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Between the Lines with Nicholas Sparks View Comments
By Susan Hines-Brigger

This month, best-selling author Nicholas Sparks will once again watch one of his novels come to life on the big screen. Safe Haven, which hits theaters on Valentine’s Day, is the eighth novel by Sparks to be turned into a film.

Since his first novel, The Notebook, was published in 1996, Sparks has written 16 more—all of which have landed on the New York Times best-sellers list. In November of last year, The Hollywood Reporter declared Sparks as one of “Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.” Worldwide, his books have sold an estimated 80 million copies to date.

Around the time his last film, The Lucky One, was hitting theaters, Sparks took time out of his schedule to talk with St. Anthony Messenger about his career, his Catholic faith, and the importance of his family.

And to think that it all started with a college track injury!

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Susan Hines-Brigger is the managing editor of this magazine and editor of the digital magazine Liberty+Vine.

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Jutta of Thuringia: Today's patroness of Prussia began her life amidst luxury and power but died the death of a simple servant of the poor.
<p>In truth, virtue and piety were always of prime importance to Jutta and her husband, both of noble rank. The two were set to make a pilgrimage together to the holy places in Jerusalem, but her husband died on the way. The newly widowed Jutta, after taking care to provide for her children, resolved to live in a manner utterly pleasing to God. She disposed of the costly clothes, jewels and furniture befitting one of her rank, and became a Secular Franciscan, taking on the simple garment of a religious.
</p><p>From that point her life was utterly devoted to others: caring for the sick, particularly lepers; tending to the poor, whom she visited in their hovels; helping the crippled and blind with whom she shared her own home. Many of the townspeople of Thuringia laughed at how the once-distinguished lady now spent all her time. But Jutta saw the face of God in the poor and felt honored to render whatever services she could.
</p><p>About the year 1260, not long before her death, Jutta lived near the non-Christians in eastern Germany. There she built a small hermitage and prayed unceasingly for their conversion. She has been venerated for centuries as the special patron of Prussia.</p> American Catholic Blog The confessional is not the dry-cleaner’s; it is an encounter with Jesus, with that Jesus who is waiting for us, who is waiting for us as we are.

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