Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Blog Tour: Seven Saints for Seven Virtues
Blog Tour Interview with Jean Heimann, Author of Seven Saints for Seven Virtues
Donna-Marie: Jean, I've enjoyed your blog Catholic Fire for years. Now you have a book! Your book is beautiful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. You have selected seven stellar saints to write about in your book, Seven Saints for Seven Virtues. Why did you select these specific saints?
Jean Heimann: Before I began writing my book, I prayed about which saints I should write about and the Holy Spirit guided me in their selection. I also had a personal relationship with the saints I write about in the book, that is, I communicate with them on a regular basis in my daily prayers and ask them to intercede in specific situations. These particular saints possess the virtues that I discuss in the book. They are, in fact, heroic models of the virtues.
Donna-Marie: What are the seven virtues you write about?
Jean: The seven virtues I discuss are: charity, chastity, diligence, humility, kindness, patience, and temperance.
Donna-Marie: Why did you select these particular virtues?
Jean: These seven virtues are known as the heavenly virtues, which are in opposition to the seven vices or the seven deadly sins. I wanted to show my readers that it is possible to turn away from the seven deadly sins – greed, lust, sloth, pride, envy, anger, and gluttony and to overcome them by practicing the virtues of charity, chastity, diligence, humility, kindness, patience, and temperance.
Donna-Marie: What audience did you have in mind when writing your book?
Jean: The book was written for adolescents and adults, both male and female, Catholic and non-Catholic who desire to develop virtues, to love God more in this life, and to spend their eternity with him in the next life. In other words, it is written for people who desire to grow in holiness.
Donna-Marie: Can you tell us a bout the format of your book?
Jean: Each chapter begins with a saint quote about the specific virtue to be discussed in that chapter. Then, I give a brief biography of the saint, discussing why that saint is a model of that virtue, including various examples of how the saint modeled that virtue in his or her life. I follow that with a definition of the virtues, explaining it thoroughly, and follow that with a modern day model of the virtue. Each chapter ends with a prayer.
Donna-Marie: What is the best way to describe the purpose of your book?
Jean: The purpose of Seven Saints for Seven Virtues is to assist people who are interested in drawing closer to the Lord how to do that by providing them with saints to show them the way. I explain how to concretely take the steps to acquire heavenly virtues and to help them through the example modern models, and with prayer – my prayers, their own prayers, and the prayers of the saints.
Donna-Marie: Can you share a modern day example who is a model of a specific virtue?
Jean: In the chapter on chastity, my modern day model of chastity is Rebecca Dussault, a thirty-three year-old wife and mother of four, and an elite athlete, who modeled the virtue in her single life and who continues to model it as a married woman and mother. I show how chastity is possible for a lay person who is out in the world and that it is not just a virtue for religious who have taken a vow of celibacy.
Donna-Marie: Which groups would benefit from reading your book.
Jean: In a Catholic parish – RCIA groups, marriage preparation groups, youth groups, adult formation groups, book groups. Any person – Christian or non-Christian—who desires to grow in their spiritual life will benefit from reading this book.
Donna-Marie: Where did you get the idea for writing this book?
Jean: I have been interested in the saints since I was a child and renewed that interest when I returned to the Catholic Church after a long absence. In fact, the saints helped draw me back to my Faith. I developed a deep admiration and devotion toward the saints who drew me closer to the Heart of Jesus.
Donna-Marie: What qualifies you to write a book on the saints and the virtues?
Jean: My deep devotion to the saints, my desire to guide others to grow in holiness, and my love for God are the best qualifiers I can think of. I also have experience as a psychologist and educator, as a writer, and as a Catholic wife and mother, to lead others, in a gentle and compassionate way, down the narrow road to eternal life. My Master’s degree in Theology adds depth to my understanding of God and His great love for each one of us.
Donna-Marie: Thank you very much for sharing with us. May God bless all who read your book!