Saints
quoted or discussed:
St. Aelred of Rievaulx (1110-1167) • St. Agatha • St. Agnes (d. c. 304) • St. Agnes of Assisi (d. 1253) • St. Albert the Great (c. 1200-1280) • St. Albert of Montecorvino (d. 1127) • St. Aldegund (d. 684) • St. Aldetrude (d. 696) • St. Alessio Falconieri (d. 1310) • St. Alferius (d. 1050) • St. Aloysius Gonzaga (1568-1591) • St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) • St. Alphonsus Rodriguez (d. 1617) • St. Ambrose (c. 340-397) • St. Ammonas the Hermit (d. c. 350) • Bl. Andre Bessette (1845-1937) • St. Andrew Bobola (d. 1657) • St. Andrew Corsini (1302-1373) • St. Andrew of Fiesole • St. Angadrisma (d. c. 695) • St. Ann • Bl. Anne-Marie Jahouvey (1779-1851) • St. Anselm (c. 1033-1109) • St. Ansgar (801-865) • St. Anthony (251-356) • St. Anthony Claret (d. 1870) • St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) • Bl. Antonia Mesina (1919-1935) • St. Antoninus (1389-1459) • Bl. Antony Grassi (d. 1671) • St. Apollo (d. c. 395) • St. Apollonia (d. 249) • Bl. Arnould Jules Reche (1838-1890) • Bl. Arnulf of Villers (c. 1180-1228) • St. Arsenius (d. c. 449) • St. Athanasius (c. 297-373) • St. Augustine (354-430) • St. Augustine of Canterbury (d. c. 605) • St. Barnabas • St. Bartholomea Capitanio (1807-1833) • St. Bartholomew • St. Bartholomew of Farne (d. 1193) • St. Basil the Elder • St. Basil the Great • St. Bavo (d. c. 655) • St. Benedict (c. 480-c. 547) • St. Benedict Joseph Labre (1748-1783) • St. Benildus (1805-1862) • St. Bernadette (1844-1879) • St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) • Bl. Bernard of Offida (d. 1694) • St. Bertilia (seventh century) • St. Bertilla Boscardin (1885-1922) • St. Blase (d. c. 316) • St. Blesilla (d. 383) • St. Bogumilus (d. 1182) • St. Bonaventure (1221-1274) • St. Boniface (c. 680-754) • St. Boniface of Lausanne (d. 1260) • St. Brendan (d. 577 or 583) • St. Bridget of Sweden (1304-1373) • St. Brigid (c. 450-c. 525) • St. Bruno (1030-1101) • St. Cajetan (1480-1547) • St. Callistus (d. c. 222) • St. Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) • Bl. Caroline Kozka (1898-1914) • St. Casimir (1461-1484) • St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) • St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380) • St. Celestine V (c. 1210-1296) • St. Ceowulf (d. 764) • St. Charles Borromeo (1538-1584) • St. Charles Garnier (d. 1649) • Bl. Charles the Good (d. 1127) • St. Charles Lwanga (d. 1886) • St. Charles of Sezze (d. 1670) • Bl. Christina of Stommeln (1242-1312) • Bl. Christopher of Mexico (c. 1514-1527) • St. Clare of Assisi (c. 1193-1253) • Bl. Clare Gambacorta (1362-1419) • Bl. Clare of Rimini (d. 1346) • St. Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-c. 215) • St. Clement Hofbauer (d. 1820) • St. Clement of Rome (d. c. 99) • St. Clotilda (c. 474-545) • St. Colette (1381-1447) • St. Colman (555-611) • St. Columba (c. 521-597) • St. Columban (d. 615) • St. Conrad of Piacenza (d. 135) • St. Cosmas (d. c. 283) • Bl. Crescentia of Kaufbeuren (d. 174) • St. Crispin of Viterbo (d. 1750) • St. Cyprian (c. 200-258) • St. Cyril (d. 869) • St. Cyril of Alexandria (c. 376-444) • St. Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386) • St. Damasus (c. 304-384) • St. Damian (d. c. 283) • St. Deicolus (d. c. 624) • St. Dentilin • St. Didacus (c. 1400-1463) • St. Dismas • St. Dominic (c. 1170-1221) • St. Dominic Savio (1842-1857) • St. Dominic of Silos (d. 1073) • St. Dorotheus of Tyre (d. c. 362) • St. Dositheus (d. c. 530) • St. Drogo (d. 1189) • St. Dymphna (d. c. 620) • St. Ebba the Elder (d. 683) • St. Edith Stein (1891-1942) • St. Edmund (d. 870) • St. Edmund Campion (c. 1540-1581) • St. Edward the Confessor (1004-1066) • St. Elizabeth • Bl. Elizabeth Canori Mora (1774-1825) • St. Elizabeth of Hungary (1207-1231) • St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336) • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (1774-1821) • St. Elzear (1285-1323) • St. Emeric (1007-1031) • Bl. Emmanuel Domingo Y Sol (1836-1909) • St. Emmelia • St. Ephrem (c. 306-373) • St. Euphrasia (d. c. 240) • St. Eusebius of Vercelli (c. 283-371) • St. Fabian (d. 250) • St. Fabiola (d. 399) • St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) • St. Felicity • Bl. Felix of Nicosia (d. 1787) • St. Fiacre (d. c. 670) • St. Fidelis (1577-1622) • St. Finnian of Moville (d. c. 579) • St. Flora of Beaulieu (d. 1347) • St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850-1917) • St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440) • St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) • St. Francis Borgia (1510-1572) • St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622) • Bl. Francis Palau Y Quer (1811-1872) • St. Francis of Paola (1416-1507) • St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) • St. Gabriel Possenti (1838-1862) • St. Gaspar Bertoni (1777-1835) • St. Gerard Majella (d. 1755) • St. Gerlac of Valkenburg (d. c. 1170) • St. Gertrude (1256-c. 1302) • St. Gilbert of Sempringham (d. 1189) • St. Giles • Bl. Giles of Assisi (d. 1262) • St. Gothard (d. 1038) • St. Gregory VII (c. 1020-1085) • St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) • St. Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 329-390) • St. Gregory of Nyssa (d. c. 395) • St. Gregory of Tours (d. 594) • St. Gummarus (d. c. 774) • Bl. Gunther (d. 1045) • St. Guy of Anderlecht (d. c. 1012) • St. Helen of Skovde (d. c. 1160) • Bl. Helen of Udine (d. 1458) • St. Helidorus (d. c. 400) • St. Henry (972-1024) • St. Henry Morse (1595-1645) • Bl. Henry of Treviso (d. 1315) • St. Hermenegild (d. 585) • St. Hilarion (c. 291-371) • St. Hilary of Arles (d. 449) • St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. c. 368) • St. Hippolytus (d. c. 235) • St. Honoratus (d. 429) • St. Hormisdas (d. 523) • St. Hugh of Grenoble (1052-1132) • St. Hyacintha Mariscotti (d. 1640) • St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. c. 107) • St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) • St. Irenaeus (c. 125-c. 203) • St. Isidore the Farmer (d. 1130) • St. James • St. Jan Sarkander (1576-1620) • St. Jane Frances de Chantal (1572-1641) • St. Jerome (c. 342-420) • St. Jerome Emiliani (1481-1537) • St. Joachim • St. Joan of Arc (1412-1431) • St. Joan Delanoue (1666-1736) • Bl. Joanna Beretta Molla (1922-1962) • St. John • Bl. John XXIII (1881-1963) • St. John of Avila (d. 1569)

