The Son of God pervades the Whole of Reality – St Athanasius on the Word

Saint Athanasius rightfully taught us that the Word/Son of the Father is the rational principle that holds the entire created universe together. For this reason, the Word cannot be created. He stands over creation from all eternity.

Check out this profound insight from Saint Athanasius about the relationship between the Word of the Father and the created universe:

He is God, the living and creative God of the universe, the Word of the good God, who is God in his own right. The Word is different from all created things: he is the unique Word belonging only to the good Father. This is the Word that created this whole world and enlightens it by his loving wisdom. He who is the good Word of the good Father produced the order in all creation, joining opposites together, and forming from them one harmonious sound. He is God, one and only-begotten, who proceeds in goodness from the Father as from the fountain of goodness, and gives order, direction and unity to creation. (Discourse Against the Pagans)

Consider the most complicated mathematical problems, the rate of gravity, the structure of DNA sequences, the speed of light, the chemical compounds of substances, the expanding universe, etc. All these things are designed, controlled, measured, and governed constantly by the divine Word of God.

Even before Christ entered the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, He was perfectly guiding and controlling the universe like a conductor over all reality.

But the Son of God does not simply govern over. He is not merely a conductor of trillion piece orchestra. He is also intimately present in every person, instrument, note, chord, and sound. He lives and moves in all of creation as the rational binding principle of everything. Here is Saint Athanasius again:

The almighty and most holy Word of the Father pervades the whole of reality, everywhere unfolding his power and shining on all things visible and invisible. He sustains it all and binds it all together in himself. He leaves nothing devoid of his power but gives life and keeps it in being throughout all of creation and in each individual creature.

This is not “pantheism,” which is the heresy that “God is everything,” or that “my pencil is God, and my table is God, and that tree is God.”

Rather, this is the Christian mystery of Word of God as the measure, ratio, and animator of every single created element and force in the universe.

While we enjoy our lives and our salvation through the Son of God Jesus Christ, He is also tending to that black hole light years away, and perfectly spinning the 69 (known) moons of Jupiter. He delights in the presence of the Father as He builds and holds the galaxies (and the molecular structure of your lunch) together.

We Christians rightly focus on the historical Jesus Christ as the Crucified Rabbi who died and resurrected for our sins, but we should also follow the awe of Saint Athanasius in seeing Him as the personal order of everything that ever was, is now, and ever shall be.

To learn more about the Church Fathers (and especially Saint Athanasius), check out our Curriculum on Patristics.

The Sexual Motivation for the European -> Muslim Slave Trade

A few days ago I wrote about how Pope Zachary banned the selling of slaves in Rome. The slave trade in Italy was focused on the selling of Europeans to Muslims.

People often neglect the fact that this slave trade was sexually and racially motivated. What I am about to write is politically incorrect, but the historical facts bear witness to it:

Muslim men wanted to purchase fair skinned, blonde or redheaded European girls as sex slaves. It didn’t start with the film Taken. Giulio Rosati’s painting pretty much says it all about this sick arrangement:

Giulio Rosati’s “Inspection of New Arrivals” (Edited with black bars)

Muhammad repeatedly taught that Muslim men may copulate with slave girls without sin or fault. Even Muslim wives recognized this right of Muslim men. So Muslim men wanted to buy what they believed was “the best.”

[In Islamic texts, we see the “divine and celestial sexual preference” for female “whiteness” in the promised 72 Virgins (Houri) who are described as very white or almost translucent. In fact, the word “houri” may be etymologically related to the word for “white grapes.” The 72 Houri waiting in Heaven for Muslim men are “white, wide-eyed, large breasted, never menstruate or urinate.”]

Males were also kidnapped for labor, eg as chained rowers in ships. At the battle of Lepanto, almost all of the rowers for the Turks were enslaved Christian men. I give all the numbers in the New Saint Thomas Institute video lesson on the Battle of Lepanto.

The Muslim slave trade of Europeans did not cease in the 1500s. According to Robert Davis, between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured between the 16th and 19th centuries by Muslim pirates, who were vassals of the Ottoman Empire, and sold as slaves.

