Little Lives of the Great Saints

Little Lives of the Great SaintsTable of Contents


This little volume contains thirty-one Lives arranged in the order of time. It begins with the Most Blessed Virgin, and ends with Saint Alphonsus Liguori. It is a month of Great Saints.

Each Life will be found short enough, I believe, to read at a sitting. Each is complete in itself. It has been my earnest endeavor to make every point as plain and interesting as possible by means of abundant notes – literary, historical, theological, descriptive, and geographical.

We live in a busy, enquiring age. But there is little leisure and less inclination for the perusal of large books. I have kept this fact in mind, and I venture to hope that no reader will feel weary over any portion of the Little Lives.

Biography has become very popular, and justly so. In no field of literature can wisdom and entertainment be gleaned more pleasantly than in reading the lives of truly illustrious men and women. But far above all the other children of Adam are the great Saints of the Catholic Church, in whose bright and virtuous careers we behold redeemed humanity soaring to the pinnacle of immortal glory.

In the preparation of this simple work, I have consulted none but the most approved and trustworthy sources of information. I have used no doubtful material. I am especially indebted to the writings of Ratisbonne, Montalembert, Butler, Baunard, Orsini, Camus, Gueranger, De Ligny, Jocelin, Vaughan, Weninger, Ormsby, Thebaud, Vetromile and many others.

I return my warm thanks to the learned and venerable Father A. J. Thebaud, S.J., of New York, for aid and light on several obscure points; and to the Reverend Father Maurice Ronayne, S.J., of the College of Saint Francis Xavier, New York, who has been so kind and courteous as to read the advance sheets, and to give me suggestions and his valuable opinion of the work.

And now if there is one wish I would like to record here it is, that the Little Lives may fall into the hands of many young people, and that the perusal of it may increase their love of virtue, and their faith in the Catholic Church – the Guardian of Truth, and the Mother of the Great Saints.

– John O’Kane Murray, Brooklyn, New York, January, 1880

MLA Citation

  • John O’Kane Murray, M.A., M.D. Little Lives of the Great Saints, 1879. CatholicSaints.Info. 25 September 2018. Web. 24 May 2019. <>