback cover is embellished with gold and is a substantial 10-by-7 inches. The large size and quality publication gives the book a certain weightiness, making it perfect to leave out as a coffee table book or display on a family home altar. A ribbon bookmark makes it easy to flip to the saint of the day, but thorough indices provide organization for the saints alphabetically, by feast day, and by patronages. A selection of prayers is also included as part of the conclusion of the book, and lovely endpapers add another layer of beauty each time the book is opened and closed.
During this Season of Advent, we celebrate the bringing earth to Heaven and Heaven to earth. First in his Incarnation and birth and later when he comes again at the end of time, Jesus Christ unites the entirety of his creation. Within the pages of “In Caelo et in Terra,” we are given examples of the many ways it is possible to follow Christ as well as the intercession of countless prayer warriors to help us stay the path and do God’s will, both on earth and as it is in Heaven.