"This classic of hagiography... provides biographical accounts of 2,565 saints, from the most eminent to the most unlikely. The four volumes move through the year... and thus encourage fascinated browsing; a reader can check out the saints venerated on his or her birthday, discover which are patrons of what and enjoy a lot of good reading. ..."
This monumental work was first compiled in the 18th century by Alban Butler and was later partially revised by Herbert Thurston, S.J., early in the 20th century. When Father Thurston's death interrupted work on the second revision, the massive editorial undertaking was assumed by the noted English scholar and hagiographer Donald Attwater, who spent a decade of research and editing in expanding the present edition. This four-volume edition traces its copyright back to 1956 unchanged.