Gina Loehrís Real Women, Real Saints provides short biographies of many women saints - blessed, venerable and other holy women. One man is also included: Blessed Luigi Corsini, the husband of Blessed Maria; they were beatified together as examples for the married life. These women lived at various times throughout history. Some were queens, others were peasants; many were religious or nuns, and others were converted prostitutes. Though the way of life of each of these holy women may vary, all are inspiring and worthy of imitating.
Loehr divides her subjects into seven groups. An eighth is reserved exclusively for the ultimate holy woman, Mary, the mother of Jesus. The other seven are gathered by themes: faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. Loehr devotes usually a page or two to a holy woman, including not only the womanís biography but also how she can serve as an example to todayís people. Both the general reader and the scholar will benefit from these stories. This collection is meant to inspire us to live good lives by providing examples of women who did so even in rough and dangerous times. Some of these women even gave up their lives to remain loyal to Christ.
The more famous women, like St. Teresa of Avila, St. Scholastica, St. Gertrude, St. Clare, St. Agnes, and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, are of course covered, but so are some less known holy women, like Blessed Frances Trethet, Saint Ludmilla, Venerable Edel Quinn, Lathrop, and Bustos de Molina. Loehr lists the holy womanís dates and when her feast day is, or what she is patron of if beatified or canonized. A bibliography includes books, journals, and Internet sites. There are no internal illustrations, but the cover features images of Saints Catherine of Siena, Edith Stein, and Joan of Arc. This book is highly recommended to those who are looking for an inspiring book on holy women but do not want an overly academic treatment.
Gina Loehr holds a masterís degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville. She writes and lectures on Catholic topics such as saints and the virtues. She is the author of Forming the Feminine Virtues (2008).