The Mass of Brother Michel
Re-Published 2017 by Angelico Press, Foreword by Peter Kwasniewski | 270 pages | 5.25 × 8 in (Paperback)
Note: Our ‘Youth’ category includes some books which would be suitable for secondary school/high school readers but probably not younger. This is a title that parents will want enjoy reading themselves before deciding to give it to their children.
The Mass of Brother Michel, set in the tranquil countryside of southern France during the Reformation, is the story of a young man who “has it all”—until a fateful series of events leads him to a monastery. As Huguenot violence mounts, the characters of the story are pushed to extremes of hatred and love. The reader is swept along by a narrative as twisting and turbulent as a mountain stream, which culminates in a sovereign sacrifice as unforgettable as it was unforeseen. This is a story that shows with utter vividness the power of romantic love to cripple and deform, the power of suffering to undermine illusions and induce the labor of self-discovery, the power of prayer to reassemble the shards of the shattered image of God in the soul, and the power of the priest as the divine Physician’s privileged instrument.
At the center of the novel is the awesome mystery, scandal, consolation, and provocation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. To it some of the characters are irresistibly drawn; against it, others are violently arrayed. Here is a passionately told tale of their inner struggle and outward confrontation. No reader will fail to be astonished at its outcome and touched by its inspiring and miraculous climax.
“In The Mass of Brother Michel we have a work that should be shouted about in the marketplace and forced into the hands of those who think that the age of fine writing has passed away. It ought to be not only the Catholic Book of the Month but the Book of the Year.” — The Sign
“In style and conception the book is distinguished throughout; it re-creates skillfully the life of the period; it is dramatic and tense, and the author’s wit plays happily over every scene and character. Michael Kent has a rare gift for distilling the stuff of drama and romance that mark the ways of God with man.” — The Catholic World
“A really entertaining novel that is also a religious work is hard to find. This is a story of sixteenth-century France, of the volatile de Guillemonts, and of Michel, whose love for Louise conflicts with his love of the Mass. Fine qualities and base, family feuds and jealousies, all enter in to give the story substance.” — Kirkus Reviews