The Price of European Males Slaves vs Female Slaves

The sexual motivation for selling European women to Muslims can be seen in the price being paid:

  • female slaves sold at a tremissa ($75 USD in 2018 USD weight in gold)
  • male slaves sold at a obolos ($17 in 2018 USD weight in silver).
  • So a European female was worth to the Muslim slave buyer 4.4x that of a European male.

“The Merchant’s Pearl” by Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma
depicted a northern European woman being sold in Muslim lands.

From these prices we see that Muslim men were chiefly interested in buying European women, not men. Clearly, European women were not being bought for their strength or endurance in manual labor.

Yes, yes. Islam is a religion of peace and the tremendously respects women. Yawn. Here is the authentic Islamic tradition on how men may copulate (rape) their slave girls:

The Quran (23:6 and 70:30) draw a distinction between spouses and “those whom one’s right hands possess” (ie “slavegirls”) while clarifying that sexual intercourse with either is permissible.

“And successful are the believers who guard their chastity…except from their wives or those that their right hands possess.” (Quran 23:6)

“And those who guard their private parts: except from their wives or those their right hands possess, for indeed, they are not to be blamed.” (Quran 70:29-30)

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi explains that “two categories of women have been excluded from the general command of guarding the private parts: (a) wives, (b) women who are legally in one’s possession.” So if you buy the girl, she is yours.

Islam is not good for the world. It is violent. It is intolerant. It is sexually corrupt. Christians need to wake up. Please Share this post via Facebook to get the word out by clicking here!

Here’s my Webinar on “The History of Mohammad and Islam” to learn more about the sinful and perverted life of Mohammad. Sign up and watch it (for FREE) by clicking here.

Pope Zachary (d. 752) in 7 Points

Pope Zachary is one of the top 10 Popes of the early medieval periods. Let’s take a look at some high points in his pontificate:

  1. Pope Zachary appointed Saint Boniface (Apostle of Germany) in AD 742 as Papal Legate to the German dioceses.
  2. Pope Zachary condemned the practice of worshipping angels in AD 745.
  3. He is the Pope known for deposing the Merovingian King of the Franks, Childeric III and then granting the crown to Pepin the Short, the father of Charlemagne. Saint Boniface crowned Pepin King of the Franks at Soissons in 752.
  4. Pope Zachary accused the court of Constantinople, along with its Patriarch, and its Emperor Constantine V of heresy. They promoted iconoclasm: the destruction of images of Christ and the saints and banned their production. (Here’s my podcast on iconoclasm in its Byzantine context.)
  5. Pope Zachary built the original church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (“over Minerva”) over an ancient temple to Minerva near the Pantheon. This church would later become a setting for the Dominican Order. It’s (revised) interior is stunning.
  6. Pope Zachary forbade the selling of slaves to Muslims in the city of Rome.
  7. But here is why I really like Pope Zachary: While restoring the Lateran Palace, he relocated the relic of the skull of Saint George to the church of San Giorgio al Velabro (a church I visit annually in Rome).

Here’s a photo of me in San Giorgio al Velabro kneeling by the altar that holds the skull of Saint George.

It looks empty now but a cleric in the church told me that the skull is still in there. Just not visible (if I understood his Italian).

If you’d like to read my bestselling historical fictional account of Saint George’s life, please check out my novel: Sword and Serpent at amazon.com.

Are Catholic Canonizations of Saints Infallible? Yes

On the interwebs you sometimes bump into a few Catholics that assert that canonizations are not infallible or are reversible. They will cite saints who are allegedly un-sainted (eg. St George, St Christopher, St Philomena – I explain why they are NOT un-sainted in this podcast) or they will object to canonized saints that they don’t like (eg, St John XIII or St Josemaria).

Canonizations are Infallible. Here’s why:

Concerning the Potential Problem of “Damned Saints”:

When a person is damned, he hates and curses God forever in Hell. That’s what damnation is. It’s a decision to reject God and His love. The damned person lacks all charity toward God. As Thomas Aquinas, would say, he belongs to the Kingdom of Satan. He is officially anti-Christ.

If the Church mistakingly were to canonize a damned man, then that means monks and nuns would be praying the Liturgy of the Hours and commemorating a man who currently curses God – and doing so annually in the liturgical cycle. Moreover, this would entail that priests are celebrating Masses in honor of a man who is literally diabolical. Even more so, churches, chapels, and cathedrals would be erected and consecrated in honor a man who hates God. No doubt, the devil would love all of this. So canonizations are infallible.

