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Pierced by a Sword

(Pierced by a Sword #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  765 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Vintage paperback
Mass Market Paperback, 571 pages
Published December 31st 1996 by Saint Jude Media (first published May 1st 1995)
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Rating details
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Nov 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
I have to be frank here. This is a thoroughly awful novel. It is poorly written. The dialogue was completely unbelievable, using 1950s slang in a 1990s context. There is no character development in this novel. The main characters of this novel were drug abusers, materialists and womanizers who miraculously are converted to perfect Christians overnight. One of the great features of religious fiction is the believer's struggle with their own sinfulness as well as society's rejection of Christian v ...more
Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the few books that actually makes me want to take action in changing the world. It's excellent Catholic fiction that clearly depicts the power of prayer and the influence of God in the world. It's a powerful tale with engaging characters (there are few more real people in fiction than Fr. Chet) and clearly illustrates the heroic courage they have in professing faith and doing what is necessary to "save mankind for eternity."
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I picked up this book for free from the local Catholic church and I guess the price was about right! Let me just start by saying that the theological positions the writer of this book apparently takes are horrible. He appears to have very little knowledge of the historic Catholic faith and oversimplifies a very complex and rich faith tradition.

I would venture to say that the superstitiousness of Macfarlane is almost laughable. I fail to see how it is genuinely spiritual to believe that God and
Dec 07, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to booklady by: Morning Star
This comes from the page just before the book's Prologue and is the source of the book's title: 'And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted and you yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." (Luke 2:34-35)

Although it is a work of fiction, Pierced By a Sword is a thought-provoking read. An Irish Pope, a playboy, an unmarried pregnant
Oct 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was noble attempt at fending off the Left Behind hysteria. Not all of the Marian Apparitions in the book were approved. I did enjoy the story line and the author's ability to weave in Catholic perspective was interesting. However, I thought there were many instances of unfavorable stereotyping. I would not encourage someone to read this book unless they were a devout Catholic and could see around these tricky nuances...between the True Faith and fear.
Laine Bodin
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Incredible book! I could not put it down. The characters are so real. You feel like you know them and they are your friends. Full of action and suspence. It is also a love story that goes with the plot (guys - don't be scared). A great book for guys and girls! After reading it, it jumped to number 1 on my favorite book list! Read it. You will love it!
Sally Sarko
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read this book 4 or so times and it is a treat each time I read it. It's one of the few books I remember both my parents reading (on vacay) and being really excited about and I couldn't wait until I was old enough to read it
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: catholic, fiction, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't read many novels, but I read this within a week; I couldn't put it down. I am looking forward to reading the next two by Macfarlane: Conceived Without Sin and House of Gold. I read this one as a young teenager well over a decade ago but it was over my head at the time and I only remembered a few scant details. Now, however, this story has helped me better visualize Mary's role through the grace of God in the Communion of Saints for the greater glory of her Son. It has inspired me to look ...more
Book Bite Reviews
Nov 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: i-own-it
This book helps you understand and experience what Divine providence is like. It can help fallen away catholics or even protestants come back to the Church even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed. In fact the book is used by the Mary Foundation and St. Jude Media to evangelize. They are offered free to anyone interested at

If you are into Marian Apparitions and the Catholic Faith you'll want to read the next in the series: Conceived Without Sin. It is purely fiction as
Feb 19, 2016 added it
I can't even give this book one star. It was just that bad. The author attempts to demonstrate the superiority of self-righteousness, giving the impression immoral behavior (taking a life) is okay if you do it for Jesus. The entire story centers around superstition and prophecy that is believed as fact by a small segment of the population. There is better religious fiction out there. Avoid this one. Unless you need kindling.
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is fascinating as a uniquely Catholic apocalypse novel. No "left behind" rapture theories here, just good ol' Marian apparitions, incredible insights into the power of prayer and plenty of amazing references to Catholicism that will have all you papists proud to be part of the original Christian tradition.
i want to make a movie of this book. it is outstanding
Jul 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Bonnie by: Newman
Shelves: newman
Soren Chargois
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Few books have changed my life and this is one of them. I have lent it to friend after friend, but I can't get myself to give it away for good. There's too much richness and knowledge! I mean, I have found myself going to Mary more and more since this book, and the book actually started me on a journey to become consecrated to Mary! So I'm looking forward to joining Mary's Militia on March 25, 2018. I believe every practicing Catholic who is serious about death and conversion and salvation needs ...more
Deborah Yetman
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking

This book made me really think of my relationship with the BVM and DM. Through Mary's Immaculate Heart to Jesus' Sacred Heart I pray for many conversions to our Lord.
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent Catholic fiction. Part of a series, one of which I arbitrarily gave away when prompted to by the Holy Spirit on an airplane. Enjoy
Jun 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is pretty bad. I read it the first time in the late 1990s as a conservative Catholic convert teenager, half-terrified of Y2K and totally terrified of hell. Back then, I couldn't put the book down. This time around, based on my recollections, I figured it would be decent, pulpy place-saver between books I had more interest in. But this time, I can't figure out what I found so gripping before. At least three quarters of the book is exposition and pretty dull. Much of the dialogue is forc ...more
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, religion
This is one of the few books I've ever read twice. It is not great literature: the author is competent, but the writing is pretty plain. It is, however, an interesting story. Pierced by a Sword is the Catholic answer to the Left Behind series. As the world begins to experience the Tribulations--a Biblical prophecy related to the end of times--a group of flawed but orthodox Catholics plant the seeds for resistance, renewal, and resurrection. I thought I would re-read it during this Lenten season, ...more
Mar 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is an edit:
I must re-examine my evaluation of Pierced by a Sword.

