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Publisher's Summary

Listening to Robert Ellsberg’s profiles of holy men and women is like throwing open a window in a stuffy old church and taking in great gulps of fresh air. Henri Nouwen has described his writing as “evocative without being pious”. He broadens the traditional vision of sanctity and calls modern listeners of all stripes to claim their potential for moral and spiritual growth, courage, and action. By choosing relevant models and contemporary heroes, he makes holiness accessible and attractive to ordinary people.

These 101 spiritual trailblazers span the centuries from Francis and Clare to Solanus Casey and Mychal Judge, with representatives from every walk of life and corner of the world. 

Each entry features the essential biographical facts and adds the insight and depth only Ellsberg can provide. The author’s sharp eye for signs and stories of holiness in the gritty, messy real world informs his selections, making his work unique. Obscure lay peasants, married activists, and controversial social reformers take pride of place alongside better-known theologians, founders, and canonized saints.

©2017 Robert Ellsberg (P)2018 Franciscan Media

Critic Reviews

"In a very readable, popularized style Robert Ellsberg has created insightful and inspirational interpretations of a host of holy Franciscans. They reveal a consistent thread throughout: how the commitment to personal poverty of these women and men was invariably linked to solidarity with their contemporaries who were poor." (Michael Crosby, OFM, speaker and award-winning author of Finding Francis: Following Christ)

"Finally the stories of the well-known and the unknown holy women and men of the Franciscan family are gathered together in one place! Robert Ellsberg does an excellent job narrating the inspiring, compelling and, at times, challenging legacies of these saints for a new generation." (Daniel P. Horan, OFM, author, Dating God: Live and Love in the Way of St. Francis)

"Robert Ellsberg provides us with the stories of that great cloud of witnesses who, inspired by Saint Francis, have followed the crucified and risen Lord. This volume, highly recommended, both informs the mind and nourishes the spirit." (Lawrence S. Cunningham, The University of Notre Dame)

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