Concerning the Potential Problem of “Make-Believe Saints”

The same goes saints who are claimed to not have existed. If someone were to say that St George or St Christopher were make-believe people, then you have the Liturgy of Hours and Holy Mass celebrated to what amount to cartoon characters. It would be like celebrating Mass in honor of Luke Skywalker. It’s a mockery of true religion.

[Shameless plug: Check out my #1 Bestselling Historical Novel Sword and Serpent for a plausible biography of Saint George (and the “Dragon”) along with Saint Christopher by clicking here.]

We can grant that the legends and hagiography about certain saints are exaggerated or embellished, but we cannot say that the Church formally venerates imaginary people, celebrated Mass in honor of imaginary people, or that there are Churches dedicated to imaginary people.

If so, the devil would love all of this. So canonizations are infallible. It’s also worth noting that when a Pope canonizes a saint he invokes his authority as Vicar of Christ and successor to Saints Peter and Paul in a way similar to declaring dogmas infallible.

I recently wrote a history of the process of canonizations. You can read it here: “How Saints are Canonized: from Local to Papal Canonizations over Time.”

Subordination to Joseph in the Holy Family

The modern feminist/socialist objects to the traditional Israelite structure of the family: the male father is the head of the wife and the children.

Instead, we observe the media’s depiction of the father is a comical dolt. The children laugh at him. The mother goes around his back. Sitcoms and films are replete with foolish fathers who justify the claim that there is no hierarchy in family.

Society tells all men to “man up” and marry but as soon as he does, he is presumed to become an embarrassing caricature of manhood, as someone resembling Homer Simpson or George McFly from Back to the Future:

We find the perfect familiar order (and corrective to our times) in the Holy Family, which conforms perfectly with divine law and natural law. Moreover, God in providential irony set up the Holy Family so that the most wise and meritorious members of the family submit to the less wise and meritorious.

Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Jesus Christ (Divine Logos and Son of God) submits to Mary and Joseph.
  2. Mary (Immaculate Conception and Mother of God) submits to Joseph.
  3. Joseph (neither divine person like Christ nor immaculate like Mary) is the Head of Holy Family.

If merit, grace, or dignity were the criteria for leadership and headship, clearly it would be Joseph at the bottom of the leadership chain. But not so. God honors the natural order of fathers in the family and he recognizes Joseph as the leader. Although Joseph is least gifted and least worthy, he is nonetheless submitted to and obeyed by the Divine Jesus and the Immaculate Mary.

Children often test their fathers: Is he truly a great man? Do I truly want to follow him? Wives do the same: Did I marry the right man? Is he the hero that chose me and swept me off my feet or is he George McFly?

We all question our leaders. For this reason, fathers should strive to be excellent and fulfill their mission in life. This earns respect from wives and children. It quiets their worries about whether he is the great man that they hope him to be. However, no man is perfect. Jesus and Mary were greater than Joseph, and yet they were patient with him as he understood less than they did.

If any man in history were comparatively outclassed by his wife and child, it was Saint Joseph. This is an example to all families. The father of the home should be honored as the head of the wife and head of the family – even if he is less holy, less wise, less prudent, less pious than his mother and children: because that was once the case with Saint Joseph.

No doubt, the comments will be filled with testimonies such as: “My father was evil and he did XYZ.” I grant that these deep fractures exist in countless famliies. There are fathers out there that earn a score of F-.

But let’s be honest, many (most?) fathers out there are scoring As, Bs, and Cs on their report card. They work hard. The pay for Christmas. They tell bedtime stories. They play catch and teach children how to swim. They pay for insurance and health care. They fix the car. They live the faith. They take the family to church. They spend time investing in their children. They respect and love their wives. They are the oak.

So if your husband/father is scoring a B+ in your mind (and you think you’re scoring an A+), be like Mary and Joseph and honor him anyway as chosen by God to be your unworthy leader. The soul of a man is fueled by respect. I have no doubt that the soul of Joseph was rocket-boosted to highest heaven by the fuel of respect poured into him by his betters: by his wife Mary and his foster son Jesus.

