On the last day of the life of the great St. Philip Neri, that Apostle of Rome and founder of the order of Oratorians, gave instructions to his penitents to frequent the sacraments, attend sermons and to continue to read the lives of the Saints. After completing his prayers and receiving visits, he had the Life of St. Bernadine of Siena read to him twice just before the great Saint himself died and entered into his joy of the Lord.
In my own life, studying the lives of the Saints has been inspiring, joyful, full of consolation and helpful in making good resolutions. Whether they were holy fools, pious virgins, wonder-working monks, gallant knights or humble laymen their stories can make a soul thirst after righteousness and encourage a Christian on the narrow path that leads to salvation. Many Saints – Ignatius of Loyola for example – had their moral conversion by reading the lives of other Saints, and others became great saints by imitating a specific Saint, such as Rose of Lima imitating Catherine of Siena.
It is not uncommon today to see representations of the Saints watered down or even falsely portrayed in an effort to appeal to modern audiences. In a recent movie, a Saint who did not desire marriage but married out of obedience to her parents was portrayed as desiring and even persuading her parents to let her marry! This humble saint who in life converted her husband by meekness was portrayed as smart mouth over emotional nag. There are many other examples in which extreme distortions are made in order to made in order to make the Saints more modern and less holy – to make them “one of the guys/girls” – removing what inspires one to even desire a deeper relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord said “If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19.) To make the saints suit modern tastes is to present fictional characters that never existed, who were not close friends of Christ, but rather friends of the world who did some nice things.
The corruption of St. Francis is a perfect example. Many who they they like him and desire to imitate him are more concerned about the environment than about the Passion of Christ or living any form of poverty. This confusion does not spring from malice but from ignorance of his life and a lack of accurate information about him. Studying a 200-500 page book on a specific Saint or spiritual topic demands an effort that many are either not able or prepared to make. Alleluia Audio Books has been created to make learning about the lives of the Saints fast and easy. We hope that these stories inspire you to zeal in seeking after the perfection that Jesus Christ asked. It is also our hope that these short audio books will be a way for you to evangelize others with the inspiring and heroic stories of the Saints and their true example of Christianity by making copies of CD’s or e-mailing the stories as a resource.
All the audio books we produce – unless specially noted – are free for you to copy and distribute, we do not even object to you or other listeners requesting a modest donation (example one or two dollars) from others to cover the costs of burning and preparing them if you choose to distribute these audio books yourself. However, we do ask that the works are not edited or used in other productions without our permission first.
The resources which we chose to make our audio books from are either pre-copyright, open domain, or we have obtained explicit permission to use. When putting together the script for an audio book, we try to approach the Saint/topic in an accurate though brief way in order to tantalize the listener into learning more about that particular Saint/topic and seek perfection.
May listening to the lives Saints increase our devotion, help us imitate Jesus Christ, and lead our hearts to bless God for the graces He has bestowed upon His humble Servants.
 Faber, Frederick William. An Essay on Beatification, Canonization, and the Processes of the Congregation of Rites. London: Richardson, 1848. Print.[pg 11-12]