The pronounced absence of God in the modern secular outlook, E. I. Watkin asserts, is symptomatic of an impaired vision which perceives only the content of the cosmos, not its spirit. The examples of the saints offer a corrective to this defect, for they “look, live, and love in the depth.” Their witness to the world, the relation of their experiences of God and reception of God’s revelation, adds a necessary complement to the broad yet narrow vision of the present age. In these studies, Watkin widens the array of saintly examples which can provide this instruction, among which are Saints Martin of Tours and Hugh of Lincoln and Blesseds Jordan of Saxony, Diana D’Andalo, and Antony Grassi.
Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. (Hebrews 12:1)
An admixture of hagiography and biography, Neglected Saints paints matter-of-fact, lifelike portraits of its subjects. Each study accomplishes Watkin’s stated goal: that the saints “be seen as fully human, yet by God’s gift of Himself divine, countenances wholly individual, as individual as men’s bodily faces, yet bright with God’s glory.”
E. I. Watkin (1888–1981) was an English writer and convert to Catholicism. Described by The London Times as “one of the most distinguished Catholic philosophers of his day,” Watkin wrote books and essays on poetry and philosophy, aesthetics and ethics, history and religion, and mysticism and theology. His books include A Philosophy of Form, Catholic Art and Culture, and Poets and Mystics.