Happy Feast of Holy Family. May Jesus protect all families from the Devil and from the Herods of the world,

Dr Taylor Marhall

Holy Innocents: Why does God allow so many babies to die?

How do Christians account for child martyrdom, child death, original sin and the fact that the majority of Homo sapiens have died before birth?

The feast of the Holy Innocents marks the martyrdom of an unnumbered group of boys aged 2 and under during the reign of King Herod and fulfills the prophecy of St Jeremias:

Then was fulfilled that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more.’ (Jer 31:15)

How can children become martyrs if they cannot speak or affirm faith?

These holy innocents are martyrs because they were murdered in odium fidei (in hatred of the Faith). If someone kills a child on accident or even through malice, that child is not a martyr. However, if the murderer kills the child out of hatred for Christ or the Christian faith, then the child is a martyr. Same goes for adults. If a robber shoots a father in his home, he is not a martyr. If an Islamic State terrorists shoots because a man because he won’t renounce Christ, then that victim is a martyr.

Children can become martyrs for the same reason that children are baptized. Other persons can effect persecution (or sacramental grace) upon them. Babies have personal relationships. My babies had “personal relationships” with their mother at the breast immediately (and even before birth). It’s a unique non-verbal relationship. And if that “personal relationship” between mother and baby exists, then a “personal relationship” can exist between a baby and our Triune God.

Parents usher their babies into the eternal life and energy of the Holy Trinity at the baptismal font and so also did Herod’s soldiers baptize the Holy Innocents with their own blood.

Our family asks for the intercession of the boy Holy Innocents every evening and their presence in Scripture and the Catholic Calendar remind us that children die. But why?

Why do children die?

Saint Irenaeus of Lyons (d. 202) explained how the sin of Adam and Eve passed down to all generations and deprived even infants of the supernatural blessing of Eden.

The Eastern Fathers such as Saint Gregory Nazianzus noted the theological problem of children dying. Children are not guilty of personal sins. Why would God allow them to die. And when they die, where do they go? Heaven? Hell? Perhaps a special place reserved for them?

Saint Gregory and others noted that children die not through their own fault, but on account of being born outside Eden – that is being born under the sin of Adam and Eve. The Eastern Churched calls this προπατορικὸν ἁμάρτημα (propatorikon harmatema) or “ancestral sin.”

The Western Church calls it peccatum originale or “original sin.” Without getting into Eastern vs. Western distinctions, all Christians agree that the penalty of death has spread to all human persons, even children. And we all agree (even the Jansenist or Calvinist) that children die not on account of their own personal misdeeds.

Why do they die? We don’t know, but we trust that their eternal life is better than any life they had here. Whether it is postulated as natural paradise, limbo, or a hope for supernatural Heaven itself, their life is one of peace, rest, happiness, and beatitude.

Do most humans die in infancy?

It’s patently obvious that more than 51+% of members of the race of homo sapiens died before the age of 7. We might even dare to say that 51+% of every homo sapiens died before being born. This is a starting fact to consider from a theological perspective. Most humans in God’s image died prior breathing.

Why is this?

There are a few optional explanations:

  1. Predestination Option: God predestines most humans to die in utero or in infancy because he likes the idea of Heaven (or limbo) being populated with people who have never committed a personal sin against him or another – despite them having been conceived without habitual grace. This theory would posit that every human child receives habitual or sacramental grace prior to death to Heaven OR that they don’t receive habitual grace and so end up in perfect natural (but not supernatural) paradise. And this natural paradise is often known off the cuff as limbo. (Pun intended. The Latin limbus means “cuff”.)

    [NOTE: I should add here that the heretic John Calvin used this argument above (that all deceased babies go to Heaven) in favor of unconditional election. He noted that so many babies die before and after birth (including his own dead children), and so this confirms the fact that God chooses them for Heaven without any faith or merit.]

  2. Pre-Existence Option: The Church Father (but not saint) Origen posited that every human pre-existed in a celestial realm prior to conception in a mother’s womb. Each of these minds erred or sinned in this celestial realm and thus were consigned to a carnal life on earth suiting the measure of their rebellion. So a pre-existent mind that rebelled greatly against the Trinity would be given a very tedious life on earth so that they could merit salvation through Christ. However, a pre-existent mind that only slightly rebelled against the Trinity would be given a very brief life on earth by which they would turn back to God. And these, then, are the little children that die before and after birth. They are the ones who sinned in a lesser degree before being conceived on earth.