 

 

 

 

Some years ago,
a young man visited
a hermit with a reputation
for great holiness, seeking
to learn from him.

This desert father
taught the young man
many ways to pray.


One day the disciple asked,
"What can I do to attain God?"

The master responded,
"What can you do
to make the sun rise?"

The young man grew angry:
"Then why are you teaching me
all these different ways of praying?"

With great patience,
the hermit explained,
"To make sure you're awake
when the sun rises."

* * *

Awake when the sun rises?

I'm more like the farmer traveling
with St. Bernard, who asked the holy abbot
why he kept his eyes downward instead of
looking at the beautiful countryside.

"To avoid distractions while I pray,"
responded Bernard.

"I'm never distracted when I pray,"
boasted the farmer.

"Let's make a bet,"
said the saint:
"'If you can say the Our Father
without one distraction,
I'll give you this mule I'm riding.'"

The farmer agreed and
began praying aloud,
"Our Father, who art in Heaven,
hallowed be Thy name . . . ."

Then he paused,
looked at St. Bernard,
and said, "Does that include
the saddle and bridle, too?"

* * *

The book I'm reading tells these
two charming stories, and then relates the way
that St. Thérèse of Lisieux kept herself awake
until the sun rises and transformed her own
distractions into spiritual gold:

"While praying I have many distractions,"
Thérèse admitted, "but as soon as
I'm aware of them, I pray for those people,
the thought of whom is diverting my attention.
In this way, they reap the benefit
of my distractions."

St. Thérèse's wise remedy for distractions
in prayer is just one of more than 1,000
solutions to common spiritual problems
found in my book, and every one of them
comes directly from a saint (which is
why it's called Saintly Solutions).

* * *

So many are the helpful tales
in this 400-page book, and so helpful are they
each and every one, that as St. Bernard did
with the farmer, I'll make a bargain with you:

If you can read any page of this book
without encountering spiritual advice
which is immediately helpful to you,
I'll give you the book for free.

"Does that include
postage and handling, too?"

You bet!


* * *

But hold on a moment
before you accept my wager!

On page 70 of Saintly Solutions,
St. Francis de Sales tells me:

"Always be impartial and just.
When you buy, act as though
you were the seller, and when you sell,
act as though you were the buyer,
and you will buy and sell with justice."

O.K. That means I've got to warn
you about how much wisdom is packed
into this powerful volume.

For starters, glance at the list of saints
in the left and right margins of this page.
(Have you heard of more than a few of them?)

These jampacked pages bring you
over a thousand tales by or about
these holy men and women,
or quotes by them, with many of
these saints appearing scores of times
as they show us how to deal with
the manifold problems that afflict us
as we seek to know God and love Him.

That's an average of
three saints a page!

* * *

Do you still want to take my bet?

Even when I tell you that
among the scores of topics discussed by
these saints are the following,
some of which you surely struggle with (as do I):

Anger, anxiety, argumentativeness, boredom, broken friendships, business difficulties, conception and pregnancy difficulties, concern for departed loved ones, criticism, depression, dishonesty, distractions during prayer, distrust in god, doubts, drunkenness, envy, failure, false accusations, family difficulties, financial difficulties, giving up, gloominess, gluttony, gossip, greed, grief, guilt, illness, impatience, irreligious children, irritations, judgmentalness, loneliness, lust, marital problems, old age, pride, profanity, self-indulgence, sloth, spiritual dryness, tardiness, temptations, timidity and aggressiveness, uncertainty, unforgiveness, unpopularity, and many others.

* * *

Will you still want to bet after I tell you
that Fr. Esper, who gathered these tales and
passages from the saints, appends to each chapter
a section he calls Something You Might Try
(addressed to readers of this book in particular)?

For each topic, he includes a list of books for
Further Reading
(from Scripture, the classics
of our Faith, and Contemporary Works).

And he ends each section with a Prayer
to help you overcome the difficulties
and acquire the virtues that are the
focus of the saints in each section.

* * *

After all this talk of hundreds of saints
and thousands of quotes, were you to ask me
(as the young man asked the hermit),
"What can I do to attain God?,"
I would say back to you:

"
What can you do
to make the sun rise?"

So why am I trying to convince you
to turn to the wisdom of the hundreds
of saints in this book?

To make sure you're awake
when the sun rises.

* * *

And you know what?

If I fail to convince you that
Saintly Solutions will help
you do that,
that's o.k.

