The variety of female Saints we have in the Church are like the many ice cream flavors in Baskin Robbins. Hold tight with me, friend! But seriously, doesn’t ice cream always sound good, especially in the summertime?
Like the many types of ice cream flavors, there are so many unique and different expressions of vibrancy and holiness in the female Saints. We have authors, philosophers, mothers, and working women. There are artists, musicians, single women, and religious sisters.
There are so many beautiful expressions of holiness through the varied experiences of our sisters the Saints.
Summer is hopefully a time of rest and relaxation for you.
While you’re enjoying a bowl of your favorite ice cream, perhaps consider some various books by and about our many incredible female Saints.
Books By Female Saints
Essays on Woman by Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Edith Stein perhaps one of my favorite female Saints. If she were alive, I could easily see us discussing all things faith and reason over a delicious latte.
This book is one of Edith’s most well-known and loved writings. It is a compilation of different essays she wrote during her time as a lay Catholic and academic professor and thinker. Edith’s vibrant voice is one that is so needed in the Church today, especially when secular feminism downplays the importance of women in the world.
This is a good place to start if you are new to the writings of Edith Stein, as they present a summary of her teachings on woman’s nature, unique challenges, and opportunities. These essays include thought on female education, professional opportunities, spirituality, the Church, and women’s involvement in politics.
Interior Castle by Saint Teresa of Avila
I often use the words “feisty” and “spirited” to describe how Teresa of Avila lived her life.
An ardent and passionate Carmelite reformer, she was also a gifted writer and had deep spiritual experiences with Jesus. Her spiritual classic Interior Castle is based on a mystical vision she had with Jesus in prayer. Saint Teresa’s vision was of a beautiful, striking castle composed of seven chambers, or “mansions,” each representing a different stage in the spiritual life and development of a soul.
As a Christian enters the castle through prayer and meditation, the human needs to work through different attachments and vices as it moves from room to room.
Her work is one of the most well-known spiritual classics and is often used to describe the spiritual journey and continues to speak to the modern heart to this day.
Books About Female Saints
My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live by Maria Morera Johnson
Forgive me if you’re sensitive to language, but if you can get past the salty title, this is a well-composed, thoughtful book on many Saints or holy women I was unfamiliar with before reading it.
Catholic blogger and podcaster Maria Morera Johnson looks at the unique lives of twenty-four women who lived heroic lives of virtue in many different ways. A book like this is so perfect for summer because you can learn about lots of new women without reading a whole book on just one of them.
You’ll meet interesting women like the gun-slinging Servant of God Sr. Blandina Segale and Irena Sendler who helped smuggle children out of the Warsaw Ghetto. The book also includes a discussion which could make it a good fit for your next church book club.
One of the best things about being Catholic is the Communion of Saints and the message that there are so many unique ways to live the call of holiness in your life.
This gem of a book is similar to the previous one I mentioned: a compilation of all different types of unique holy women and Saints. Gina features real women who became Saints from the quiet to boisterous, single, married, divorced, post-abortive, hermits, doctors, teachers, great thinkers, and more.
I guarantee you will meet women you have heard of before and women you may discover for the very first time and find you have more in common than you realize.
There is no formula to sanctity and the author does a wonderful job presenting lots of different types of stories to the reader.
Spend Some Time with Your Sisters, the Saints
As the summer season warms up wherever you live, take some time to cool off (I usually will choose ice cream to help me with this!).
Spend some time reacquainting yourself with holy women and Saints you know, but also take advantage of getting to know some you’re not as familiar with.
What are some of your favorite books by and about our female Saints?
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