    [NOTE: This opinion of Origen is not held by many today – except in a corrupted form by Mormons.]

  3. We don’t really know. I think this is the theological position of most Christians. There is no easily packaged explanation for a pair of parents standing over their child’s tiny grave. There is no easy answer for a woman after miscarriage. It’s never been the position of Christians to dogmatically describe the afterlife for children other than saying: “they do not suffer and they are at peace.” We don’t know much because the Bible says nothing about it. We can only rest on the conviction that God desires all men to be saved and that He is fully aware that 51+% die before attaining the age of reason or before professing faith.

PS: If you’re interested in reading more of my posts on the topic of infant death, limbo, St Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas etc., check out this series of posts: Unbaptized babies that die: 5 Theories.

Top 10 Christmas Gifts for Men – 2017 Edition

Every year I assemble a Top 10 Manly Gifts for Your Husband, Father, or Man in your Life. It’s immensely popular and throughout the year I meet men all over the country who say to me: “Hey thanks for recommending X on your list, ‘Top 10 Manly Christmas gifts’. My wife got it for me and I love it.”

The goal is to list gifts that he likes, but may not think of or ask for himself. If you need something interesting, different, and approved, check out this list.

Nota bene: In years past, I have recycled some of the most popular gifts, like this here Swiss Army Knife that is perfect for men, but especially for young or teenaged boys. If your son or husband doesn’t have a Swiss Army, get this one for him ASAP. He’ll love it and use it all Christmas morning to open boxes and gifts for everyone.

This year I wanted to change it up with 2 rules:

  • I have to own/use it.
  • It’s never been on a previous Top List before.

So here we go:

10. Amazon Echo or Show

I purchased an Echo for Joy and thought it was so cool I also got a Show for the kitchen counter. With just her voice, she can call up recipes, measurements, news, etc. But a guy can use it to call up weather, movie times,weather, his calendar appointments for the day, and any sport results or sport times coming up in future.


You can also fact check on it. For example, the other night we were debating how many people died in World War I. So I just said, “Alexa, how many people died in World War I?” and she answered: “17 million people died in World War I including 7 million civilians and 10 million military personnel.” How cool is that? We use it often and it’s great gift.

  • The Amazon Echo has no screen just sound (You can play music on it and it sounds GREAT).
  • The Amazon Show has a screen that shows images and text of what you ask or request.

9. Whisky Ice Ball Mold

I love scotch and I love the gigantic sphere ice cubes. My father got me these molds and they are easy to use and work great.

They are the #1 Bestseller on Amazon for this type of thing and they are the best. The “cool” thing about these large ice balls is that it melts slower than normal ice so you’re drink is cool but NOT watered down. It’s amazing. Get him some whisky ice ball molds for his stocking for only 9.99 by clicking here.

8. The Roku Premier

I love our Roku. I canceled cable which saves a lot of money. The Roku allows us to watch Amazon Prime content or Netflix. Get rid of cable. Get rid of ads. The Roku plugs into your TV or into your Receiver and streams content.

I like the Roku Premiere which is the most up to date version at only $65. Click here to get it.

7. Resistance Exercise Bands

I used to think you needed heavy weights and weights only, but these bands proved me wrong. I like to stretch with them and to place them under my feet and then do arm exercises.

They stretch and work the muscles well and you can do various muscle groups and angles that you could NEVER do with traditional weights. It’s a great addition to any work out routine. If your guy doesn’t lift, these are a threatening introduction. You will be sore but in a good way. Get the mixed pack for 29.95 – you’ll need different resistance levels for various exercises.

6. Wool Gloves

I’ve worn a pair of these for decades. They are rough and tough but they actually dress up pretty nice with a blazer or peacoat in the winter. You’ll get compliments on them.

Every man needs gloves. These are practical and stylish. At $25, these gloves are awesome.

