Italian Carmelite Antonio Maria Sicari's vibrant biographies of saints—from Augustine to Catherine of Siena to Faustina Kowalska—have been read across Europe for decades. In How Saints Die, Sicari turns to the most difficult challenge in the life of a Christian: the hour of death.
What he uncovers in this darkest moment, however, is not desolation, but inexplicable joy. "I have recounted the death of many saints," he writes, "but all of them have confirmed for me the truth of this ancient Christian intuition: in the death of a saint, it is death that dies!"
With in-depth research and a flair for storytelling, Sicari brings before our eyes the gracious last hours of one hundred men and women—lovers and martyrs, thinkers and workers, ancients and moderns, old men and teens. Included are Kateri Tekakwitha, Maximilian Kolbe, Mother Teresa, Thomas Aquinas, Josephine Bakhita, Jérôme Lejeune, Clare of Assisi, and many more. In each, a new shade of the divine light shines through.
Those seeking insight into the mystery of death and suffering will find in this book not only wisdom, but rich and realistic consolation. Divided into brief, readable chapters organized by theme, the collection offers at every bend another fine-grained snapshot of a Christian fully alive.
"With so much fear and anxiety in our world today, Father Sicari’s excellent book offers us a beautiful remedy: the saints. They teach us not only how to face life with grace, but how to face (our inevitable) death with the peace of Christ."
— Dawn Beutner, Author, Saints: Becoming an Image of Christ Every Day of the Year
"Father Sicari gives us a profound insight into the mystery of death, the ultimate human tragedy transformed and redeemed through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. By studying how the saints died, we gain courage and insight to face our own death with surrender, peace, and joy. This wonderful book will inspire believers to both live and die for the Lord, trusting in the One who has walked the valley of death before us and opened the way to eternal life."
— Most Rev. Donald Hying, Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin; Author, Love Never Fails
"Every day throughout the world, millions of Catholics ask Our Lady to pray for them 'at the hour of our death'. That petition in the Hail Mary calls to our attention the significance of that moment we all will face, when we will pass from this world to the next. It is the moment at which our life realizes its purpose and fulfillment. In How Saints Die, Antonio Maria Sicari puts before us the examples of the saints, of how they died, and—just as importantly—of how their holiness of life led them to a holy death. May these stories inspire us to live now in light of that moment when we too will greet the Bridegroom when He comes."
— Fr. Paul D. Scalia, Author, That Nothing May Be Lost: Reflections on Catholic Doctrine and Devotion