A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles
by Justin Calanoso

Archive for December, 2009

Posted: A recommendation

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

Found today on a message board:

I loved My Life With the Saints and My Cousin the Saint (completely unrelated books, just similar titles). I love, love, love saint biographies!

Nancy in MD. Mom of ds (17) & dd (11); 24-year Navy wife. Writer and dance mom.

Thank you, Nancy. Being in the same company at Father Jim Martin’s mega-bestseller is pretty nice. Both books are available on Amazon and a Barnes & Noble near you.

Pope gets knocked down in St. Peter’s

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A woman jumped the barriers in St. Peter’s Basilica and knocked down Pope Benedict XVI as he walked down the main aisle to begin Christmas Eve Mass on Thursday, a Vatican spokesman said.

Story here.

Vatican Defends Move to Sainthood for Wartime Pope

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

The NY Times reports today:

“ROME — In an effort to calm growing tensions with Jewish groups, the Vatican said Wednesday that Pope Benedict XVI had not moved the wartime Pope Pius XII closer to sainthood as an “act of hostility” against those who believe Pius did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.”

…This pope seems to have a difficult time avoiding controversy, from provoking Muslims to giving Holocaust-deniers a free pass to advancing the canonization cause of one of the most controversial popes of modern times. One has a right to ask: Why?

Research for my book revealed that Pius XII was not nearly the monster his critics accused him of being, nor was he the Nazi sympathizer he was charged with being either. The historical record seems to argue that Pius took great risks to hide and protect Jews in Italy during WWII in Vatican-owned property. That’s all good. But what, we must ask, is the purpose of canonization? Is it to simply honor the church’s best-known figures? Or is it to honor those who truly lived lives of heroic virtue, and whose lives can be an  inspiration to the faithful — role models for emulation? If Pius can truly pass the test of the latter, he deserves his shot at Catholic recognition. If, on the weight of the evidence, he cannot, than this cause should die and be done with.

But for a German pope to push this cause forward, it seems another case of the Vatican’s blindness to perceptions.

Closer to sainthood

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

giansanti of JPII
NYT reports here:

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI moved two of his predecessors a step closer to sainthood on Saturday, confirming the “heroic virtues” of John Paul II and, in a surprise move, those of Pius XII, the pope during World War II.

Hometown endorsement

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Posted recently on the online bulletin board of “This isn’t a commercial but I must tell you I just finished reading a very wonderful book called “My Cousin The Saint” by former North Wildwood resident writer, teacher, Justin Catanoso. Honest, a beautiful read.  —Wildwood”


N&O story, revisited

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Raleigh News & Observer reporter Yonat Shimron wrote this story shortly after My Cousin the Saint was released in May 2008. She is a teriffic reporter and writer.

New York Times coverage

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

My Google alert for “Gaetano Catanoso” pushed me this morning a story from history — a New York Times feature about the beatification of a gypsy in 1997 by Pope John Paul II in Rome. Just so happens, my cousin was beatified in the same ceremony. Of course, at the time, I knew nothing about this cousin, and no had idea he was on a path toward sainthood. Must’ve missed this story in the Times, too…

Family Tree Magazine

Monday, December 14th, 2009

A monthly magazine about family lineage offers a blurb about My Cousin the Saint in its January 2010 issue. Not too late to make it a Christmas present! Click here.