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My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles

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3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  71 ratings  ·  15 reviews
An inspiring story of faith and family across two continents

Like millions of other Italians in the early twentieth century, Justin Catanoso's grandfather immigrated to America to escape poverty and hardship. Nearly a hundred years later, Justin, born and raised in New Jersey, knows little of his family beyond the Garden State.

That changes in 2001 when he discovers that hi
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Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 20th 2008 by William Morrow (first published 2008)
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Diane
After reading an article by the author in a in-flight magazine, I actually bought this book (unlike me, as that's what libraries are for), and gave it to my daughter. Several years have passed...I picked it up at her home and snagged it back (temporarily). I was expecting the book to be hilarious as was the original article that enticed me. Its not. Its a meaningful account/memoir of the author's experience reconnecting to his family and faith. There's a fair amount of Italian history and accoun ...more
Michelle
I got a copy in the mail a few weeks ago and devoured this book. It's just that good.

What would you do if you found out that your grandfather's cousin in southern Italy was about to become a saint?

When this happened to Justin Catanoso, he went on a mission to find the miracles his cousin performed (both Vatican-sanctioned and internal family stories), his long-lost extended family in Calabria, and his own lapsed Catholic faith.

What emerged from his journey is a wonderfully written, engaging book
...more
Kathleen Dixon
This was a very good read. We have biography, autobiography, learning about one's past and about another culture, and a spiritual journey through all of it. As I said in one of my updates, it didn't always grip me, but despite that I wasn't ever tempted to stop reading - I wanted to know how Catanoso got on in his search for understanding what being a saint is all about, and what it might mean to him.

I don't understand sainthood myself. My only experience with a person that others thought saintl
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William
Justin Catanoso has written an utterly delightful memoir/hagiography about his discovery of his relatives in Italy, including a cousin canonized as a Catholic saint. Justin's grandfather emigrated from Calabria and put his life there behind him. Justin grew up knowing almost nothing about his relatives there, until he received an email at work from a cousin who'd been searching for people with the same last name.

And what of the saint? Padre Gaetano Catanoso lived among the poor in Calabria, ser
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Marija
This is a must read for any Catholic...devout, mediocre, prayerful, casual, recovering, exploring, and all the rest. A very interesting look into the process of saint-making at the Vatican, but more so a powerful personal story of an Italian family reunited. Part faith journey, part history, part travelogue. Good read if you plan to travel to Italy or are American descendants of immigrant parents or grandparents. I want to go back to Croatia...
Melissa
expected more out of this book that I got from it. The parts of Padre Gaetano's life were dry in the beginning until he came alive through the stories of members of the author's family. I found myself struggling with this book just because it dragged on way too long. Padre Gaetano was a good man, but no offense to Justin, this book didn't do him as much justice as it should have.
DJ
This is a wonderfully engaging book; many stories rolled into one great book. The author, a young Italian American man, searches to find out more about his family here in the US, his family in Italy and his sainted cousin while teaching us a bit about the saint-making process and inviting us to share in his questions about his own faith evolution. A really great book.
Brian Clarey
As a reformed Catholic with Italian relatives in New Jersey, I identified strongly with the book — but not as strongly as y grandmother, who liked it so much she forced herself to read it slowly so she could savor it. My favorite part was about his uncle, who while in Europe during WWII appropriated a Jeep and drove down to the family's ancestral home in Italy.
Kim
Mar 12, 2011 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Justin Catanoso
Written by my friend and former professor, Justin, I really enjoyed this non-fiction piece. He is a journalist by trade, so his ability to dig deep for interesting facts and stories is evident. However, the book reads like a family drama story rather than a news piece, which I appreciated. Great job, Justin!
Kara
Very good so far! Occasionally teary-eyed as his writing reminds me of the family ties that bind us and the stories of this saint's life move me to consider the power of simple and profound faith poured out in service. The author lives in NC.
Gina
Loved this story about an Italian family, a faith journey and a saint that brought them all together. Saw this author speak at my church and bought several copies of this for my Italian cousins. Wonderful story.
Susan
This book sparked my interest in getting my Italian citizenship and talking to my Dad more about his life in Italy .. brought tears to my eyes and fond memories of visiting my family in Abruzzo .
Elizabeth
Nice read to pick up and read a chapter every now and then. Had my favorite element of history mixed with digging into family history and throw in a dash of spritual/ theological crisis.
Therese Collins
Interesting non-fiction about a family history, and how different generations and cultures deal with immigration.
Julie Raynor
I really enjoyed reading this by such an eloquent local author.
Leslie Fisher
Leslie Fisher marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2015
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Gina Marinello-Sweeney marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
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Justin Catanoso is a Pulitzer-nominiated newspaper journalist and an instructor at Wake Forest University. His is executive editor of The Business Journal in Greensboro, NC, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, BusinesWeek and on National Public Radio. He lives with his wife, songwriter Laurelyn Dossett, and their three children in Greensboro, NC. My Cousin the S ...more
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My Cousin the Saint

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