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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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Elizabeth of Portugal: Elizabeth is usually depicted in royal garb with a dove or an olive branch. At her birth in 1271, her father, Pedro III, future king of Aragon, was reconciled with his father, James, the reigning monarch. This proved to be a portent of things to come. Under the healthful influences surrounding her early years, she quickly learned self-discipline and acquired a taste for spirituality. Thus fortunately prepared, she was able to meet the challenge when, at the age of 12, she was given in marriage to Denis, king of Portugal. She was able to establish for herself a pattern of life conducive to growth in God’s love, not merely through her exercises of piety, including daily Mass, but also through her exercise of charity, by which she was able to befriend and help pilgrims, strangers, the sick, the poor—in a word, all those whose need came to her notice. At the same time she remained devoted to her husband, whose infidelity to her was a scandal to the kingdom. 
<p>He, too, was the object of many of her peace endeavors. She long sought peace for him with God, and was finally rewarded when he gave up his life of sin. She repeatedly sought and effected peace between the king and their rebellious son, Alfonso, who thought that he was passed over to favor the king’s illegitimate children. She acted as peacemaker in the struggle between Ferdinand, king of Aragon, and his cousin James, who claimed the crown. And finally from Coimbra, where she had retired as a Franciscan tertiary to the monastery of the Poor Clares after the death of her husband, she set out and was able to bring about a lasting peace between her son Alfonso, now king of Portugal, and his son-in-law, the king of Castile.</p> American Catholic Blog In the name of the Father, use my mind to bring you honor, and of the Son, fill my heart to spread your word, and of the Holy Spirit, strengthen me to carry you out to all the world. Amen.

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