Karyl's Reviews > The Secret World of Saints: Inside the Catholic Church and the Mysterious Process of Anointing the Holy Dead

The Secret World of Saints by Bill Donahue
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Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: nook-reads, 2012, non-fiction
Read on January 07, 2012

An interesting look at what it takes to make a saint. It's not a very easy, quick, or cheap thing to do. Some saints have been waiting hundreds of years, including a Native American woman Donahue chooses to focus on, a Mohawk named Kateri Tekakwitha. I really had no idea of the costs involved! There was speculation by one of Donahue's sources that it could take up to a million dollars to canonize a modern saint. No wonder the Church is so wealthy.

Aside from the obvious instruction on making a saint, which is quite a lengthy procedure with many steps, Donahue lets slip some other interesting tidbits of information. Not being a Catholic myself, and not really paying much attention to Catholicism in general, I had always been pulled in to the charisma that Pope John Paul II had seemed to ooze from every pore, as popular as he was. Yet Donahue points out that he was really a reactionary, not wanting to modernize the Church by allowing female priests or relaxing the rule on celibacy, the sex scandals of the Church notwithstanding. It makes me want to research more on Pope John Paul II, to see if Donahue's claims hold water.

But this little book (and it is little, just 148 pages on my nook) has a very engaging feel. You feel more like you're sitting next to Donahue, having some tea and warming yourself by the fire as he spins his yarns about the Catholic church, than reading a dry tome of information. And because the nook (and I'm assuming the Kindle as well) makes jumping to endnotes and back to the text so much easier than in a traditional book, I actually read every last one of them as well.
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