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The ten catecheses in this richly illustrated volume take us back to the historical period immediately following the first Fathers of the Church. Each of the Spiritual Masters described by Pope Benedict left their own mark on the Church's culture and spirituality and helped in her growth.
John Climacus describes the ladder to heaven famously depicted in many icons but also present in the practical counsels he passes on to us in his writings. Bede the Venerable reminds us of the centrality of the Sacred Scriptures as a constant source of theological reflection. St Boniface, Apostle to the Germans and a great organiser, founded the monastery of Fulda in 743 which became the heart and the centre from which a new spiritual and religious culture spread. A less well known writer from Provence was Ambrose Autpert, who transmits across the centuries his precious theological work on the struggle between good and evil; he was a great defender of sacred images and of the Assumption of Our Lady. John Damascene was a figure of great importance in the history of the Universal Church and of Byzantine theology. St Theodore the Studite bore a vivid and coherent witness to Jesus in turbulent times. Rabanus Maurus was a monk whose writings help put us into contact with the wisdom of the ancients. John Scotus Erigena excelled as a notable thinker and patristic scholar. Sts Cyril and Methodius were brothers united both in the Faith and blood who together committed their lives to missionary work and to sanctity.