"These are the footprints that the saints on ascending to heaven left behind upon our earth, in order that we, following after, might attain to the same reward." -The Venerable Bede In Lay Saints: Ascetics and Penitents, Joan Carroll Cruz guides you through the lives of fifty-eight lay men and women who achieved the heights of sanctity. These inspiring biographies present saints who seemed destined for sainthood, as well as those who led sinful lives prior to a conversion of heart. Find a role model from among these saints as Joan Carroll Cruz explores: -the acts of charity that you can imitate -ascetical practices that lead us closer to God -stories of conversion -effective acts of penance to atone for prior sins -the stories of pilgrims who spent their lives searching for closer union with God Both those who have just begun their spiritual journey and those well advanced on the road to perfection will find a saint to help them take that next step closer to God. Through their examples, these saints will inspire ever-greater acts of charity and remind sinners that there is yet hope for salvation.