AD2000 - a journal of religious opinionAD Books
Ask a Question
View Cart
Search AD2000: author: full text:  
AD2000 - a journal of religious opinion
Find a Book:

AD2000 Home
Article Index
About AD2000
Contact Us
Email Updates


Add Me
Remove Me

Subscriber Access:

Enter the Internet Access Key from your mailing label here for full access!


THE BOOK OF ALL SAINTS, by Adrienne von Speyr

Bookmark and Share

 Contents - Sep 2009AD2000 September 2009 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: 2009 Fighting Fund launched - Peter Westmore
USA: Anglicans fragmenting over homosexuality - Babette Francis
News: The Church Around the World
Christian Life: Courage and EnCourage: a chaste lifestyle for the same-sex attracted - Marie Mason
Liturgical Books: The case for a new Missal translation - Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Campus Life: Brisbane hosts 2009 Australian Catholic Student Association Conference - Br Barry Coldrey
Priesthood: Reflections of a newly ordained Sydney priest - Fr James Mccarthy
FOUNDATIONS OF FAITH: Sola Fide (by Faith Alone): is this sufficient for salvation? - Frank Mobbs
The Reformation and England's changing Coronation Oath - Tom Johnstone
Letters: Galileo - David Walker
Letters: Ambiguities in Vatican II? - George Simpson
Letters: Women priests - Name and Address Supplied
Letters: Abortion evil - Diana E. Fox
Letters: Ultrasound - Anne Lastman
Letters: Religious freedom at risk - Tim Rebbechi
Books: JOHN GERARD: Autobiography of an Elizabethan, trans. By Philip Caraman SJ - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Letters: Latin Course for Fluency
Books: DOVE DESCENDING: A Journey into T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets, by Thomas Howard - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: THE BOOK OF ALL SAINTS, by Adrienne von Speyr - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Poetry: 11 September, 2001: The Towers - Will Elsin
Books: DEIFICATION AND GRACE, by Daniel Keating - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: This month's selection from AD Books
Reflection: The centrality of the tabernacle - Bishop John M. D'Arcy

by Adrienne von Speyr
(Ignatius Press, 2008, hardback, 429pp, $49.90.
ISBN 978-1-58617-192-6. Available from Freedom Publishing)

Some books appeal to the general reader, some to specialists and others defy category. The present book belongs to the last. Superficially, Adrienne von Speyr's The Book of All Saints consists of thumb-nail, two-to-three page accounts of the lives of scores of canonised saints. However, there is much more to this book.

Von Speyr (1902-1967) was a Swiss physician who converted to Catholicism in 1940. During the next 27 years, the famous 20th century theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, was Adrienne's confessor and spiritual director. He observed her interior life carefully and was convinced she was gifted with a special mission in the life of the Church, namely to revitalise personal, as well as communal faith and prayer.

Prior to her conversion and afterwards, Adrienne worked in close collaboration with von Balthasar, and together they founded the Secular Institute of the Community of St John. On another level, Adrienne, the mystic, received intimate portraits of men and women in conversation with God. She was favoured with many visions of individual saints throughout her life, both as a Protestant and after she was received into the Catholic Church.

It is not clear from the Introduction to this translation from the original German whether Adrienne's visions and mystical life have been investigated and received the approbation of the Church. However, the content and tone of the book are clearly within the Magisterium.

The punch-line follows: The Book of All Saints explores the prayer life (only) of scores of saints. Adrienne was able to put herself in the place of various individuals to observe and describe their prayer, their whole attitude before God.

The Book of All Saints should be in monastic and theological libraries world-wide, although this reviewer suspects its contents would make very serious demands on any reader unacquainted with mystical literature in general.

Dr Barry Coldrey taught in Christian Brothers colleges for many years and is currently a writer and lecturer and active in youth ministry.

Bookmark and Share

Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 22 No 8 (September 2009), p. 17

Page design and automation by
Umbria Associates Pty Ltd © 2001-2004