A book about unknown courageous women you should get to know
Aleteia posed six questions to Maria Morera Johnson about her book, My Badass Book of Saints: Courageous Women Who Showed Me How to Live, published by Ave Maria Press. The book tells the story of holy and courageous women many people still don’t know much about.
1) What inspired the book?
The opening of the cause for canonization for Sr. Blandina Segale introduced me to the courageous lives of religious sisters working in the American West to build schools and hospitals. Her story is amazing. Actually, pretty badass. I started sharing it on social media, and got the idea there are many stories of these unknown courageous women that others might be interested in reading.
2) If you could give this book another title, what would it be?
I wish I had something witty and clever to use — I can’t imagine the book with a different title now. Once upon a time, it caused me a little grief, but there you go.
3) What story or anecdote (or piece of advice) in this book most personally resonated with you?
The book is my faith journey as I look for role models and sources of inspiration to help me live a holy life, so you might say each of the women and women saints personally resonates with me. However, my favorite is St. Rose of Lima — it’s a difficult chapter about my father’s death, but it’s full of beauty.
4) Did writing this book teach you anything?
I learned a number of lessons, many about the writing process and my own expectations. I also learned about perseverance and hope. I learned about taking a leap of faith and the crazy wild generosity of our Lord. It’s humbling, and beautiful, and awesome in the way we should use that word when referring to God.
5) If there is one person you want to reach with this book, who would that be?
I wrote this book for the woman who might feel insecure in her faith, who might not have spiritual sisters around her to encourage and support her as she delves deeper into relationship with the Lord. It’s easier to walk this journey with someone who will hold your hand, sometimes pull you along or wait while you catch up. I found this companionship in the saints I introduce. But first, I found it in real life spiritual sisters, which is why I decided to pair regular women doing extraordinary things with saints who took the extraordinary to a higher, holier level.
6) What is the ideal beverage to have in hand while reading your book?
Champagne, of course. I have a dear friend who always has a bottle of champagne in the fridge. She insists any time friends get together is cause for celebration. I agree! Of course, the truth is I wrote the book with a little whisky on the side, so… I’m open to whatever is in your fridge. Pink lemonade? Coke? A beer? Cheers!
This is the third of Aleteia‘s weekly author interview series on books worth reading. Our first two were:
The Shepherd Who Didn’t Run with Maria Ruiz Scaperlanda
The New Philistines with Sohrab Ahmari