Book Review: Real Women, Real Saints: Friends for your Spiritual Journey

Gina Loehr provides in her book short biographies of many women saints, blessed, venerable and other holy women with one man included, Blessed Luigi Corsini the husband of Blessed Maria; who were husband and wife and were beatified together as examples for the married life. These women lived at various times throughout history. Some were queens while others were peasants. Many were religious or nuns and others were converted prostitutes. The way of life for these holy women varies. All are inspiring and worthy of imitating.

Loehr has grouped these holy women into seven groups with an eighth reserved for the ultimate holy woman, Mary the mother of Jesus. The other seven groups are gathered under themes: faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Loehr devotes usually a page or two to a holy woman which includes not only the woman’s biography, but also how this person can be an example to today’s people. The book is geared so that the general reader and the scholar will benefit from these stories. This book is meant to inspire people to live good lives by providing examples of women who did it even in rough and dangerous times. Some of these women gave up their lives in order to remain loyal to Christ.

The more famous women like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Scholastica, St. Gertrude, St. Clare, St. Agnes, and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta are of course covered, but some less known holy women are included like, Blessed Frances Trethet, Saint Ludmilla, Venerable Edel Quinn, Lathrop, and Bustos de Molina. Loehr provides the holy woman’s dates, and when her feast day is or what she is patron of if beatified or canonized. Loehr provides a bibliography that includes books, journals, and Internet sites. There are no illustrations except on the cover which includes images of Saints Catherine of Siena, Edith Stein, and Joan of Arc. This book is highly recommended to those looking for a book on holy women, but do not want an overly academic treatment and something to inspire them.

Gina Loehr. Cincinnati : Servant Books. 166 pages. Paperback. July 2008. ISBN 978-0-86716-858-7. $13.99. [Available from CE's online store.]

Gina Loehr holds a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She writes and gives lectures on Catholic topics like saints and the virtues. She is also the author of Forming the Feminine Virtues (2008).

[CE Editors note: Gina Loehr is an occasional contributor to Catholic Exchange. Her articles can be found here: http://catholicexchange.com/author/gina-loehr/.]

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