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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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Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus: The actions of these two influential Jewish leaders give insight into the charismatic power of Jesus and his teachings—and the risks that could be involved in following him.
<p><b>Joseph</b> was a respected, wealthy civic leader who had become a disciple of Jesus. Following the death of Jesus, Joseph obtained Jesus' body from Pilate, wrapped it in fine linen and buried it. For these reasons Joseph is considered the patron saint of funeral directors and pallbearers. More important is the courage Joseph showed in asking Pilate for Jesus' body. Jesus was a condemned criminal who had been publicly executed. According to some legends, Joseph was punished and imprisoned for such a bold act.
</p><p><b>Nicodemus</b> was a Pharisee and, like Joseph, an important first-century Jew. We know from John's Gospel that Nicodemus went to Jesus at night—secretly—to better understand his teachings about the kingdom. Later, Nicodemus spoke up for Jesus at the time of his arrest and assisted in Jesus' burial. We know little else about Nicodemus.
</p><p></p> American Catholic Blog Together with baptism, the other sacraments of initiation are Eucharist and confirmation. This trifecta makes us full members of the Church, like older children who can thoughtfully participate in all the elements of family life. But more than just milestones of belonging, these sacraments change our souls.

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