Our Lady of Charity: How a Cuban Devotion to Mary Helped Me Grow in Faith and Love

Ave Maria Press
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Maria Morera Johnson grew up knowing the virgencita—the Virgin Mary—and had a special love for Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of Cuba.

Even after Johnson moved to the United States, Our Lady of Charity continued to influence her life. In her new book, the bestselling and award-winning author shares her childhood recollections of the devotion to the patroness of her native country and stories of how Mary helped her deepen her faith and led her to Jesus. Johnson also invites you to know Mary in a new way and to allow devotion to the Blessed Mother to help you open your heart to others and to grow in faith and love.

The origin of the devotion to Our Lady of Charity in Cuba comes from a seventeenth-century story of three men who were tossed about at sea during a violent storm. They prayed to Mary for her protection and the storm suddenly disappeared. They found a statue of the Blessed Mother holding Jesus and a gold cross floating in the water. The statue included the inscription: “I am the Virgin of Charity.” The statue was completely dry as it floated in the water.

Our Lady of Charity is not a Church-approved apparition; nevertheless, several popes—including St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, who celebrated Mass at her shrine during his visit to Cuba in 2015—have supported devotion to Mary under this title.

Johnson, author of the bestselling My Badass Book of Saints, traces the history of Our Lady of Charity in Cuba and how the devotion was spread by emigrants as they left their country behind. Johnson weaves the story of the devotion with Cuba’s history, memories of her homeland, and tales of her journey back to Cuba for the first time since her childhood during Pope Francis’s 2015 Apostolic Visit.

Throughout Our Lady of Charity, Johnson shares her devotion to Mary and passion for her Catholic faith. This evocative spiritual memoir is part history and part memory, part modern-day travelogue and part meditation on the role faith, family, and devotion have on how we live and love.

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About the author

Maria Morera Johnson is the author of the award-winning books Super Girls and Halos and My Badass Book of Saints. She also contributed to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion, Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary, and Gaze Upon Jesus. A CatholicMom.com blogger and educator, Johnson retired in 2016 from her positions as a composition and literature professor and the director of English learning support at Georgia Piedmont Technical College.

Johnson has spoken at a number of events, retreats, and conferences, including the National Council of Catholic Women, Austin Women’s Conference, and the Catholic Press Association. She also has been featured on CatholicTV and Busted Halo and in Catholic Digest and St. Anthony Messenger.

Johnson is a native of Cuba. She and her husband, John, have three grown children and live in the Mobile, Alabama, area.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Ave Maria Press
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Published on
Apr 5, 2019
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Pages
128
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ISBN
9781594719028
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Life / Prayer
Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Winner of a 2018 Catholic Press Association Award: Gender Issues. (Second Place).


Award-winning author Maria Morera Johnson follows up her bestselling book, My Badass Book of Saints, with a unique and daring exploration of the cardinal virtues through the saints and heroines of science fiction, fantasy, and comic books. Johnson will reignite your passion for your faith as she demonstrates the heroic in the sometimes mundane quest for good and reminds us that Catholicism is filled with adventure.

What do Wonder Woman and St. Katharine Drexel have in common? How about St. Clare of Assisi and Rey, the ingénue from Star Wars: The Force Awakens? All four women sought justice for the abused.

With the same zest for her faith and cheeky wit that readers found so compelling in My Badass Book of Saints and a love for the heroic journey that highlights her career, Johnson now focuses on heroines—improbable pairings of saints and characters from sci-fi, comics, and fantasy—who have influenced her life and deepened her understanding of the Church’s cardinal virtues: prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice.

Johnson tells her own story alongside the unlikely pairs to show how the cardinal virtues are at play in our lives as well:Prudence (judgment of right and wrong), which influences Marvel’s Black Widow and St. Mary Magdalene, as well as X-Files agent Dana Scully and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.Fortitude (courage), experienced by Marvel's Storm and St. Cunigunde, as well as Harry Potter's Hermione Granger and St. Marguerite D’Youville.Temperance (restraint of desires), which changes how we understand Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games series and St. Mary MacKillop, as well as Nyota Uhura of Star Trek fame and St. Kateri Tekakwitha.
With Johnson's enthusiasm as a guide, you’ll be inspired to embrace the virtues anew and find your faith in your favorite stories.

Discussion questions focusing on the cardinal virtues, making it a great resource for personal or group study.
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