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THEO 310: Christian Spirituality   Tags: religion, saint, spirituality, theology  

A guide to discover sources on the spirituality of a saint
Last Updated: Oct 8, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Resources on Saints

These sources can help you browse lists of saints with short descriptions of their lives to help you choose one you would like to study.

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Butler's Saint for the Day
Click on the link for this e-book to find major saints, and once in the book, search with the term "spirituality" to see which saint entries contain discussion of their spiritualities

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Butler's Lives of the Saints
Call Number: REF BX4654 .B8
Twelve-volume set with update for recent saints includes bibliographies to help start your research.

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The Big Book of Women Saints - Sarah Gallick
Call Number: REF BX4656 .G35 2007
Publication Date: 2007
One-page summary for every day of the year. No bibliography but provides a quick way to scan for a good topic saint.

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The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century - Robert Royal
Call Number: REF BX4655.2 .R69
Publication Date: 2000
From the Catholic martyrs at Auschwitz to Oscar Romero; from Ita Ford and her companions to the recent murders of Christians in India, it is estimated that more than one million Christians died for their faith in the “century of progress” we have just experienced. In The Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, Robert Royal presents a wide-ranging history of these martyrs. The book traces the specific situation of each incident and studies the political system and the reason for confrontation. Regions and topics include the Calvary of Romania, the death of Edith Stein, Miguel Pro and the Mexican tragedy, Soviet Russia, and China.

Step 1: Find your saint

You may have a saint whose spirituality you wish to explore.   If so, that's great!  If not, there are several sources you can use to browse to find a saint you would like to study.  Some of these sources are in the Walsh library, and Butler's Saint for the Day is an e-book you can search now.  All are listed at the left.


    Step 2: Start your research

    Once you have identified a saint to study, a good place to start is the New Catholic Encyclopedia.  This is shelved in the Walsh reference collection, and contains entries on most major saints (last name first in most cases).  This will expand the background you have, and lengthier discussions often include material on the saints' spiritualities.  There is also a useful bibliography at the end of each article, though many cited sources are in foreign languages, so more exploration will be necessary.

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    New Catholic Encyclopedia
    Call Number: REF BX841 .N49
    Publication Date: 2003


    Step 3: Expand Research with Books

    Start by checking the Walsh library catalog and the e-book collections on the library home page.  Notice that there are three major e-book collections, and it's useful to search them all. 

    Since this is an advanced assignment, look in OhioLINK. Go to for advanced search in the OhioLINK catalog. From the screen, request books and they will arrive for you, usually in 3 days.

    For the saints in this assignment, the accepted subject headings are:

    Since there are so many books on these saints, you could add the word "spirituality" in the search box below the saint's name, and let the field designator stay as "any field."  This usually turns up a handful of books that focus on the saint's spirituality.


    Step 4: Find journal articles

    Look in three places for journal articles on your saint:

    Use a strategy similar to the one used for books, with the saint's name as a subject, limited by terms such as spirituality, sanctity, holiness, goodness, and other synonyms.  Not all journal databases use the same form of the name as a subject heading, so you may need to try various forms of the name.

    Some of the articles will appear as full text, but many will be in highly specialized theology journals which we must obtain from other libraries.  Use the interlibrary loan request form at  There is no cost to you and the articles are yours to keep, but allow a longer lead time.  So get started early!


    Director of Library Services

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    Heidi Beke-Harrigan

    Step 5: Write & Cite

    Organize your thoughts and notes, and craft your paper.  If you need help in this stage, there are books in the library--look for "report writing" or "research papers."  Help is also available from the Academic Support Center in Farrell Hall.

    For assistance with style and citation, the library has the major style manuals and links to citation helpers such as Son of Citation Machine.


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