The divine surprises and chastisements that shaped the Church and changed the world
Here are the saints and sinners, popes and kings that God used to shape his Church and change the world. You’ll meet Clovis and Charlemagne, Luther and Pope Leo, Suleiman and St. Francis, the Arians, the Franks, the Huguenots, and others whose sins or sacrifices altered the course of history.
Here, too, are the wars and plagues, the ideas and institutions -- and, yes, the miracles — that gave birth to our Christian civilization and often threatened to doom it. Experience the battles of Tours and Lepanto, the Crusades, the Russian Revolution, and Fatima, the miracle that foretold (and offered a way to prevent) the conflicts that killed millions in the twentieth century.
Wars and terrorism have rendered the first years of our new century no less bloody. Has God now abandoned us?
Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know finds the answer in history: from the first days of the Christian era, at key moments when civilization hung in the balance, God has intervened — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically — but ever and always he has come forward himself or given strength to those who were faithful to him. Consider, for example:
Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know is essential reading for any Catholic who wants to understand the history of our Faith. But it will give you more than knowledge: you’ll close this book with renewed confidence that no matter how dark and dangerous the times may be, God has never abandoned his people . . . and never will.
I am teaching a class of Catholic high school students about the Middle Ages, leading into the decline of Christendom. The chapter I opened up to was "The Protestant Catastrophe" and it alone is worth the price of the book. It clears up the confusion about the climate that produced such a fractured Christian world (hint: it wasn't about the moral laxity of the clergy or even doubts about the Real Presence. It was much more about the weakened spiritual state of the laity and the rise of nationalism.) I could easily follow when the author "connected the dots" and frankly, "followed the money" (the rising wealth of the merchant and business man in a prospering proto-capitalistic society) to show how easily men's hearts were turned from God to wordly affairs.
As a recent catholic convert and an individual who unjustifiably fancies himself an amateur historian, to me this book was a revelation. I had never previously read a history from a catholic perspective and this book was the perfect introduction. I'm convinced the thesis of this small book could be expanding into a phenomenal multivolume work.
I found the author's chapters entitled "The Protestant Catastrophe" and "The Age of Revolution" especially fascinating. These chapters made clear concepts I was only beginning to independently form.
This book found its way into my hands at just the right time and has had a profound effect on how I view history.
The Edict of Milan and the Liberation of the Church
St. Leo Staves Off the Huns
The Baptism of Clovis Gives Birth to France
The Coronation of Charlemagne, Father of Christendom
The Founding of Cluny and the Revival of Religious Life
Gateway to the Church's Most Glorious Age
The Protestant Catastrophe
The Battle of Lepanto - Our Lady's Naval Victory
The Age of Revolution
Fatima and the Twentieth Century
Islam at the Gates
Mystery and Destiny of the Church
Church Under Attack