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.

  • St. Thomas Aquinas
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Bede Jarrett, O.P.

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

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  • Law and Sin December 1, 2021 • 7 min

    St. Paul talks a lot about the law, and that it’s good, and St. John talks a lot about lawlessness, and that it’s evil. In fact, St. Paul calls the Antichrist the lawless one, and St. John says there are many antichrists before the final one. What can we learn from all this?

  • How to overcome temptations November 30, 2021 • 11 min

    Evil is light a black hole. The more you stare at it, or the closer you get, the more you are pulled in. There’s only one way to avoid getting sucked into this black hole: cling fast to God.

  • Biblical words of comfort for those who suffer injustices November 29, 2021 • 10 min

    When you feel like you can’t handle any more of the difficulties God is putting in your life, don’t despair. Jesus is going to rescue you from it soon. Here are some of the promises from the Bible to comfort and reassure you:

  • Thoughts on what Heaven will be like November 28, 2021 • 13 min

    The goal of this life is to be convinced that the Love of God is worth not sinning. And one of the best rewards we will receive, if we believe this and put it into practice faithfully until death, is Heaven. So it’s helpful to think about Heaven and what it will be like.

  • Death and Life November 27, 2021 • 8 min

    We’re so afraid of bad things happening, but that’s exactly what Jesus came here to save us from. The more we love Jesus and trust in him, the less our problems in life can hurt us.

  • How the Saints were helped in bad times, and what they recommended us to do November 26, 2021 • 9 min

    The Saints universally recommend that we meditate on the Passion of Christ, as the best thing we can do for our salvation. It’s also extremely helpful in dealing with bad times.