5. Patagonia — Synchilla Snap-T Fleece Pullover

Sweatshirts and even sweaters are just okay. This pullover is stylish and tough. I’ve been wearing one of these for…decades (am I that old?). Patagonia is a great brand and it’s not going to fray or rip. They are for great skiing, camping, sitting by the fire, or for taking out the trash. I like the one depicted below:

At $200 it is on the expensive side, but I think it’s worth it and it’s a gift that will last for over 10 years. Check out the various color options (I also like black and charcoal) by clicking here.

4. Audio Technica AT-LP60BK Record Player

This is the record player that my family got me 2 years ago. It’s great. We’ve had so much fun with it, from listening our parents old LPs, to searching out and buying new music on vinyl.

The benefit is that we actually sit down in chairs, but on an LP and sit and listen to the record and talk about it. Music is often in the car or on the run. Vinyl makes it an experience again. It’s a cool gift. Get this one for $89 (higher quality than what anyone had in the 70s) and throw in one of his favorite vinyl records from the past.

3. Pomade

The secret to great hair is pomade. Remember George Clooney in Oh Brother Where Art Thou? His hair was legit because his pomade was legit:

Most guys think this is stuff for Presidents or movie stars in the 1950s. Um, yeah? What’s wrong with that? It’s awesome. This is a cheap gift but it makes your hair awesome. Just a dab will do ya! Get the Pomade by Crew (it’s in my hair now) for $34.

2. Nest Learning Thermostat 3rd Generation (Works with Amazon Alexa)

We got one in the summer and it’s AMAZING. We save tons of money on electric and heating and we are more comfortable. It actually senses when you are in the house and over time adjusts the power usage and temps to be most comfortable and save money. So if you leave the house every Tuesday for 5 hours at noon, it learns that and adjusts which save a lot of cash.  It also looks super cool on your wall:

It hooks up to your mobile devices and phones. And remember how I recommend Amazon Show or Echo above – this thermastat can be voice controlled via Alexa. It’s a game changer. Start your smart home with Alexa. I had a lot of fun setting it up and watching it adjust and save money week after week (it keeps track of usage and shows you much you’re saving.)

Don’t be scared by the $244 price tag. I promise you’ll save that much easy in your first year using it. Get a Nest Thermostat here.

1. A Grown Man’s Victornox Slicing Knife

If you could just get one gift, get him this one. I know he needs a nice carving knife, because I also know that most men use the old knives that their wives use every day – the ones that your uncle gave you on your wedding day. However, every man needs to learn how to age and prepare meat and this is STEP ONE: A NICE SLICING KNIFE.

My father has a PhD in meat science so he’s passed on some education to me, and this knife is awesome:

  • It has over 1,000 5 star reviews. Rave reviews.
  • It’s made by Victornox (the people who make the Swiss Army Knife).
  • It’s #1 Bestseller in Carving Knives.
  • There are better knives but for the price ($43), this is a steal.

Best of all, he can carve Christmas dinner with it. It will be his knife in the kitchen. Get the Victornox 12 inch Slicing Knife (don’t opt for a cheap one!) at amazon.com.

So there it is. If you’re a man and you like this list, subtly forward to this to your loved ones or slyly share it on Facebook. If you’re shopping for the men in your life, any of these are great gifts and I stand by the as someone who proudly uses all of them.

Final personal plug: My third and final novel in my Sword and Serpent Trilogy (about St George and Constantine) came out last week, and is trending as a #1 New Release on Amazon.com.

If your father or son loves battle, war stories, Roman history, gladiatorial games, and saints’ stories, please get him a copy of the first book in the Trilogy: Sword and Serpent by clicking here or the image below.

Happy Advent!
Taylor Marshall

Catholic Webinar: History of Our Lady of Guadalupe Miracles

Dr Marshall provides historical theological analysis on Mary as "Guadalupe"

Tonight we are re-running a highly popular Catholic Webinar on Our Lady of Guadalupe: History and Marian Theology (8,000+ views so far).

If you’d like to watch the re-play, there is still time to catch it: Please sign up here.

What you will discover about Our Lady of Guadalupe:

  • How the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe began with Saint Luke.
  • How the original image was acquired by St Gregory the Great.
  • Christopher Columbus’ devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
  • The Apparition of Our Lady to St Juan Diego.
  • How Our Lady of Guadalupe can help you in our secular society.
  • How she can help you bring family and friends back to the Catholic Church.

