Mature Teens

Life is Beautiful

This serves as a tamer, but every-bit-as-powerful, version of Schindler's List (at least in-so-far as it portrays the reality of the Nazi concentration camps and the hopelessness and unfairness suffered by its prisoners). Perhaps because this is a "fable" rather than biography, it manages to portray the awfulness of war in a more subtle way - without all the gore and through the eyes of a child. It's still quite intense, though, and would only be suitable for teens and adults.

Citadel of God

Book cover: 'Citadel of God: A Novel about Saint Benedict'
Louis de Wohl

Citadel of God is set in Italy of the early 6th century. The Roman Empire is decaying. An Ostrogoth king, Theodoric, is marching in triumph to occupy Italy. A young boy, ward of the respected Roman scholar Boethius, rushes in to stab the barbarian conquerer with a stylus in defense of Old Rome and is rescued from death by a young scholar from Nursia who is called Benedictus.

The Spear

Louis de Wohl

A fast-paced fictionalized account of the centurion who thrust the spear into the side of Christ. The book was clearly written for adults, but might be suitable for older teens. There is a great deal of violence (as might be expected), an attempted suicide, and other content appropriate for those with some degree of maturity. The story is very Catholic and the author weaves many Catholic ideas and thought into the conversations of the characters as well as showing how much people of that time (particularly the Romans) were in need of the message of Christ.

The Song at the Scaffold

Book cover: 'The Song at the Scaffold'
Gertrud Von Le Fort

This novelette, set at the time of the French Revolution, follows the lives of the nuns of the Carmelite convent at Compiegne during those troubled times, all the way to their martyrdom at the guillotine. Despite the rather short length, the novel is very deep and very moving. The author, rather than having the charcters preach to the reader, created a story which causes the reader to consider some very substantial spiritual issues - suffering, pride, fear, and how God works in our lives.

Fabiola, or the Church of the Catacombs

Book cover: 'Fabiola, or the Church of the Catacombs'
His Eminence Cardinal Wiseman

Late in the third century, under the rule of the barbarian Diocletian, began the last and one of the most severe persecutions of Christians in early church history. During this time Sts. Sebastian, Agnes, and Tarcisius, among many others, won the martyr's crown. This book gives an account of their witness.

Stars of Fortune

Cynthia Harnett

Set in England, mid 1500s, Catholic perpsective. As explained in the postscript, this book is the author's recreation of a legend surrounding the home belonging to the Washington family (who claims our first president as a descendent). According to the legend, Elizabeth I was once hidden in the house while fleeing pursuers. The story takes place during the tumultous reign of Mary I (eldest offspring of Henry VIII) at which time the "old religion" has been reinstated.

By What Authority

Book cover: 'By What Authority'
Robert Hugh Benson

It is early in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Religion and politics are curiously mixed and confused. How will the people of England survive this tumultuous time and emerge as one of the great powers on the earth. This is the setting for By What Authority by Lord Robert Hugh Benson. It is the story of how two families, one Catholic and one Protestant, sort through the confusion and endure the suffering of finding and maintaining a religious identity.

Angels in Iron

Book cover: 'Angels in Irons'
Nicholas C Prata

Angels in Iron is the absorbing tale of the siege of Malta in 1564 between the Knights of St. John of the Hospital (a military religious order) and Suleiman's forces. Suleiman, the most famous sultan of the Turkish Ottoman Empire (who has at this point significantly expanded his empire) has grand plans to conquer the world - and that includes Malta, the new home of the Knights of St. John of the Hospital. The Grand Master of this order witnessed their surrender at Rhodes (their former home) when he was a young knight. Now he is determined to hold on to Malta to the bitter end.

The Last Crusader: Isabella of Spain

Book cover: 'The Last Crusader: Isabella of Spain'
William Thomas Walsh

Queen Isabella (the Catholic) of Spain is one of the most influential and controversial women in history. She and her husband were responsible for supporting Columbus' voyages to the New World, the re-conquering of all of Spain from the Moors, the expulsion of the Jews, and the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition. Her daughter, Catherine of Aragon, was the unfortunate first wife of King Henry VIII of England (who founded the Anglican church because he didn't accept the Pope's refusal to grant him an annulment of his marriage to Catherine). a catholic guide to the good life

Book cover: ' a catholic guide to the good life'
Amy Welborn

The world claims to have the answers, but what are they? Please yourself, answer to no one, claim your truth, reject any close-minded or intolerant positions, be tolerant and diverse and accepting of other truths, whatever they are, except it they are intolerant.

If these are the answers, what are the questions?

When young people ask themselves:


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