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Mary Fabyan Windeatt

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Mary Fabyan Windeatt
Mary Fabyan Windeatt was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, in 1910. Interested in music as a child, she received a degree in music from Toronto Conservatory of Music at the age of fifteen and a further degree in music from Mount Saint Vincent College in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1927. This same year she moved with her family to San Diego, California, graduating from San Diego State College in 1934 with a degree in business.

She moved to New York to seek employment in the field of advertising but was unsuccessful. With time on her hands, she began to write and in 1934, she sent a story, which was accepted for publication, to a Catholic magazine. She continued to write while pursuing her studies, graduating in 1940 with a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Miss Windeatt eventually contributed verse, book reviews, short stories, and articles to thirty-three different publications and wrote numerous biographies of saints for children. The first biography, Saints in the Sky, The Story of St. Catherine of Siena, was published in 1941. Considerable research went into her books; for example, she traveled to Peru in the summer of 1941 prior to publishing Lad of Lima, The Story of Blessed Martin de Porres in 1942. (St. Martin de Porres was canonized a saint in 1962.) In addition to her biographies, she also wrote the text for twenty-eight Catholic coloring books and was a regular contributor to the monthly Dominican magazine The Torch in which many of her books originally appeared in serial form. A third-order (secular) Dominican, she has been called the “storyteller of the saints”—especially Dominican saints.

Later in life, Miss Windeatt moved near St. Meinrad’s Abbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana with her mother. She died on November 20, 1979.

Under their original titles, the series of saint biographies that Mary Fabyan Windeatt wrote in the 1940’s and 1950’s are currently out of print. However between 1991 and 1994, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. republished twenty of these saint biographies.

Rich in Roman Catholic culture and doctrine, these books illustrate to both children and adults how the Faith was lived every day by the saints; they inspire us to know, love, and serve God as the saints did. Mary Fabyan Windeatt had the ability to relate much factual information about each saint while seasoning the narrative with the doctrinal truths they lived. While each saint shines forth in these books, these writings also reveal to us Ms. Windeatt’s own strong Catholic beliefs; her faith too lives on.

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