I hope you will join us for this exciting Catholic Mariology Webinar. Lots of energy and tons of information about Our Lady going back to the time of Saint Luke the Evangelist:

to Jesus through Mary,
Dr Taylor Marshall

#1 New Release Catholic Fiction Novel = Taylor Marshall’s Storm of Fire and Blood

Storm of Fire and Blood (Sword and Serpent Book III) has remained an Amazon #1 New Release for almost one week.

This Catholic novel continues the historical fiction tale of St George, St Catherine of Alexandria, Constantine the Great, St Nicholas, St Christopher, and Sabra to Britain, and then back into the heart of the Roman Empire climaxing in the Diocletian Persecution of AD 303.

If you like Saints’ stories, Lord of the Rings and The Princess Bride, then this Trilogy is for you:

The previous 2 books in the Trilogy are Amazon #1 Bestsellers in their categories, and all 3 books are back up in the Top 20 of their categories.

Here’s a video of Taylor explaining the new book:

Brief Synopsis of the Sword and Serpent Trilogy:

Book I: Sword and Serpent tells the story of a young man Jurian (St George) who experiences the mysterious murder of his father and later the murder of his mother. He journeys to Rome to uncover clues and along the way he meets St Blaise, St Christopher, St Nicholas and eventually Pope Marcellinus in Rome. The Pope reveals prophecy going back to Pope St Linus (2nd Pope after St Peter), which guides him to Cyrene in North Africa where he encounters the Dragon Molech. I don’t want to ruin the ending for you. Here’s the book:

Book II: Tenth Region of the Night picks up where Book I ended and introduces Jurian/George to Aikaterina (St Catherine of Alexandria), St Helena, and Constantine as Jurian rises through the Roman military but also seeks to find his kidnapped friend Menas (St Christopher). Book II begins in Egypt and follows a trail of mystery to the gladiatorial games and Christian martyrs.

Book III: Storm of Fire and Blood follows the narrative arc with Jurian/George in exile while being escorted by a young Constantine to Britain where Constantine’s father Constantius and his grandfather King Coel await him. This book sets ups several precedents for Arthurian legend and chivalry in England before heading back into the heart of the Empire for a confrontation with the draconian Emperor Diocletian.

If you’ve read the first 2 books, you need to read Book 3. All the readers say that it is the stand out novel and the best of the 3. If you have not yet begun, please join and and read Book 1: Sword and Serpent.

And everyone is invited to our Sword and Serpent Discussion Group on Facebook (370 members).

What was St Nicholas like as a Young Priest: Sword and Serpent Book 3 released!

Happy feast day of Saint Nicholas!

What was Saint Nicholas like as a young priest? Could he bi-locate? Could he read souls?

These are topics that I explored in my bestselling historical novel Sword and Serpent, in which I imagined a young and clairvoyant Saint Nicholas meeting a traveling pair of young future saints: Saint George and the recently baptized Saint Christopher.

These novels explore the historical martyrdoms of Christians under the Emperor Diocletian from the point of view of St George, St Christopher, St Nicholas, St Catherine of Alexandria, St Helena, Constantine, and dozens of other men and women who will go on to be known as Catholic saints. The novels are “clean” but contain gruesome and detailed accounts of martyrdoms, Roman battles, and gladiatorial bouts. If you mixed together Catholic Saint stories, The Princess Bride, and Lord of the Rings – you’d get the Sword and Serpent Trilogy.

Sword and Serpent Book 3: released today!

The first 2 novels were Amazon best-sellers in their categories – and on the feast of Saint Nicholas, we are announcing the print version of the third and final novel in the Sword and Serpent Trilogy is released: Storm of Fire and Blood.

The consensus from the reader reviews from the ebook version is that this third novel is exhilarating, well-researched, and the best of the three in the trilogy. Some have said it is the best book that they’ve read all year:

Here are the three novels in the Sword and Serpent Trilogy:

Just like first two novels in the series: we are having a Launch Party to get the word out with prizes.

