A Lenten Pilgrimage Book List


A Lenten Pilgrimage Book List

The liturgical season of Lent is a perfect time to set out as pilgrims on a great journey of metanoia of our hearts. As we set aside time for more silence, more prayer, and more reflection and penance, we hope that we can draw closer to the heart of Jesus so that we can truly know him, love him and serve him. 

As Pope Francis said,

Let us not waste this season of Lent – so favorable a time for conversion!

One way to draw closer to Christ – aside from personal prayer – is through good spiritual reading that sheds light on Who Jesus is and provides a guide for how to love and serve him in our day-to-day lives. Thanks to Image Press and Ave Maria Press for generously sending me great books (in exchange for review), I’m well prepared!

Below are 10 books to consider adding to your Lenten Pilgrimage book list:

Rediscover Jesus

by Matthew Kelly

Matthew Kelly invites you to Rediscover Jesus with his newest book. In true Matthew Kelly style, he walks with us on a simple path to reflect on who Jesus is and what He means to us in our daily lives.  Kelly pulls us into a deeper relationship with Jesus while presenting Jesus in way that all people can understand.

2. Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper

Brant Pitre and forward by Scott Hahn

Maybe you feel like you know Jesus pretty well but you’re thirsting for more. What better way to get to know someone than to understand his culture and heritage? In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Dr. Brant Pitre leads us through an exploration of the cultural and spiritual Jewish roots of Jesus, in particular, shedding light on the Jewish significance of the events of the Last Supper. With a Study Guide included, this would be a great book to read on your own or with a group.

3. The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ

Brant Pitre

If Lent is a time of pilgrimage towards God and appreciating the sacrifice He gives us through His Son, Jesus, it is the perfect time to challenge our intellectual faith in Jesus along with our spiritual beliefs. Dr. Pitre again presents us with sustained testimony that answers the questions of our hearts – where did Jesus come from? What did he really do? And – most importantly – Did Jesus really die and rise from the dead?

4. Encountering Truth: Meeting God in the Everyday

by Pope Francis edited by Antonio Spadaro and preface by Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office

In this compilation of the “off-the-cuff” unscripted homilies by Pope Francis at the private morning Mass at Saint Martha’s, we are given a special peak into the heart of Pope Francis’s inner Faith that the general public may not ordinarily see or hear about. Pope Francis offers us daily snippets of life and love and encouragement for our journeys along this path from sin to holiness.

5. Remembering God’s Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories

by Dawn Eden

This Lent, Pope Francis reminds of us Jesus’ words, “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13). Before we can give of ourselves completely to Christ, first we must let go of ourselves and come to a point of acceptance with the pains of our past sins and experiences. Often times, painful memories hold us back and block us from fully receiving the Grace and Mercy Christ has ready for us. In Remembering God’s Mercy, Dawn Eden gently guides us through the process of healing from our painful pasts in order to open our hearts to receive the healing power of Christ’s Mercy.

6. Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina

by Michele Faehnle and Emily Jaminet

Divine Mercy for Moms is a field guide on Mercy for Moms written for Moms and by Moms. Michelle and Emily scrape all of the gooey batter from St. Faustina’s teaching of Divine Mercy from her Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, and bake up a delicious and edible recipe for living out Christ’s call to Mercy in every tiny morsel of our mothering and family lives. The best part of Divine Mercy for Moms is that it is nourishing enough to read on your own but, like all good things, goes down even better when shared with the company of fellow moms. A group study, set with free videos, is available at DivineMercyforMoms.com.

7. The Catholic Catalogue: A Field Guide to the Daily Acts That Make Up a Catholic Life

Melissa Musick and Anna Keating.

Along with Divine Mercy for Moms as a field guide for receiving and giving Divine Mercy in our lives as mothers, Catholic Cataloge is a field guide for understanding and living out the liturgical life of the Church with our families. Melissa and Anna hope “this book is an opportunity to discover, or rediscover, the sounds and sensations of being Catholic.”

Join in the CatholicMom.com Catholic Catalogue Book Club starting March 5!

And if you’re looking for soul-stirring fiction that follows the theme of a pilgrimage of repentance and conversion give these a try:

8. The Epic Trilogy, Kristin Lavransdatter

by Sigrid Undset

Kirstin Lavransdatter follows the redemptive saga of a 14th-centurary Norwegian woman and her loss of virtue and subsequent road of suffering, life, loss, and redemption. This is a classic story of love and loss, of virtue and vice, of mercy and reconciliation. In many ways, though our specific experiences may differ, and we live centuries and worlds apart from Kirstin, we can all find ourselves in Kirstin’s shoes in more ways than one.

9. Laurus

by Eugene Vodolazkin

Though I’m still currently reading this one, I already love it. Set in the heart of medieval Russia, we follow the soul of one main character who overlaps with others along both his spiritual and literal pilgrimage through Russia as he carries his penitential cross seeking redemption after a tragic loss. This is not just any story, it is a story that overflowing with elements of love and grief, and of pilgrimage but, in the style it is written, it opens a sliver of a hole for us to peek into the inner workings of a soul in a way we can all mysteriously relate to.

10. A Cry of Stone

by Michael O’Brien

The Cry of Stone is an incredible story following a young North American Native girl’s story of isolation followed by the gradual process of finding the great meaning of life throughout her unique and often obscure experiences. Inspired by the cultural background of Native Americans in the 1940’s – 1970’s and applying art as his medium, O’Brien invites the reader to follow the paintbrush of the main character, Rose’s, life from what seemed like nothing on the canvas to an extraordinarily beautiful masterpiece.

What Books do you have in your Lenten Pilgrimage Pack?


Copyright 2016 Erika Marie
Image copyright 2016 Erika Marie. All rights reserved.

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About Author

Erika Marie is a simple Catholic, Wife, and Mama. She relishes snuggles and free time with her family and enjoys reading, writing, blogging, and has a slightly obsessive addiction to creating Canva graphics. Enjoy more reflections by Erika at her personal simplemama blog.


  1. Seven Last Words, An Invitation To A Deeper Friendship with Jesus by Father Jim Martin, SJ is on top of my Lenten reading list.

  2. Great reads. I’m interested in the Lavransdatter trilogy. I have Rediscover Jesus however have yet to break that book open. So many books so lil time! The Divine Mercy for Moms book has been a gateway into deeper conversation with others in their devotion to Divine Mercy at my local parish. It’s exciting to hear the stories of God’s work in others.

  3. HI Gina!
    I bet you’d love Kirsten. It’s a little hard to get going and get used to the older slavic language but once you get into her story deep enough she’ll be with you forever. 😉
    I’m so glad you’ve had that opportunity for growth and conversation with fellow moms, how wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

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