So this book is basically a Catholic western. I love it!
I wouldn't say that it's an amazing book but it's simple and beautiful. It's based on the life of the historical Bishop John Baptist Lamy, the first bishop of Santa Fe who, just like the Archbishop in the book, built a Cathedral for the diocese and brought from Europe a group of religious sisters to found a school for the Indian and Mexican children as well as other priests and religious to assist throughout the diocese.
The book gives a perfectly fair portrayal of the Church and does a good job of depicting missionary life. As a matter of fact, the chapter "The Month of Mary" is lovely! It gives a beautiful depiction of Fr. Vaillant's deep devotion to Our Blessed Mother and of his burning desire to bring souls back to God and the Church. Similarly, the chapter called "December Night" portrays a true childlike and deep faith. Also, the book devotes several pages to the story of Our Lady of Guadalupe which I greatly appreciated.
Some good quotes:
- "Father Joseph said that, as for him, he would rather combat the superstitions of a whole Indian pueblo than the vanity of one white woman.
- "The nursery tale could not vie with her [the Blessed Mother] in simplicity, the wisest theologians could not match her profundity."