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The Medicalization of dying and the disregard for the life of the soul within contemporary health care prompt the return of the Ars moriendi, or The Art of Dying. This widely influential fifteenth-century text was designed to guide dying persons and their loved ones in Catholic religious practices at a time when access to a priest and the sacraments was similarly limited. This remarkable and inspiring work serves as a valuable resource for Catholic today, encouraging their full participation in the rich sacramental and liturgical tradition of the Church and challenging them to keep their eyes fixed on Christ and the promise of eternal life with him. This new translation includes illuminating annotations on its theological and pastoral content. A scholarly introduction examines the book’s history, use, and present application. The book contains exact reproductions of the original medieval woodblock prints. Additional prayers have been incorporated from the longer version of the work, newly translated with Latin originals. The appendix presents confessions of faith, explanations of the sacraments, and guides to the examination of conscience, the rosary, and the divine mercy chaplet.
Br. Columba Thomas is a Dominican friar studying for the priesthood in Washington, DC, and a physician specializing in internal medicine.