I'll just open my own copy to page 103
and listen to the consoling words
of Mother Teresa found there:

"God does not call us to be successful;
He calls us to be faithful."

In trying to convince you of the importance
of Saintly Solutions to your spiritual life,
I may not have been successful,
but I have been faithful.

May God bless you!

John Barger's signature

John Barger, Publisher
Sophia Institute Press

Saintly Solutions Cover

Saintly Solutions
to Life's Common Problems

by Fr. Joseph Esper
400 pages ppbk $21.95

Order now from
Sophia Institute Press
Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108
1-800-888-9344
www.sophiainstitute.com

Find out how to get a free book.

Click here to view our online catalog

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More saints
quoted or discussed:
• St. John the Baptist
• St. John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719) • St. John Berchmans (1599-1621) • St. John Bosco (1815-1888) • St. John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) • St. John Climacus (d. c. 649) • Bl. John Colombini (d. 1367) • St. John of the Cross (1542-1591) • St. John Eudes (1601-1680) • St. John of God (1495-1550) • St. John Gualbert (d. 1073) • St. John of Kanty (d. 1473) • St. John Leonardi (c. 1550-1609) • St. John of Matera (d. 1139) • St. John Perse (1887-1975) • St. John of Vercelli (1205-1283) • St. John Vianney (1786-1859) • Bl. Jordan of Saxony (d. 1237) • St. Joseph • St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860) • St. Joseph Calasanz (1556-1648) • St. Joseph Cottolengo (d. 1842) • St. Joseph of Cupertino (1603-1663) • St. Joseph Moscatti (1880-1927) • St. Joseph Tomasi (1649-1713) • St. Josepha Rossello (1811-1880) • St. Julian the Hospitable • Bl. Julian of Norwich (d. c. 1423) • Bl. Junipero Serra (1713-1784) • Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-1680) • St. Katherine Drexel (1858-1955) • St. Katherine of Vadstena (d. 1381) • St. Landericus (seventh century) • Bl. Laura Vicuna (1891-1904) • St. Lawrence (d. 258) • St. Leo IX (d. 1054) • St. Leo the Great (d. 461) • St. Leodegarius (d. 679) • St. Leopold Mandic (1866-1942) • St. Louis IX (1214-1270) • St. Louis Bertrand (1526-1581) • St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) • Bl. Louisa of Savoy (d. 1503) • St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660) • St. Lucian of Antioch (d. 312) • St. Lucy (d. c. 304) • St. Luke • St. Lull (d. 786) • St. Lutgardis (d. 1246) • St. Lydwina (1380-1433) • St. Macarius the Elder (c. 300-390) • St. Macrina (d. 379) • St. Madelberte (d. 706) • St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865) • St. Malachy (1095-1148) • St. Marcella (d. 410) • St. Marculf (d. c. 558) • St. Margaret • St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) • St. Margaret of Cortona (d. 1297) • St. Margaret of Scotland (c. 1046-1093) • Bl. Marguerite d'Youville (1701-1771) • Bl. Maria Clementine Annuarite Nengapete • St. Maria Goretti (1890-1902) • St. Mark • St. Martha • St. Martin I (d. c. 656) • St. Martin de Porres (1579-1639) • St. Martin of Tours (c. 315-397) • St. Martinian the Hermit • Blessed Virgin Mary • St. Mary of Egypt (c. fifth century) • St. Mary Magdalene • St. Mary Magdalene Bentivoglio • St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (1566-1607) • St. Mary Soledad (1826-1887) • St. Matilda (d. 968) • St. Matrona (d. c. 350) • St. Matthew • St. Mechtildis (d. 1160) • St. Melania the Older (c. 