Pope John Paul II canonized or beatified such a staggering number of people—well over fifteen hundred—that many of them remain as obscure after receiving their new title as they were before. If you have never heard of Bartolo Longo, the former satanic priest, you are not alone. And what about Enrico Rebuschini, who battled depression? Or the happily married Luigi and Maria Beltrame-Quattrocchi? In lively detail, Brian O'Neel tells the stories of these and more, a number of who are our near-contemporaries and coped with such horrors as Nazism (Jakob Gapp, Maria Restituta Kafka), slavery (Josephine Bakhita) or the Spanish Civil War (Vincente David Vilar). Amazing stories of ordinary human beings who demonstrate that holiness is not another word for boring, but a defining characteristic of those who threw themselves wholeheartedly into the adventure of life.
Brian O'Neel is a writer and editor in Wisconsin who has spent most of his career in California politics and writing for Catholic magazines. He and his wife are the parents of six children, and Brian’s dream is to someday get the whole family to a Green Bay Packers game.