Catholic Reference Books

The books here are not intended to be read through, but referenced on an as-needed basis, like a dictionary or encyclopedia (both of which this page contains).


  • St. Thomas Aquinas and the Fathers of the Church

    Latin for “golden chain”, the Catena Aurea is St. Thomas Aquinas’s masterful weaving together of the commentary of the Fathers of the Church on all four Gospels. This edition was translated by St. John Henry Newman into English.

  • William E. Addis, Thomas Arnold, M.A.

    Very comprehensive reference from 1917 with entries on practically every topic of interest, some so long they’d be fit for an encyclopedia. Obviously missing about 100 years of context, but for many questions still very useful.

  • Charles G. Herbermann, Ph.D., L.L.D., Edward A. Pace, Ph.D., D.D., Conde B. Pallen, Ph.D., L.L.D., Thomas J. Shahan, D.D., John J. Wynne, S.J., Assisted by Numerous Collaborators

    The entire Catholic Encyclopedia of 1914. Extremely thorough and useful and covers practically every Catholic topic of interest. Missing about 100 years of context, which is to be expected.

  • Bede Jarrett, O.P.

    Down to earth explanations of a wide variety of Catholic truths, principles, concepts, and devotions, without watering them down.

  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • The Book of Saints: A Dictionary of Servants of God Canonised by the Catholic Church: Extracted from the Roman & Other Martyrologies
    The Benedictine Monks of St. Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate

    Short entries on many saints; a dictionary

Book Snippets