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

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  797 ratings  ·  79 reviews
With his characteristic eloquence and brilliance, Fulton J. Sheen presents a moving portrayal of the Blessed Virgin Mary that combines deep spirituality with history, philosophy and theology. All the major aspects and events of Mary's life are lovingly portrayed in this word portrait that is a never failing source of information, consolation and inspiration. Sheen also giv ...more
Paperback, Anniversary Edition, 276 pages
Published July 5th 2010 by Ignatius Press (first published 1952)
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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Jane Francis
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Walter
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
Anne
Feb 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mary
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To begin: anyone who thinks that upon coming across this review will be reading a pleasant intake of this highly irritating book -will be utterly mistaken. So if you liked this review - it is simply for the reason that you understand its honesty.

Yes - I am a catholic. Yes - I did not like Archbishop Fulton Sheen and this book of his concerning Our Lady.

Why?
Let us take a look at page 139 entitled "Mary and the Moslems".
First thought - really? A whole ENTIRE book (considering this is an abrid
...more
Richard Grebenc
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jenn
Sep 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jim Gallen
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Ian
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
John
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bad Catholic that I am, I've always found it much easier to talk to Mary than to God. She seems so understanding and empathetic.

Fulton Sheen in a mystical way reveals the beauty of Mary. He has so much passion for the faith. Highly recommended.
Carolyn
I've never highlighted (digitally) so many book passages in my life! Sheen was skilled at encapsulating profound truth in a succinct sentence or two. I appreciate his keen insight and vast knowledge used here to explain the Blessed Mother's role in great depth. A few areas grew a little dull, and the final chapter and its focus on the atomic bomb was rather dated, but most observations apply just as readily now (or even more so) as when Sheen wrote them.
Joel
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing! Especially as Lenten reading to deepen my knowledge and appreciation of Our Blessed Mother. So many great quotes in this book too. One of my favorites, and a great response to anyone who thinks devotion to Mary somehow takes away from devotion to Jesus (it is actually the exact opposite), "If the only charge Our Lord has against us on Judgment day is that we loved His Mother then we shall be very happy!"
Jacqueline
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Looking for a good Catholic book? ‘Always choose Sheen,” says my Spiritual Director.
Florence Bernice
Venerable Fulton Sheen was a hopeless lover of the Blessed Mother, as one can feel from the tenderly-chosen words in this love letter to Mary. Parallels and allegories from Tradition and tradition pertaining to Mother Mary were made throughout this tribute-- Ven. Sheen loved drawing full circles with them-- making this book a beautiful and regal portrait of the Woman.
Barbara
Sep 12, 2015 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
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sunni
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jon
Dec 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Leigha Doerrer
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.
Lauren
Nov 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, own, religious, favorites
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.
Emily
A beautiful explanation and exposition of Marian belief and doctrine.
Ana Hlucny
Mar 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
TheRose
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
As always, Bishop Sheen takes my breath away with his eloquence.
Chad
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Patti
Dec 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saints
This book succeeds where others have failed!
Mark Kuberski
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great first half, second half was interesting, but I skimmed it, good work
Nanci
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Eric
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All his writing is wonderful.

Favourite chapter has to be on the Rosary.

Lots of gems.
Sue
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This was one of the most beautiful books I have ever read regarding The Virgin Mary and Jesus. Fr Fulton Sheen is without a doubt in my mind, a writer that can use words in certain ways that you need to put the book down and just shake your head in awe!! I will be reading more by him. I have to thank my son for putting this book into my hands after I asked him this past summer if he had any books on his shelf that I could read to learn about Mary...and he placed this one in my hands. This is a b ...more
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Archbishop 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".

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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.” 47 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.” 8 likes
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