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Traveling with the Saints in Italy:
Contemporary Pilgrimages on Ancient Paths

Lucinda Vardey

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Paulist Press International, U.S.

Published : 2007

Copyright : Lucinda Vardey 2007

ISBN-10 : PB 1-58768-024-6
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-58768-024-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Pilgrimages have long been a vital part of Italy's heritage. Yet visiting its sacred sites seems an overwhelming challenge for the modern traveller: what to see, where to go, how much time to spend in each place?

In her new book, Lucinda Vardey provides solutions and guidance. In recognizing the genius of many of Italy's well-known - and some lesser-known - saints, she offers ten pilgrimages (to all parts of the country), for one or two days or a week, in a unique format of biography of early masters such as St. Benedict, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Catherine of Siena and more contemporary teachers, Blessed Pope John 23rd and St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio).

After learning of the life of each saint, there is a summary of their spiritual teaching, a pilgrim prayer and suggestions for intention, itinerary, maps and detailed directions to the prime places to visit in that person's life (many documented for the first time). Also provided are sidebars on religious art and artists and a four-day retreat in Rome.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Julie Falkner (300907) Rating (8/10)

Review by Julie Falkner
Rating 8/10
Saint Augustine said: “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” And perhaps only those who travel with a sense of purpose read the whole book? Lucinda Vardey’s book Traveling with the Saints in Italy is an in-depth guide to one form of purposeful travel: searching for sacred sites.

Vardey features a dozen or so Italian saints, ranging from St Francis of Assisi to the less well-known St Vitale, and also offers a four-day pilgrimage in Rome. Each chapter begins with a description of the life of the saint - essential background for following in his or her footsteps - and then provides “Spiritual Essentials”, explaining what we know of the saint’s teaching. Finally the suggested pilgrimage (the length of these ranges from one to six days) is described in detail. Occasionally Vardey takes a break from the saints to focus instead on Italy’s artistic heritage in sections entitled “Art and Soul”.

The book also contains some practical advice, for example: “It is easier to find your way in [to Rome], if you are driving a car, than to discover the right exit out.” Given this observation, more information on public transport options would have been helpful. While Vardey notes that the Roman pilgrimage can be taken by bus, she says nothing further on this topic.

Traveling with the Saints in Italy will be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the lives of these revered figures, but the best way to use this book is to plan a trip to Italy and to include it in your luggage. Choose a pilgrimage, follow it in part or in full, and allow your travel experience to be enriched by a greater understanding of the spiritual significance of each place visited.
Julie Falkner (30th September 2007)

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