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The World's First Love: Mary, Mother of God

4.58  ·  Rating Details ·  473 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Sheen presents a moving, eloquent portrayal of Mary, Mother of God. Combining profound spirituality, history, and theology, Mary's whole life is lovingly portrayed in this never failing source of information, consolation and inspiration.
Paperback, 276 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Ignatius Press (first published 1952)
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Feb 12, 2009 Anne rated it it was amazing
This is the first Sheen book I ever read. This is what made me fall in love with Fulton Sheen. Now I want to name one of my kids Fulton, but Peter won't go for it.
Jane Francis
Feb 07, 2012 Jane Francis rated it it was amazing
My favorite Marian book so far. Need something simple and down-to-earth, yet enlightining and theologically rich? Something to kindle, rekindle, or enrich your personal Marian devotion? Just want to know why Catholics love Mary so much, and why you should?
If you will read only one book about Mary,choose this one!

Great book for anyone, but I'd recommend this one especially for:

*Those in RCIA, or interested in Catholicism
*Teens and young adults, especially those preparing for Confirmation or othe
Oct 02, 2015 Walter rated it it was amazing
Easily the best Catholic teacher in American History, Archbishop Fulton Sheen outdid himself in this classic work about Catholic devotion to Mary, Mother of God. Many of you are familiar with Bishop Sheen as the outstanding teacher who held primetime TV audiences in fascination during his 1950s and 60s show "Life is Worth Living." But you may not be aware that Bishop Sheen as written a number of great books on Catholic teaching. And each of these books have the same outstanding arguments and exc ...more
Richard Grebenc
Jan 03, 2013 Richard Grebenc rated it it was amazing
Read as a devotional to Our Lady while also reading Kempis's "Imitation of Christ," I came away enriched due to Bishop Sheen's extraordinary ability to weave theology, philosophy, history, and spirituality in such an effortless manner. In Part I: "The Woman the World Loves," Sheen has us walk with him through all the significant events of Mary's life, contemplating her reactions and the significance of them for all time and for each of us personally. The second part, "The World the Woman Loves," ...more
Sep 19, 2010 Jenn rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jenn by: Fr. John
It took me a little while to get into this book, but I found in Chapter 12 a section on the nature of men and women that was fascinating as well as insightful. I would read this book just for this section, but there's more!

This book wins just for these sentences: "Which stands up better in a crisis - man or woman? The best way to arrive at a conclusion is to go to the greatest crisis the world ever faced, namely, the Crucifixion of Our Divine Lord. When we come to this great drama of Calvary, th
Sep 12, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book answered many questions I've always had about Our Blessed Virgin Mary, and I'm a "cradle Catholic". Bishop Sheen shares beautiful Scriptural insights and teaches early church history in a mostly easy to read format. I almost didn't finish this because by the second half of the book he is repeating reflections already presented and also the literary style gets a bit flowery or "old fashioned." That being said, I am very glad I stuck with it and am quite struck by a book written in the 1 ...more
Jim Gallen
Aug 18, 2013 Jim Gallen rated it it was amazing
“The World’s First Love” is a collection of Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s writings on the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this book, as on his television programs, the Archbishop Sheen weaves together scripture, theology and human experience with his own unique insights. His chapters deal with Love, that begins as a dream, the relationship of love and freedom , the origins of belief in the virgin birth, Mary as compared to all mothers, the marriage of Mary and Joseph, the role of the Marriage Feast at Cana ...more
Fr. Ryan Humphries
Mar 12, 2012 Fr. Ryan Humphries rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: All Catholics, especially those struggling intellectually with the BVM.
Sheen brings his mastery of language and devotion to Our Lady. It's a great book and a necessary one for Catholics who have a hard time understanding why Mary is so important (and really necessary) for the Catholic Faith.
Lindsay Wilcox
I've loved all of the episodes of Life Is Worth Living I've seen, so I expected more of the same awesomeness from this book. I was not disappointed. Archbishop Sheen shares a series of masterful reflections on the Blessed Virgin Mary and her role in Catholic theology and Catholic life and worldview. He makes compelling arguments for the Virgin Birth being a secret until after the Resurrection and for St. Joseph's being a young man. The level is pretty highly academic, but if you chew on it, you ...more
Rosemary Lauryn
Jul 21, 2015 Rosemary Lauryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Excellent work! This book presents an inspiring spiritual portrait of Our Lady and how we, in modern times, should relate and turn to her. Not difficult to read or comprehend. I also love that Sheen doesn't mince words, and when he wants to make a point about something - be it bad or good - the reader unquestioningly knows what it is. I found this particularly helpful as a modern woman as he points out many of society's misconceptions about the Church's view of women and how modern, anti-Christi ...more
Jul 18, 2009 Sunni rated it it was amazing
Fulton Sheen is an excellent writer. He has the ability to put beautifully into words mysteries that are naturally difficult to verbally pin down. His insights helped me to appreciate and understand more completely the significance of Our Blessed Mother.
Mar 16, 2013 Ian rated it it was amazing
This is one of the greatest works on Mary that exists. Fulton Sheen clearly brings to light many aspects of Our Lady and what it means to Christians. It is a good introduction to anyone who needs to know anything about Marian devotion.
Mark Kuberski
Feb 11, 2013 Mark Kuberski rated it really liked it
Great first half, second half was interesting, but I skimmed it, good work
Dec 18, 2007 Jon rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who wants a good book on Mary, the Mother of God.
A great read...I think I want to pick it up a second time!
Nov 06, 2009 Lauren rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, religious, 2009, own
Although it did not captivate me as well as Life of Christ, it was still a marvelous book about Our Lady and well written by Bishop Sheen. I am glad to own a copy to return to it again and again.
Apr 18, 2011 TheRose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
As always, Bishop Sheen takes my breath away with his eloquence.
Sep 05, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
A beautiful explanation and exposition of Marian belief and doctrine.
Jul 13, 2012 Chad rated it liked it
I love the works of Fulton Sheen, but this one is a little light on research and heavy on assumption and opinion. Not the best book by Sheen and not the best book on Mary, but still worth a read.
May 13, 2013 Nanci rated it it was amazing
As only Archbishop Sheen could do, this book ran me through the gauntlet of emotions, all while keeping my mind busy with new thoughts on The Blessed Mother.
Ana Hlucny
Mar 05, 2011 Ana Hlucny rated it it was amazing
A great man's letter to the world about the Woman he loves. What a beautiful book! I have already recommended it to several people and look forward to reading it again.
Leigha Doerrer
Mar 16, 2008 Leigha Doerrer marked it as to-read
Highly recommended by my priest to me a few months ago, Lent would have been a perfect time to read this one, but it continues to sit on my nightstand. He says it is great though.
Raymond Maigue
I need to read this!
Jul 19, 2017 Adele rated it it was amazing
Archbishop Sheen is brilliant! I could have highlighted at least half the book of his wise quotes!
Matthew Villella
Mar 12, 2017 Matthew Villella rated it it was amazing
Fulton Sheen never lets me down. Always accessible, yet often profound, the good bishops love of Our Lady comes through on every page!
Steven R. McEvoy
This was the fifth book by Fulton J. Sheen that I read this year. With each book that I read I find that with each book I read the more of his writings I add to my reading list. This book was an amazing read. It was very interesting reading Sheen's theology of Mary our Mother and her role in leading people to Christ Jesus. And this book with its focus on Mary and Marian theology is inspiring.

