An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation, Volume 2
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By Henri Daniel-Rops
An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation is the fifth installment in Henri Daniel-Rops’ magnificent History of the Church of Christ. This volume continues the foray into the “age of fanaticism,” during which Protestantism amassed victories in the Netherlands, Scotland, and Elizabethan England; offers a comprehensive account of De Propaganda Fide, the amazing missionary efforts of such men as St. Francis Xavier, Bartholomew de las Casas, and Matteo Ricci; and, lastly, presents the fruits of reform’s victories—the splendor of the new St. Peter’s and the successes of the post-Tridentine popes; the great “defenders of the faith,” Baronius and Bellarmine, and the exuberance of the Baroque; and the freshly-minted treasures in mysticism and spirituality bequeathed by St. John of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Francis de Sales, “the living embodiment of an era, the reward of three generations’ hopes and prayers.”
A brilliantly adroit account of the years 1500–1602, An Age of Renewal: The Catholic Reformation illuminates that period in which the Church—in the same heroic spirit of the Gregorian, Cluniac, or mendicant reforms—enacted “the rediscovery of living Tradition,” an endeavor “undertaken for God, for Jesus Christ, as a protestation of unwavering loyalty.”
The whole difference between Catholic reform and Protestant “reformation” is summed up in these words uttered by a monk of shining faith, Giles of Viterbo: “Men must be changed by religion, not religion by men.” (Henri Daniel-Rops)
Henri Daniel-Rops (1901–1965), the nom de plume of Henri Petiot, was a French Catholic historian. His bibliography comprises seventy books—written over a span of just thirty years—and includes Sacred History, Jesus and His Times, and the monumental, ten-volume History of the Church of Christ. He also served as editor for the Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, which consisted of one hundred and fifty volumes. Phenomenally successful in his own time, Daniel-Rops made religious history accessible and popular; in 1955, he was elected to the Académie française and in 1956 he received the Order of St. Gregory from Pope Pius XII.
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