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A History of the Church in 100 Objects

A History of the Church in 100 Objects

Author: Mike Aquilina

Author: Grace Aquilina

Regular Price: $24.95

Sale Price: $15.00

Format: Paperback

Pages: 448

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 978-1-59471-750-5

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

On-sale date: October 20, 2017

More History, Reference, Spirituality, Theology


Winner of two Catholic Press Association Awards: Design and Production (Second Place) and History (Honorable Mention).


The star of Bethlehem exemplifies the birth of Jesus, the Wittenberg Door is synonymous with the Protestant Reformation, and “the pill” symbolizes the sexual revolution. It’s “stuff” that helps tell the story of Christianity.

In this unique, rich, and eye-catching book, popular Catholic author and EWTN host Mike Aquilina tells the Christian story through the examination of 100 objects and places. Some, like Michelangelo's Pietà, are priceless works of art. Others, like a union membership pin, don’t hold much monetary value. But through each of them, Aquilina offers a memorable and rewarding look at the history of the Church.

When Catholics tell their story, they don’t just write it in books. They preserve it in memorials, monuments, artifacts, and museums. They build grand basilicas to house tiny relics.

In this stunning book, Aquilina, together with his writer-daughter Grace, show how the history of the Church didn’t take place shrouded in the mists of time. It actually happened and continues to happen through things that we can see and sometimes hold in our hand.

The Christian answer to Neil MacGregor's New York Times bestseller A History of the World in 100 Objects, Aquilina’s A History of the Church in 100 Objects introduces you to:

  • The Cave of the Nativity (the importance of history, memory, and all things tangible)
  • Catacomb niches (the importance of Rome, bones, and relics of the faith)
  • Ancient Map of the World (the undoing of myths about medieval science)
  • Stained Glass (representative of Gothic cathedrals)
  • The Holy Grail (Romance literature and the emergence of writing for the laity)
  • Loaves and fish (a link from Jesus to the sacrament of the Eucharist)
  • The Wittenberg Door (Martin Luther and the onset of the Reformation)

Each of these and the 93 other items and places in the book tell part of the Christian story. Each is an essential piece of the story of our salvation.

God makes himself known and accessible through material things, always accommodating himself to our condition. It is, after all, the condition he created for us—spiritual and material—and the form he assumed for our salvation.



"A fascinating, unique spiritual feast."

Rodney Stark
Distinguished Professor at Baylor University
Author of Bearing False Witness

"Everyone should have this book."

"A picture is worth a thousand words. Mike Aquilina, with skill and encyclopedic knowledge, gives new meaning to this old maxim. In A History of the Church in 100 Objects we discover the rich story of our faith uniquely told through great pictures and explanations really worth knowing. Everyone should have this book."

Cardinal Donald Wuerl
Archbishop of Washington, DC

"Engaging and thought-provoking."

"Catholicism means 'stuff counts,' because God chose the stuff of this world to bring His people to salvation—a process that begins with Creation, reaches its apex in the life and ministry of Jesus, and continues today with the sacraments, in which the stuff of this world becomes a vehicle for sanctifying grace. Mike Aquilina tells the story of the Church through some very important stuff in an engaging and thought-provoking contribution to the New Evangelization."

George Weigel
Distinguished senior fellow and William E. Simon chair in Catholic Studies
Ethics and Public Policy Center

"A beautiful book."

"A beautiful book about how God works through real stuff in the Incarnation to bring the mysteries of the spiritual realm into this phenomenal world. As usual, Mike Aquilina uses words with real craft and art to take us beyond words and into the mysteries of God in Christ."

John Michael Talbot
Catholic musician, author, and founder of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity


"This stunning new book shows how much grace can be found in everyday objects. Through the ordinary matter of desks and stones, tunics and textbooks, bottles and parchment, the Aquilinas weave together a beautiful picture of God at work. For lovers of history, faith, and matter, A History of the Church in 100 Objects is a delight."

Emily Stimpson
Creator of The Catholic Table and coauthor of The Catholic Almanac

"Richly entertaining and highly informative."

"Richly entertaining and highly informative, A History of the Church in 100 Objects is a journey through two millennia of Catholic history in the company of gracious and knowledgeable guides. A gem to enliven faith while shedding fresh light on the Church’s long pilgrimage through the centuries. I recommend it with pleasure."

Russell Shaw
Author of American Church: The Remarkable Rise, Meteoric Fall, and Uncertain Future of Catholicism in America

"Thoroughly enjoyable."

"A thoroughly enjoyable book by an author who is always inspiring, stimulating, and thoroughly enjoyable! I can't think of a more captivating way to follow John Henry Cardinal Newman’s challenge to become 'deep in history'"

Marcus Grodi
Founder and president of The Coming Home Network International

"One of American Catholicism's most gifted, articulate, and clever writers."

"Mike Aquilina demonstrates once again a profound ability to impart vital teachings about the Catholic faith in a way that can be appreciated by anyone. A collection of objects, seemingly unrelated and spread across the globe, demonstrate poignantly both the universality of the Church and her relevance to every era. Aquilina truly is one of American Catholicism's most gifted, articulate, and clever writers."

Matthew Bunson
Senior fellow of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology
Coauthor of Encyclopedia of Saints and The 35 Doctors of the Church

"Appealing to behold."

"This material approach to telling history is highly innovate and appealing to behold. I'd even go as far as saying it's the more traditionally Catholic way of telling history."

Artur Sebastian Rosman
Managing editor at the McGrath Institute for Church Life
University of Notre Dame

"Intelligent, conversational, interesting, fun."

"Whether you like or dislike the study of history, you'll find this book an interesting, fun read. The author capitalizes on what is the most preferred way of learningexperiential and visual learning. Using the tangible, Mike Aquilina explores Church history in an intelligent, conversational, interesting, fun sharing. Clearly Aquilina loves what he shares and it's infectious. It's a great book for learners, teachers and those interested in Church history."

Sr. Marie Pappas
Host of Pathways of Learning on SiriusXM Radio

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Mike Aquilina on EWTN's Bookmark with Doug Keck.