The following is a list of books that I highly recommend by one of my favorite Doctors of the Church, St. Alphonsus Liguori. As an author, Liguori is unsurpassed in terms of knowledge and passion. I have rarely seen such an erudite writer and one who speaks to the heart with such emotion.

When I read one of his books last year for the first time, I didn’t feel that I was reading a book at all. I felt that he was speaking directly to me about the things that mattered in my life as well as in those of people that I knew. If only his books were more readily available…

Anyway, here is the list:

1. The Glories of Mary

2. The Victories of the Martyrs (Short biographies of the major martyrs in the history of the Church. Also includes a section on the Japanese martyrs, which is extremely interesting to students of Franciscan and Jesuit spirituality).

3. The True Spouse of Jesus Christ (This exhaustive book talks about the lives of nuns from almost every single angle. It’s not just a book for nuns, however, but should be read by all religious. A truly inspiring book on how to further your religious life.)

4. Preparation for Death (This book of meditations is really indispensable. Although it can be used at retreats, it speaks to the heart about the Four Last Things and the one thing needful. A passionate plea for amendment of life from one of the great Doctors of the Church.)

5. The Passion and The Death of Jesus Christ (This book is a compilation of devotions and meditations that St. Alphonsus wrote on the Passion throughout his life. It’s excellent reading for the Lenten Season and Holy Week as well as for private devotions and meditations. It teaches us that meditating on the Passion is extremely important to our spiritual lives.)

6. The Dignity and Duties of the Priest (This is a book of materials that St. Alphonsus wrote especially for his priests. It is a book that may be useful to those discerning vocations to the priesthood as well.)

You can purchase books by St. Alphonsus at the following websites: