Every month in 2024 Pope Francis has a monthly prayer intention. Every month we will release a book list that will draw your heart and soul deeper into prayer on these topics.


For the Martyrs of Our Time
Good and Loving Father: Because we have been saved by your Son Jesus, the deceiver and father of lies hates us and stirs up persecution that, from the time of Jesus and of the early Church, continues to this day. The martyrs have had the grace to confess Jesus to the end, unto death. They suffer, they give their lives, and we receive God’s blessing for their witness. May the memory of these ancient and recent heroic witnesses confirm us, O Lord, in the awareness that the Church is Church due to the sacrifice of martyrs. We pray to you today for the new hidden martyrs, those men and women faithful to the gentle power of love, to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who in their daily lives seek to help their brothers and sisters and to love God without reservation. The Church needs those who have the courage to accept the grace to be witnesses to the end, even unto death. They are the living blood of the Church, they are the witnesses who lead the Church forward; those who attest that Jesus is Risen, that He lives. May we learn through their coherence of life that with the strength of love, with meekness, we can fight against arrogance, violence and war. and with patience we can achieve peace. Amen

Pope Francis

Our advice to book clubs & those seeking to deepen their spiritual life through literature: pick just one of these books a month, and pray this short prayer before or after each time you read, and at the start of your book club meetings. Then watch how story transforms your empathy, your prayer life, and your capacity to imagine God with you in any situation.

Someday by Corinna Turner

A retelling of the 2014 kidnapping of the 276 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria.


Ruth and Gemma have a Physics exam in the morning.
Becky and Alleluia are revising for their college entrance tests.
So it’s an absolute nightmare to be woken by the fire alarm in the dead of the night.
But for them, and for 272 other girls from Chisbrook Hall girls boarding school, the real nightmare is just beginning.
Because ‘al-Qabda’ are taking them all away.
Whether they want to go or not.

“SOMEDAY is an important novella that highlights the largely
unsung heroism of persecuted Christians, and should
make those of us in ‘safe’ countries consider:
are we ready to count the cost?”

“I hope that SOMEDAY will help people living
in a different culture, in a security most Christians, and indeed
Muslims, in north-eastern Nigeria can scarcely imagine,
to better understand what people are suffering here.”
IGNATIUS A. KAIGAMA, Archbishop of Jos, Nigeria.

“The kidnapping of the Nigerian girls should never be
written off merely as an unpleasant historical event,
about which we can no longer do anything …
This book leaves you wanting to know more, wanting
the girls to be rescued, wanting a happy ending.
Alas, real life is different.”
The Right Honourable ANN WIDDECOMBE, DSG

All proceeds from SOMEDAY go to AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED, helping persecuted Christians in Nigeria and around the world.

Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang

One of the greatest comics storytellers alive brings all his formidable talents to bear in this astonishing new work.

In two volumes, Boxers & Saints tells two parallel stories. The first is of Little Bao, a Chinese peasant boy whose village is abused and plundered by Westerners claiming the role of missionaries. Little Bao, inspired by visions of the Chinese gods, joins a violent uprising against the Western interlopers. Against all odds, their grass-roots rebellion is successful.

But in the second volume, Yang lays out the opposite side of the conflict. A girl whose village has no place for her is taken in by Christian missionaries and finds, for the first time, a home with them. As the Boxer Rebellion gains momentum, Vibiana must decide whether to abandon her Christian friends or to commit herself fully to Christianity.

Boxers & Saints is one of the most ambitious graphic novels First Second has ever published. It offers a penetrating insight into not only one of the most controversial episodes of modern Chinese history, but into the very core of our human nature. Gene Luen Yang is rightly called a master of the comics form, and this book will cement that reputation.

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature
One of Publishers Weekly‘s Best Comic Books and Best Children’s Books of 2013
New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2013 A Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013
An NPR Best Book of 2013

A Hero for the People by Arthur Powers: Stories of the Brazilian Backlands

“Set in the vast and sometimes violent landscape of contemporary Brazil, this is a gorgeous collection of stories-wise, hopeful, and forgiving, but clear-eyed in its exploration of the toll taken on the human heart by greed, malice, and the lust for land.” -Debra Murphy, Publisher of Idyll’s Press, Founder of CatholicFiction.net

Seeking Allah Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 2015 Christian Book Award winner • Nabeel Qureshi describes his dramatic journey from Islam to Christianity in this expanded edition with new bonus content and reflections.

“My friend Nabeel Qureshi was courageous enough to chase down the truth with intellectual integrity, no matter the personal cost,” –Lee Strobel, bestselling author of The Case for Christ.

Providing an intimate view into a loving Muslim home, Qureshi shares how he developed a passion for Islam before discovering, almost against his will, evidence that Jesus rose from the dead and claimed to be God. Unable to deny the arguments but not wanting to deny his family, Qureshi struggled with an inner turmoil that will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those who are interested in two of the world’s greatest religions and the quest for truth.

Qureshi–with great courage and intimacy–wrote this book with three major purposes in mind:

  • To tear down walls between two of the world’s major religions by giving non-Muslim readers an insider’s perspective into a Muslim’s heart and mind.
  • To equip the reader with facts and knowledge, showing the strength of the case for the gospel contrasted with the case for Islam.
  • To portray the immense inner struggle of Muslims grappling with the gospel, including all the sacrifices and doubts that rise up along the way.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus is more than the memoir of a man’s pursuit of answers to the most important issues of life and faith. Ultimately, it’s the story about the transformative grace and mercy of the one true God.

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

June Hur’s elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody YA historical mystery tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

I have a mouth, but I mustn’t speak;
Ears, but I mustn’t hear;
Eyes, but I mustn’t see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

Silence by Shusaku Endo