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A detail from The Vision of Pontius Pilate's Wife by Sister Agnes Berchmans (James D Julia)

Along with The Diary of a Country Priest, Gertrud von le Fort’s The Wife of Pilate is one of my desert islands books

A Christie's employee with  Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Joan of Arc

A new biography makes it clear that St Joan was not a hysteric or mentally unbalanced

Blessed John Henry Newman wrote the Dream of Gerontius

A new book shows that Blessed John Henry Newman was a man of action and an indefatigable administrator

Clive James

James is a ‘pugnacious and provocative’ writer but Cultural Amnesia is not without flaws

Women priests (PA)

The author of Bread Not Stones had a dramatic and unconventional journey to Rome

The Blind Leading the Blind by Pieter Bruegel the Elder

What secular historians of the Reformation have missed is that commemorating saints’ days in medieval Catholic England was a popular celebration of holy life

Pope Francis (CNS)

The Pope’s dystopian reading material

Francis’s love of Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson highlights his appreciation of the power of the Devil

Alice von Hildebrand, pictured in 2010 with the then Archbishop Raymond Burke (CNS)

Alice von Hildebrand uncompromising attitude to objective truth does not go down well in an age of relativism

A detail from St Francis in Prayer by Caravaggio

St Francis was not above the magisterial teachings of the Church – and neither is the Pope

An undated portrait of GK Chesterton by Edwin Swan (CNS)

Peter Mullen’s new book praises the spiritual depth of Newman and the damaged brilliance of Coleridge