342-410) • St. Melania the Younger (d. 439) • St. Methodius (d. 885) • Bl. Miguel Pro (1891-1927) • St. Monegundis (d. 570) • St. Monica (332-387) • St. Moses of Ethiopia (330-405) • St. Nathalan (seventh century) • St. Nathanael • St. Nemesius (d. 250) • St. Nicholas (d. c. 346) • St. Nicholas of Flue (1417-1487) • St. Nicholas of Tolentino (1245-1305) • St. Noel Chabanel (d. 1649) • St. Norbert (1080-1134) • St. Odilo (d. 1049) • St. Olaf (d. 1030) • St. Opportuna (d. c. 770) • Bl. Padre Pio (1887-1968) • St. Pammachius (d. 410) • St. Paphnatius (d. c. 350) • St. Parisio (d. 1267) • St. Paschal I (d. c. 824) • St. Patrick (c. 389-c. 461) • St. Paul • St. Paul of the Cross (1694-1775) • St. Paul the Simple (d. c. 339) • St. Paul of Thebes (d. c. 342) • St. Paula (347-404) • St. Paulinus of Nola (c. 354-431) • St. Pelagia the Penitent • St. Peregrine Laziosi (1260-1345) • St. Perpetua • St. Peter • St. Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562) • St. Peter Armengol (d. 1304) • St. Peter Canisius (1521-1597) • St. Peter Claver (1580-1654) • St. Peter Damian (1007-1072) • St. Peter Julian Eymard (1811-1868) • Bl. Peter of Pisa (1355-1435) • St. Peter of Sebaste (d. c. 391) • Bl. Peter of Siena (d. 1289) • St. Peter of Verona (1205-1252) • St. Philip • St. Philip Benizi (1233-1285) • St. Philip Neri (1515-1595) • St. Philip of Zell (d. c. 770) • Bl. Pierre Toussaint (1766-1853) • St. Pius V (1504-1572) • St. Pius X (1835-1914) • Bl. Placid Riccardi (d. 1915) • St. Poemen (fourth century) • St. Raphael • Bl. Raymond of Capua (d. 1399) • St. Raymond Lull (1232-1316) • St. Raymond Nonnatus (d. 1240) • St. Raymond of Penafort (1175-1275) • St. Remigius (d. c. 530) • St. Richardis (d. c. 895) • St. Rita of Cascia (1381-1457) • St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621) • St. Roch (1295-1327) • St. Romuald (c. 950-1027) • St. Rose Philippine Duchesne (1769-1852) • St. Rose of Lima (1586-1617) • St. Scholastica (d. 543) • Bl. Sebastian Valfre (1629-1710) • St. Senoch (d. 576) • St. Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833) • St. Seraphina (d. 1253) • St. Severinus of Noricum (d. c. 480) • St. Silverius (d. c. 537) • Bl. Simon of Todi (d. 1322) • St. Sisoes (fourth century) • St. Stanislaus Kostka (1550-1568) • St. Stephen • St. Stephen of Hungary (969-1038) • St. Stephen of Rieti (d. c. 560) • St. Sylvester (d. 335) • St. Syncletica (d. c. 400) • St. Tarasius (d. 806) • St. Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) • Bl. Teresa Bracco (1924-1944) • Bl. Teresa Grillo Michel (1855-1944) • St. Thais (fourth century) • St. Theodosius (423-529) • St. Theophane Venard (d. 1861) • St. Theophanes (d. 817) • St. Theotonius (d. 1166) • St. Thérèse of Lisieux (1873-1897) • St. Thomas • St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274) • St. Thomas Becket (1118-1170) • Bl. Thomas of Cori (d. 1729) • St. Thomas More (1478-1535) • St. Thomas of Villanova (d. 1555) • St. Ubald (c. 1100-1160) • Bl. Urban V (d. 1370) • St. Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727) • Bl. Villana of Florence (d. 1360) • St. Vincent de Paul (1580-1660) • St. Vincent Ferrer (1350-1419) • St. Vincent Madelgarus (d. c. 687) • St. Vitus (d. c. 303) • St. Walbert (d. c. 665) • St. Waudru (d. c. 688) • St. Wenceslaus (d. 929) • St. William Firmatus (d. c. 1090) • St. William of Vercelli (1085-1142) • St. Wulfric (d. 1154) • St. Wulfstan (d. 1095) • Bl. Zdislava (d. 1252) • St. Zechariah • Bl. Zeferino Agostini (1813-1896)