I had mixed feelings about this book. It is quite possible that God would allow the apocalyptic events to happen (unprecedented economic crisis, earthquakes in New York, nuclear war). However I'm not a fan of this type of literature. The Bible says clearly that only the Father knows the day and the hour.

"Pierced by a Sword" is very fast-paced with an overwhelming number of characters and personalities. However, it is stereot
Nov 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion, thrillers
Read this as a teen, when I was deep in the apocolyptic reactionary phase my faith journey. As a page-turner, it certainly gets the job done, because I kept turning the pages, eager to find out what happened next. For someone immersed in the conservative Catholic worldview as I was, this was a compelling read, cleverly incorporating the solid core of endtime fears and hopes for my fearful demographic, convinced that we would soon become the faithful remnant, and prepared to shhot it out with the ...more
Jan 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I'm reading this again for the 3rd time. I've forgotten most of it, so it was time to read it again. This is big for me because I can't think of another book, besides Bud Macfarlane's, that I've read more than once! I just can't read something more than once when there are so many other books I have on my waiting list!!! This one is worth it.

The writing doesn't compare to classics, but it's a good story, moral, and spiritual, and always has a lesson for me, so it's worth repeating for me.
Apr 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Lindsey B. gave me this book the day of my Confirmation and First Communion. She said she buys five at a time and gives them away. I thought she was a tad over the top until I read the book. Awesome! And again I say-- Awesome!
A guilty pleasure to be sure. It is a quick, light read that weaves heavy topics and theology in effortlessly. It is basically an RC friendly novel of the "Left Behind" genre.
Loved it! Just got 5 of my own to give away! ;)
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is the most intensely devout Catholic book I have ever read. The End Times prophecies are depicted in this fictional account from a decidedly Catholic view. This book, Susie Randash who gave me my first copy (autographed by Bud), and the grace of God were responsible for my return to the faith with a fire in my belly that could not be quenched. Go to to request your free copy. Read it. Live it. Share it. To Jesus through Mary. May God bless you.
Feb 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down, all three times. Some parts of it may offend members of our tolerance crazed society but I read it with an open heart and it started me and 6 of my siblings on the road back to God. Maybe the books good, it helped me to know that God is good and wants me to know Him intimately.
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read this book years ago, but I still love it! It's fantastical, yet also relevant. There's some stuff in there that will really make you think if you are a Catholic, or if you have ever wanted to know more about certain aspects of Catholicism. It's written like a sci-fi novel in some ways, but it's interesting how much of Catholic life is incorporated into it without being overly preachy, etc. Anyway, it's not meant to be a study in theology, but it does make you think!
Chris Adler
Jun 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chris by: my dad
This book blew me away! Couldn't read it fast enough. It really put Catholic daily living into perspective! It's been about 7-8 years since I read it, but it's still top of my list and would be especially appropriate for older teens who are questioning their faith, or Catholicism in general. Awesome, awesome, awesome!
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
I first read this book about 10 yrs ago and loved it. Just finished a re-read and while I found the writing a bit cheesier than I remembered, the overall story was just as good. It's a bit eerie reading about the destruction of NY city and the resulting financial collapse in the book, when it was written quite a few years before 9/11.
Sep 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reread
Excellent! Unique! I admit there were a few parts that I found a wee bit naive, bordering sappy. But the book's positive characteristics FAR exceeded the few faults I found with it. I HIGHLY recommend this book which can be purchased from, through the Mary Foundation for as little as $1.00!
Nancy Reynolds
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It really kept me reading and I was looking forward to the second book, which I enjoyed as much as this one (Conceived Without Sin). The third book of the trilogy, House of Gold, felt like it was stretching the story a bit, though, and unnecessary.
I would recommend this one to any fans of the religious fiction genre and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a book I could re-read.
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One of the most popular Catholic writers in America, Bud Macfarlane grew up in New Jersey with nine sisters and one brother and graduated with honors from the University of Dame. In 1991 he started the Mary Foundation, the world's largest producer of Catholic CDs and booklets. A father of four, his three best-selling novels are available from Saint Jude Media and on Kindle, and his long-running mo ...more

Other books in the series

Pierced by a Sword (3 books)
  • Conceived Without Sin
  • House of Gold