How To Join the Party and Get FREE Books (hashtag: #SwordAndSerpent #TenthRegion #StormofFireandBlood)

Here are 8 epic ways you can do epic things and win epic stuff:

1. Take an Epic #Selfie with the Book
(Prize: a Free signed copy of Storm of Fire and Blood)

HOW TO ENTER: Take a photo with the book Storm of Fire and Blood. Extra points will be awarded for costumes or exotic places. We once had one taken in front of the Colosseum in Rome! The more epic, the more likely you are to win. Take a photo, post it on Facebook and then send an email to swordandserpent+selfie@gmail.com with a link to your picture.

RULES:

  • This is not a random drawing. This is a performance-based contest that will be judged. Be epic. Get the family to dress up as Jurian, Sabra, Aikaterina, Menas, Helena, et al. and snap a selfie with the book. Or maybe take a photo of yourself holding the book in someplace amazing. If you get a photo of yourself standing next to Pope Francis holding the book, you win hands down!
  • Selfies with any version of the Storm of Fire and Blood count (printed, ebook).

2. Just Get the Book Contest (Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card)

HOW TO ENTER: Buy just one copy of Storm of Fire and Blood and then send an email to swordandserpent+boughtbook@gmail.com simply stating “I bought a copy.” If you buy more than one copy, please send one email for each copy you bought. *If you already reviewed the novel before today and emailed me about it, you’re already entered into this contest.

You can get a copy of Storm of Fire and Blood by clicking here.

RULES:

  • You can enter for each copy purchased. (For example, if you buy four copies, send an email saying “I bought 4” in the subject line.)
  • Winner will be drawn at random on December 24.

3. St Nicholas Gift Contest (Prize: an iPad Mini mailed to your house! AND a free signed copy of Storm of Fire and Blood)

HOW TO ENTER: Several reviewers on amazon.com said that Sword and Serpent would be a perfect Christmas gift. This contest honors Saint Nicholas who is an important character in the book – it’s also his feast day this week. To win this prize, purchase at least 4 copies (1 for yourself and 3 as gifts to give away at Christmas) and send an email to swordandserpent+gifts@gmail.com. You can order copies by clicking here.

RULES:

  • You must purchase at least 4 copies to enter.
  • If you purchase multiples of 4, you can enter that many times (8 copies = 2 entries; 12 copies = 3 entries; 80 copies = 20 entries – enter how many copies you got in the subject line: “I got 8 copies as Christmas gifts” – that’s 2 entries in this prize)
  • Winner will be drawn at random on December 24 and will receive an iPad for free.

4. Review the Novel at Amazon.com (Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card AND a free signed copy of Storm of Fire and Blood)

HOW TO ENTER: Read the book and leave a friendly review at amazon.com. Next, send an email to swordandserpent+reviewed@gmail.com with a link to your review.

RULES:

  • Please leave a review at amazon.com before December 24.
  • Even though GoodReads is not a retailer, we’ll count GoodReads reviews too. So if you review at Amazon and goodreads, that’s two entries. Way to go! Click here for GoodReeds reviews.
  • Send an email to swordandserpent+reviewed@gmail.com with a link to your review.
  • Winner will be drawn at random on December 24.

5. Write a Blog Post about Storm of Fire and Blood
(Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card + a promo link to your blog from my blog)

HOW TO ENTER: Write a blog post about Storm of Fire and Blood with the amazon link to the book in your review. Next, send an email to swordandserpent+blog@gmail.com with a link to your review.

RULES:

  • The post does not have to be a “book review.” It can be a theological reflection or an interview with me about the book.
  • Please include this exact amazon.com link: http://amzn.to/2BFTyWh
  • Winner will be drawn at random on December 24.

6. Facebook The Book (Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card)

HOW TO ENTER: Write an update on your Facebook wall about Sword and Serpent and include a link to the amazon link and the link to the book trailer. Next send an email to swordandserpent+facebook@gmail.com.

Please use this photo and this link to the book: http://amzn.to/2BFTyWhRULES:

Okay, there are the contests. They all end on Dec 24 2016. Get busy taking epic selfies. By the way the easiest contest to win is #3 – Just Get the Book: Storm of Fire and Blood.

To everyone who already made Storm of Fire and Blood possible and helped it get to #1, THANK YOU!

Happy winnings and Happy Advent!

Saint George, pray for us!
Taylor

Epic Book Trailer for Sword and Serpent, Book I:

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 9.49.35 AM

Saint George pray for us,
Taylor Marshall