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The World's First Love [Paperback]

By Fulton J. Sheen (Author)
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Item Number 126525  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   276
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.05" Width: 5.34" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.81 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 1996
Publisher   Ignatius Press
ISBN  0898705975  
EAN  9780898705973  
UPC  008987059752  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
With all the characteristic brilliance and eloquence, Fulton J. Sheen tells the story of the Blessed Virgin Mary and examines Marian beliefs ranging from the Immaculate Conception to the miracle of Fatima. Her whole life, from the moment the Angel appeared to her announcing she was to be the Mother of the Son of God, through the boyhood of the Child Christ, the beginning of His public life at the marriage at Cana, the Passion and death at Calvary, up to the time of her assumption into heaven is lovingly and reverently portrayed. While considering the different phases of the life of Mary, Archbishop Sheen discusses various problems common to mankind of all times and in his inimitable manner reveals clearly that every problem, however difficult, may be resolved. Mankind's need of the Mother of God and her burning love for all her children are repeatedly stressed by the author. The tremendous resurgence today of devotion to Mary is God's way of emphasizing the worth and dignity of mankind as against the false doctrines which have so confused the modern world.

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More About Fulton J. Sheen

Fulton J. Sheen Fulton John Sheen (born Peter John Sheen, May 8, 1895 – December 9, 1979) was an American archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. His cause for canonization for sainthood was officially opened in 2002. In June 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially recognized a decree from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints stating that he lived a life of "heroic virtues" – a major step towards beatification – so he is now referred to as "Venerable".

Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Peoria in 1919, Sheen quickly became a renowned theologian, earning the Cardinal Mercier Prize for International Philosophy in 1923. He went on to teach theology and philosophy as well as acting as a parish priest before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York in 1951. He held this position until 1966 when he was made the Bishop of Rochester from October 21, 1966 to October 6, 1969, when he resigned and was made the Archbishop of the Titular See of Newport, Wales.

For 20 years he hosted the night-time radio program The Catholic Hour (1930–1950) before moving to television and presenting Life Is Worth Living (1951–1957). Sheen's final presenting role was on the syndicated The Fulton Sheen Program (1961–1968) with a format very similar to that of the earlier Life is Worth Living show. For this work, Sheen twice won an Emmy Award for Most Outstanding Television Personality, the only personality appearing on the DuMont Network ever to win a major Emmy award.[clarification needed] Starting in 2009, his shows were being re-broadcast on the EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network's Church Channel cable networks.[5] Due to his contribution to televised preaching Sheen is often referred to as one of the first televangelists.

Fulton J. Sheen was born in 1895 and died in 1979.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
The World's First love  Jun 16, 2007
Inspirational writing guided by the Holy Spirit through Bishop Fulton Sheen.
No one does it better than Sheen!  Mar 8, 2005
I must say after reading this book that no one does it better than Venerable Fulton Sheen. His insight and knowledge of Mary from the Gospels and Church teachings is truly marvelous and through. This book is recommended to both Catholics and non-catholics, all who would like to know about the life of Mary, Mother of Jesus will find within its pages a wealth of information.
Definitely not one of Sheen's best!  Feb 10, 2003
I am a great admirer of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen and I adore many of the books he has written, but I believe that The World's First Love is not one of his best literary works.

This book is filled with such sweeping generalities and general statements that sometimes it is hard to take Sheen seriously. In fact, this is one of the criticisms levied against Sheen by Thomas Reeves in his book America's Bishop. Reeves notes that many of Sheen's works include so many broad assertions and generalities that Sheen often had to defend and recast some of the things he wrote.

Just a few of the grand assumptions Sheen makes are things such as, since Jesus taught so much to the Apostles in the span of 3 years, just imagine what he taught His mother over the span of 30 years. How does anyone know what he taught Mary while he lived with her? Scripture is silent on such issues, but scripture does tell us that Jesus became actively involved in his public ministry after his baptism in the Jordan. Any imaginative specualtion about Jesus' years with Mary is just that, speculation.

Moreover, in the beginning Sheen attributes some verses in the book of Proverbs describing wisdom to Mary. These are new developments to me! To assume that Mary was innocently playing during the acts of creation by God is quite a grand leap in logic. At one point Sheen remarks that this Wisdom being discussed in these verses is Jesus, but in the beginning of his book he says these verses are describing Mary.

Also, implicit in Sheen's book is the idea that Mary is the pinnacle of human creation; The capstone of God's handiwork if you will. I have no qualms by saying that Mary was one of the holiest, if not the holiest person born of man who ever lived, but I don't place her at the pinnacle of human creation. Sheen's remarks about Mary being the quintessential woman and what every man desires as the perfect mate, and what every woman aspires to be in earnest are grand assumptions indeed.

Nevertheless, I did appreciate a few aspects of this book. I loved how Sheen illustrated that every Christian who ignores Mary's epithet of mother of God can be classified into four groups all condemned as heretics. All Christians need to recognize that Mary is in fact the mother of God and needs to be called by that distinguished title; To not do so is to rob her of the distinction she claimed for herself in the first chapter of Luke when she stated that all generations will call her blessed. Second, I liked how Sheen debunks the view that Joseph was an old man when he married Mary. Sheen does an excellent job of showing why such a view is erroneous and implausible.

Like I stated at the beginning, I am a great admirer of Sheen and love his literary works, but this book had too many defincencies and does not live up to the quality of some of Sheen's other works. Read this book to gain a greater appreciation for Mary and to contemplate her role in the New Testament, but do not take everything Sheen writes at face value.

Mary and More  Jan 14, 2003
I was surprised that I enjoyed this book to the extremes that I did. I was equally surprised by the elegance of the writing. I know that many women will read this book and cringe at statements such as "Here is the essence of womanhood--acceptance, resignation, submission"(83). Reading this line did scare me, but if read within the context of the entire book and keeping in mind Sheen's undeniable love and respect for women throughout his discussion, it can be thought of in a completely different way. Basically, I view much of the writing in the book as ideals, such as ideals of love or ideals of men/women. Unfortunately, the world is often so corrupt that it is difficult to live or even think in ideals. This book is full of such beauty that it will make many women consider what it means to be a feminist or complete woman. I don't think women have to become men to be successful. Besides all of this, it is a wonderful introduction to Mary and the rosary within a broad discussion of love. The book does have some outdated sections, due to its publication in 1952, but much of it remains timeless. Even if you end up hating what the book says, you will not be able to deny the beauty of some lines such as "All human love is an initiation into the Eternal" (12).
A Magnificent Achievement  Jul 20, 2002
A beautiful book on Our Blessed Mother -- remarkably thoughtful and incisive, and very well written. Moreover, for a book first published 50 years ago, "The World's First Love" remains fresh and relevant. To be sure, some aspects are a bit dated: Communism is not the threat it was in 1952, and the same is true of atomic war. Also, Archbishop Sheen has proven to be more optimistic than history has warranted. He more or less predicts, for example, that within 30 years (that is, by the 1980s) the world would have pretty much seen the Light that is Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tragically, that wasn't true 20 years ago, and it's certainly not true today (if the sewage was up to our waist in 1982, it's up to armpits in 2002).

No matter. This is a beautiful book on Mary, and I heartily recommend it (along with "A Woman Clothed with the Sun" as a delightful companion piece).


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