Whether you're looking for spiritual reading during Lent or a book for your summer vacation, I highly recommend Isabel of Spain: The Catholic Queen by Warren Carroll.
This wonderful book reads like an adventure novel rather than a dry work of historical dates and facts. Dr. Carroll makes real and compelling the extraordinary events of Isabel's life and times. The reader feels a powerful connection to Isabel across 500 years. Like all saints* of the Church, she becomes accessible as a friend.
Queen Isabel of Spain, in partnership with her husband Fernado, raised five children while managing to unite her fractured and fractious country, finally vanquish the Moorish invaders who had occupied Spain for 770 years, and launch Christopher Columbus on the expedition that would forever change the world. And she did it all in humble service to and for the love of Our Lord her God.
Perhaps more remarkably, Isabel so thoroughly reformed the Church in Spain that it withstood the Protestant Revolution virtually untouched and completely intact.
Dr. Carroll's extensive documentation of the almost unbelieveable events of Isabel's life and reign assure the reader that these accomplishments are indeed fact. This magnificent book is a must read for those seeking proof of the Feminine Genius. It is a beautiful confirmation of the earthly potential of every woman who puts her faith in God and His Church.
*While Isabel has not yet been cannonized, I share Dr. Carroll's hope that she will be 'St. Isabel' one fine day. Check out Daughters of Isabella for more information.