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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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Alphonsus Rodriguez: Tragedy and challenge beset today’s saint early in life, but Alphonsus Rodriguez found happiness and contentment through simple service and prayer. 
<p>Born in Spain in 1533, Alphonsus inherited the family textile business at 23. Within the space of three years, his wife, daughter and mother died; meanwhile, business was poor. Alphonsus stepped back and reassessed his life. He sold the business and, with his young son, moved into his sisters’ home. There he learned the discipline of prayer and meditation. </p><p>Years later, at the death of his son, Alphonsus, almost 40 by then, sought to join the Jesuits. He was not helped by his poor education. He applied twice before being admitted. For 45 years he served as doorkeeper at the Jesuits’ college in Majorca. When not at his post, he was almost always at prayer, though he often encountered difficulties and temptations. </p><p>His holiness and prayerfulness attracted many to him, including St. Peter Claver, then a Jesuit seminarian. Alphonsus’s life as doorkeeper may have been humdrum, but he caught the attention of poet and fellow-Jesuit Gerard Manley Hopkins, who made him the subject of one of his poems. </p><p>Alphonsus died in 1617. He is the patron saint of Majorca.</p> American Catholic Blog People mess up, and it’s especially hard to watch as our children and other young people go down paths we know are likely to lead to heartbreak. Providing gentle guidance when it’s needed, and love even when that guidance isn’t followed, helps them to start fresh.

 
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