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Title: Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know
Author: Diane Moczar
Publisher: Sophia Institute Press
Date Published: Feb., 2006
Comments: The divine surprises and chastisements that shaped the Church and
changed the world.
From the publisher, http://www.sophiainstitute.com/
Here are the saints and sinners, popes and kings that God used to shape his
Church and change the world. You’ll meet Clovis and Charlemagne, Luther and
Pope Leo, Suleiman and St. Francis, the Arians, the Franks, the Huguenots, and
others whose sins or sacrifices altered the course of history.
Here, too, are the wars and plagues, the ideas and institutions — and, yes,
the miracles — that gave birth to our Christian civilization and often
threatened to doom it. Experience the battles of Tours and Lepanto, the Crusades, the
Russian Revolution, and Fatima, the miracle that foretold (and offered a way
to prevent) the conflicts that killed millions in the twentieth century.
Wars and terrorism have rendered the first years of our new century no less
bloody. Has God now abandoned us?
Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know finds the answer in history: from the
first days of the Christian era, at key moments when civilization hung in the
balance, God has intervened — sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically — but
ever and always he has come forward himself or given strength to those who were
faithful to him. Consider, for example:
Constantine, the pagan general who, in a desperate hour, saw a vision that
made him a Christian and led to the conversion of the entire Roman Empire
Pope St. Leo, who confronted Attila the Hun face-to-face and, without sword
or dagger, turned back this “Scourge of God” and all his murderous hordes
The surprising victories of the outgunned armies that thrust back the Moors,
the Turks, and the barbarians — just when Christendom faced annihilation
Plus: St. Genevieve, Pepin the Short, Pope St. Pius V, St. Margaret Mary, and
countless others who, in crucial moments, were called by God to save his
people and give new life to our culture and his Church.
Ten Dates Every Catholic Should Know is essential reading for any Catholic
who wants to understand the history of our Faith. But it will give you more than
knowledge: you’ll close this book with renewed confidence that no matter how
dark and dangerous the times may be, God has never abandoned his people . . .
and never will.
Divine Surprises, October 21, 2006
Diane Moczar has done the seemingly impossible: written a terrific,
thematically complete and coherent history of the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Church
in about 170 pages. She is able to accomplish this feat by her wise choice of
format. Instead of deploying the usual artificial breaks in time like "Dark
Ages" or "Reformation," she identifies ten events that have served as hinges
upon which Catholic and civilizational history turned. She then examines these
hinges -- the conversion of Constantine, the Baptism of Clovis, the crowning of
Charlemagne, etc. -- for their significance, and links them in a chain all
the way to Fatima and the twentieth century.
The chapter on Clovis's baptism is fascinating. As Rome disintegrates in the
West, a fifteen-year-old Frankish pagan assumes the throne in Gaul. For a time
it seems that the king is impervious to conversion. But the patient witness
of both his saintly wife (St.) Clotilda and the bishop St. Remigius wears him
down, and he is baptised to great aplomb on Christmas Day in 496. Western
civilization thus survives an existential crisis, and a foundation is laid for the
era of Christendom ushered in by Charlemagne three centuries later.
Readers should know that Ms. Moczar is a decidedly Catholic historian. She
attempts to discern the hand of God -- Providence -- in the events she
describes. You may disagree with some of her conclusions about the heaviness of His
hand in this event or that, but she is nonetheless a first-rate scholar and, just
as importantly, an excellent writer with crisp prose.
"Ten Dates" would make an interesting selection for a Catholic book club, as
members could explore a chapter-length event per month. Ms. Moczar's style is
very accessible, and readers as young as high-school-age will have no
difficulty navigating the text.
Highly Recommended, April 29, 2006
I purchased this book randomly after browsing through the selections of a
small catholic book store. Since the author was unknown to me my expectations
were rather low and the book actually sat undisturbed on my nightstand for a
couple of weeks. However when I finally began to read the book I found the
contents so riveting I couldn't put it down.
As a recent catholic convert and an individual who unjustifiably fancies
himself an amateur historian, to me this book was a revelation. I had never prev
iously read a history from a catholic perspective and this book was the perfect
introduction. I'm convinced the thesis of this small book could be expanding
into a phenomenal multivolume work.
I found the author's chapters entitled "The Protestant Catastrophe" and "The
Age of Revolution" especially fascinating. These chapters made clear concepts
I was only beginning to independently form.
This book found its way into my hands at just the right time and has had a
profound effect on how I view history.
Stop the Presses!, Reviewer:Matt I. Federoff
I am teaching a class of Catholic high school students about the Middle Ages,
leading into the decline of Christendom. The chapter I opened up to was "The
Protestant Catastrophe" and it alone is worth the price of the book. It clears
up the confusion about the climate that produced such a fractured Christian
world (hint: it wasn't about the moral laxity of the clergy or even doubts
about the Real Presence. It was much more about the weakened spiritual state of
the laity and the rise of nationalism.) I could easily follow when the author
"connected the dots" and frankly, "followed the money" (the rising wealth of the
merchant and business man in a prospering proto-capitalistic society) to show
how easily men's hearts were turned from God to wordly affairs.
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