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The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty

The Beauty of Holiness and the Holiness of Beauty

Art, Sanctity, and the Truth of Catholicism

By John Saward

174 pp

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About the Book

“Beauty will save the world,” said Dostoyevsky. In this book, John Saward presents a study of two ways in which the saving beauty of Christ shines upon the world: in the lives of His saints, and in the works of Christian art—“the beauty of holiness and the holiness of beauty.” This unique and unprecedented theological meditation centers on several works of art of the Dominican blessed, John of Fiesole, known to the world as Fra Angelico. Drawing on the wisdom of the Church’s Fathers and Doctors, Saward has written a book not on art history, but on the attractive radiance of Catholic truth. Its goal is to help Christians grow in wonder at the glory of Divine Revelation, to which both the Church’s saints and the Church’s art bear witness.


“The importance of this luminous book can scarcely be overestimated. The substance of Saward’s scholarship and his understanding of culture are dazzling. His vision is of utmost urgency. This is wise, deeply moving, and invigorating—a masterpiece!”


“The more I read of John Saward’s work, the more I am inclined to include his name on the very short list of preeminently important twentieth-century Catholic writers. He opens to us yet another rich aspect of the Faith that seems scarcely to have been touched on before. Read it, and find your vision vastly deepened and heightened.”


“Professor Saward provides his readers a great service by his careful treatment of the connection between sacred art, the heroic virtue of saintly people, and the fullness of truth taught by Christ and His Church. The numerous citations of Catholic artists, poets, and musicians demonstrate how the Catholic Faith elevates civilization. Perhaps through efforts such as Professor Saward’s, we will see the prevailing culture of death in our day pale in the light of a civilization of life and love radiating from the beauty of holiness, and the holiness of beauty, that truth inspires.”


About the Author

FR. JOHN SAWARD is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall and priest in charge of the parish of SS. Gregory and Augustine, Oxford.

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