Saints: A Visual Almanac of the Virtuous, Pure, Praiseworthy, and Good by Tom Morgan is an owner's manual for those who want to live once again in the daily presence of saints. Its pages are alive with rich design, color and illustration; its content gives us all we need to get started on a saint-conscious life: a glossary of terms once much in vogue and now fossilized, a calendar of saints, lists noting areas of patronage (Funeral Directors, look up Joseph of Arimathea) and brief, wonderfully told biographies.
The book has the look and feel of a maker who is sensitive to the materials of this world and to the texture of words. He paints the saints he knows in vivid, luscious language and pictures. St. Peter Celestine, listed as patron of bookbinders, clearly had a hand in this one.
Washington, DC Post, November 1994
Here they go marching in, according to feast day, complete with capsule descriptions of their lives, deaths and respective niches in the panoply of intermediaries between God's grace and humans. On February 3 we have Saint Blaise, whose healing of a boy with a fishbone lodged in his throat has made him invocable for better health (priests used to bless parishioners while touching their necks with a pair of crossed candles on Saint Blaise's Day) while his martrydom "by having his flesh torn apart by iron combs before he was beheaded" has made him the patron saint of wool-carders (who apparently were without shame). Saint Christopher gets a write-up, even though the Catholic Church has stricken him from the roll of saints. Saint Cecilia's protection of muscians, it turns out, had to do with heavenly music being piped into her bedroom to help persuade her husband that they should not consummate their marriage but devote themselves to Christ. As for Saint Sebastain in later centuries widely depicted as a bound, half-naked youth whose flank is pierced by arrows the author notes that in early representations he was "an elderly man with a beard, wearing a crown of thorns.
The book has the look and feel of a maker who is sensitive to the materials of this world and to the texture of words. He paints the saints he knows in vivid, luscious language and pictures. St. Peter Celestine, listed as patron of bookbinders, clearly had a hand in this one. Los Angeles Times Book Review