Catholic poetry and literature

What is your favorite Catholic poetry and literature? I would like to begin diving deep into the intellectual beauty of The Church!


A good starting guide is the book Exploring Catholic Literature. On Amazon.

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There’s really a lot of material from which you can choose. It really depends on what kind of literature you want to read. There are great works written by directly by saints (St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine) or by popes. Also Lay people have written great works. Dante’s Divine comedy, Chestertons and Tolkiens books. The Lord of the Rings is a book with a lot of depth when you drive into it a bit and there are clearly visible Catholic themes in it. You could also try Tolkiens friend (Tolkien actually converted him to Catholicism) C. S. Lewis.
You won’t be able to read my favorite Catholic poet (and songwriter) Karel Kryl though, because he’s from my home country (The Czech Republic :czech_republic:) and I doubt that his work is translated into English. Maybe I should try to translate it one day? :grin:

No. Tolkien didn’t convert Lewis. Though he certainly tried.

The error that Lewis became an RC comes up from time to time in places like this. Didn’t happen.

“Lewis returned to at the age of 32, owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, and he became an “ordinary layman of the Church of England”. Lewis’s faith profoundly affected his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.”

Ok, so he was an atheist and Tolkien and the Inklings brought him back to Christianity.

I would really like to see a list of great Catholic authors besides the ones who wrote in English. I know we are all missing out on all kinds of awesome stuff not in English.

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Pretty much, yes. Tolkien and Dyson, on Addison’s Walk, Dyson in the late night discussions that followed. Brought Lewis back to the concept of Christianity. He had argued himself back to theism a year before.

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Try to get hold of the Encyclopedia of Catholic Literature. It is in 2 volumes and lists more than 100 of the best Catholic authors, from all times and countries, with detailed information about the work itself and the author. Fr. Hardon also published a work on the greatest Catholic works, the Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan (although this includes philosophy, theology, etc as well as literature). I’m sure a search on amazon would be fruitful. I could name half a dozen other sources, but these and the one I mentioned above will help.


Thanks for the reference. Sounds very interesting.

Thank you for this thread. Leading up to his canonization this October 13th, may I recommend a poem and a dramatic story, from the works of John Henry Cardinal Newman.

The Dream of Gerontius

My favorite literary work by a Catholic continues to be Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.
If you opt to see it on the screen after reading, the 1981 BBC version is best and is very faithful to the book.

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