Justin Catanoso reads from My Cousin the Saint: A Search for Faith, Family, and Miracles (William Morrow, 2008)

My Cousin the Saint charts the parallel history of two relatives, Justin Catanoso’s grandfather, Carmelo, and his canonized cousin, Father Gaetano. Carmelo emigrated from the town of Chorio di San Lorenzo (Reggio Calabria province) to pursue work in Philadelphia and New Jersey, while the cleric remained to aid the poor of the Mezzogiorno. In 2001, Catanoso discovered his distant relative, a Vatican-certified miracle worker who Pope Benedict XVI canonized four years later. When his brother falls ill with terminal cancer, Catanoso questions the value of prayer and confronts his own tenuous spiritual moorings. In so doing, the author embarks on a quest to connect with his extended family relatives in southern Italy and reunite the two halves of his sundered family, ultimately awakening his quiescent faith in the process.

“A glorious book! Part spiritual journey, part detective story, part travelogue, Justin Catanoso’s engrossing new memoir shows how discovering God always leads to discovering yourself. His quest to learn about his saintly cousin leads him to a fuller and richer understanding of his faith, his family, and, ultimately, himself.”

—James Martin, S.J., author of My Life with the Saints