Friday, November 30, 2012

A Juvenile Biography of Matt Talbot

Brother Ernest Ryan, C.S.C. (1897-1963) was a prolific author of Catholic juvenile biographies of saints and other Catholic figures from the 1940’s into the 1960’s.

His 1952 book, Through the Dark Night: A Story of Matt Talbot,
was republished in October 2012 with illustrator Paul Thomas Sullivan.

A list of previously published books by Br. Ernest can be found at

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Seeking relics of Matt Talbot

In his book, Dublin Folk Tales (2012), storyteller Brendan Nolan includes the story of “Matt Talbot’s bed.” In it “you will read about the neighbour of Matt who sold bits of the dead man’s bed until there was no more to be had and then produced an unending supply of relics for sale.”

While we might chuckle at such an enterprising neighbour, we must be extremely careful about what is purported to be an authentic relic that is offered for sale. For example, two recent relics of Matt Talbot has been offered on online, one purporting to be earth from Matt’s grave and another which claims to be a particle from his wooden pillow (

Our recommendation for those who are interested in seeking a relic of Matt Talbot is to inquire at, or

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Who are your Holy Traveling Companions?

On this All Saints’ Day (officially the Solemnity of All Saints) we might consider an excerpt that Pope Benedict XVI presented in a general audience 2010:

“There are very dear people in the life of each one of us to whom we feel particularly close, some of whom are already in God's embrace while others still share with us the journey through life: they are our parents, relatives and teachers; they are the people to whom we have done good or from whom we have received good; they are people on whom we know we can count. Yet it is important also to have "travelling companions" on the journey of our Christian life. I am thinking of a Spiritual Director, a Confessor, of people with whom it is possible to share one's own faith experience, but I am also thinking of the Virgin Mary and the Saints. Everyone must have some Saint with whom he or she is on familiar terms, to feel close to with prayer and intercession but also to emulate. I would therefore like to ask you to become better acquainted with the Saints, starting with those you are called after, by reading their life and their writings. You may rest assured that they will become good guides in order to love the Lord even more and will contribute effective help for your human and Christian development...” (

Fr. Robert Barron’s sermon for this Holy Day of Obligation addresses, in part, “the panoply of saints, both those who are similar to us and those who bring out the parts of us that are 'in shadow.' He speaks of how making those complementary saints our friends can help sanctify this shadow side." Listen to the sermon here
(Fr. Barron is the author of Catholicism: A Journey to the Heart of the Faith (2011) and the outstanding video series (2012).) 

Is Venerable Matt Talbot one of your traveling companions?