Leaflet Missal’s choice for June Catholic Book of the month is A History of the Church in 100 Objects by Mike Aquilina. In it Aquilina aims to tell the story of Christianity in a unique way. He does this by telling 100 stories about individual objects that represent something significant in the story and life of the Church. He starts with “The Silver Star in Bethlehem” which is thought to be the exact spot where Jesus was born. He then takes the reader on a special journey through all major eras of Catholic Church history.
Another object Aquilina uses to tell the story of the Church is a ballot from the conclave of 1903 which elected Pope Pius X. The ballot shows that Cardinal Rampolla had more votes than Cardinal Sarto who was actually elected and became Pope Pius X. The interesting story of why Cardinal Rampolla did not become Pope is found in this book.
Why are these objects and stories important? They are important because Catholicism, recognizing the whole human person as both spirit and flesh, uses material things to advance the salvation of the world. In fact, that is the entire purpose of the material things around us. God gave us these things to help us on the path to heaven. Ultimately, material objects matter to God and His Church. And Mike Aquilina tells the fascinating story of the Church through 100 such objects.