Herbert J. Thurston, S.J. and Donald Attwater: Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Menaion icon depicting the saints of the liturgical year

A 2,932 page collection of 2,565 scholarly, informative, and edifying Catholic hagiographical vitae arranged according to date of feast day. A 1956 enlargement, revision, and update of Rev. Alban Butler’s The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Compiled from Original Monuments and Authentic Records. Image links to online version. ISBN recommendation: 0-87061-1372

John Henry Newman: Apologia Pro Vita Sua

John Henry Cardinal Newman

Newman’s lucid and meticulously pondered autobiographical defense of his conversion from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. Seeking to expose the corruption and errors of the Roman Church, Newman’s intellectual search for truth led back to the Holy See. Apologia Pro Vita Sua provides cogent testimony to the authenticity of the Roman Catholic Apostolic tradition. First published in 1864. Image links to Wilfrid Ward Oxford edition. ISBN recommendation: 0-14-043374-0

St. Ignatius of Loyola: Autobiography

St Ignatius of Loyola by Francisco de Zurbaran

The life and acts of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits and towering Catholic spiritual leader during the outbreak of the Reformation. His autobiography was recorded by Fr. Louis Gonzalez, S.J., from the lips of the saint himself during the period of 1553-55. Image links to J. F. X. O’Conor, S.J., edition. ISBN recommendation: 0-14-043385-6

Eusebius Pamphili: Life of Constantine

Colossus of Constantine, head, ca. 315, Musei Capitolini, Rome. A.D.,

Contemporary biography of the Emperor Constantine I (born c. 272, died 337), who consolidated the Roman Empire, brought an end to the era of Roman persecution of the Catholic Church, hosted the First Ecumenical Council, and became the first Christian Roman Emperor. Image links to Richardson translation. ISBN recommendation: 0-19-814924-7