Here is a beautiful and stirring devotional book written and designed by two Jesuits poet Daniel Berrigan and iconographer William Hart McNichols. The 27 friends of God who populate these pages are a diverse group including saints, martyrs, mystics, theologians, lay men and women, and children. As Megan McKenna notes in the introduction: "Each person written here in icon and print is an icon of divine love, a particular path of discipleship, a glimpse of the face of Christ written in human flesh, among us still."
As one would expect of those admired by Daniel Berrigan, many of these holy people were a thorn in the flesh of the Catholic Church. The poet describes St. Joan of Arc as "a Daniel in a cave of ecclesial carnivores." In the same vein is St. Maria Goretti, a murdered child who stands as an "emblem of a bloodshot century." Other nontraditional holy people include Mechthild of Magdeburg whose anger at the worldly church was awesome (you can almost see it wedged in her jaw in the icon); Benjamin Joseph Salmon, a World War I conscientious resister; Egide Van Broeckhoven, founder of the worker-priest movement; Maura "Soshin" O'Halloran, a Catholic Zen monk; and lay theologian William Stringfellow.
The Bride bears witness to the deep love Berrigan and McNichols have for the Catholic Church and especially for those radicals who have challenged and reformed her with their ardor and self-sacrificing love.