The Chapters in this book are:
1 Love Begins with a Dream
2 When Freedom
Alice Seidel
Mar 17, 2014 Alice Seidel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is truly a treasure! Archbishop Fulton Sheen gives us Mary in ways we have never experienced!

He breaks down for us all of Mary's most obscure life. He brings her to life!

One of the very first things he speaks about is freedom. This entity in our lives is in such a fragile state today. Sheen opens our eyes to what it means to be truly free!

Here is a little of what he has to say:

"The true concept of freedom is 'Freedom is the right to do whatever we ought', and ought implies goal, pur
May 05, 2014 Dionne rated it really liked it
I am a bit torn on this one. I did not fully agree with a tiny bit of comment regarding another faith in one of the chapters, but it's still an excellent piece of work, re-acquainting me to Our Lady, and for which fact I am entirely grateful.

Furthermore, Archbishop Sheen is an intelligent writer and one hardly comes across logical fallacies in his arguments that when one actually does, it becomes a little difficult to let it go. At one point, and only one, I felt that he - intelligently and smo
Nick Shelton
May 19, 2015 Nick Shelton rated it really liked it
To be honest I'm not sure whether this book deserves 5 stars or 2 stars.

Five stars:
Truly one of the most inspiring spiritual works I've ever read. It's accessible and theologically rich. Probably the best book
I've ever read on Our Blessed Mother.

Two stars:
I kinda of like this about Fulton Sheen but he wrote for his culture. The book is engrossed in the culture of the red scare. There's a long comparison between the philosophy of Mary and the philosophy of Marx. The last chapter is about the at
Maria Renate
May 12, 2016 Maria Renate rated it it was amazing
I'm not a big fan of religious books, but Sheen's expansive little book reads like the Magnificat. A book by a wise man with a deep understanding of human nature and the human condition, he goes in depth into looking at spousel relationships and the state of the world in relation to the Mother of God.
He also introduced me to Thomas Merton with an excerpt from Merton's Tears of the Blind Lions, which I also subsequently read, and loved, and I'm not a big poetry reader either.
May 27, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok
I just couldn't finish this. Too heavy for me I guess. My mom's group was reading this so I kept up with the reading only to be able to participate in the discussions. Then by the end I couldn't make the meetings and just had no desire to read it for my own sake. There were a few really beautiful bits in this book, but overall, it wasn't for me.
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Fulton John Sheen, born Peter John Sheen was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002, and so he is now referred to as a "Servant of God".
More about Fulton J. Sheen...

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“The mark of man is initiative, but the mark of woman is cooperation. Man talks about freedom; woman about sympathy, love, sacrifice. Man cooperates with nature; woman cooperates with God. Man was called to till the earth, to "rule over the earth"; woman to be the bearer of a life that comes from God.” 35 likes
“as the mother knows the needs better than the babe, so the Blessed Mother understands our cries and worries and knows them better than we know ourselves.” 2 likes
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