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List of Catholic authors

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The authors listed on this page should be limited to those who identify as Catholic authors in some form. This does not mean they are necessarily orthodox in their beliefs. It does mean they identify as Catholic in a religious, cultural, or even aesthetic manner. The common denominator is that at least some (and preferably the majority) of their writing is imbued with a Catholic religious, cultural or aesthetic sensibility.

European languages

Croatian language

  • Ivan GundulićHis work embodies central characteristics of Catholic Counter-Reformation
  • Marko MarulićMarulić was inspired by the Bible, Antique writers, and Christian hagiographies

Cymraeg (Welsh language)

Czech language

  • Jindřich Šimon Baar – ordained as Catholic priest in 1892, wrote about church reform.
  • Jakub Deml – between 1902 and 1909 he was a Catholic priest, suspended in 1912, publishing of his books was prohibited after the communist coup.
  • Ivan Diviš – in 1964 he converted to Catholicism, this was during their Communist period and he left after the Prague Spring ended.
  • Jaroslav Durych – originally a physician; prolific essayist, also poet; presumably his greatest work is the trilogy Bloudění (from the Thirty Years War), translated into several languages, including English.
  • Tomáš Halík – priest in the underground church during Communism, in least five books.
  • Vladimír Holan – he left the Communist Party and reentered the Catholic Church.
  • Bohuslav Hasištejnský z Lobkovic – he was elected Bishop of Olomouc, but he was refused by the pope.
  • Jan Zahradníček – Catholic mystic poet of the early and mid 20th century; because of his writings he was imprisoned as an enemy of the Communists after their coup in 1948.

Dutch language

English language

As the anti-Catholic laws were lifted in the mid nineteenth century, there was a revival of Catholicism in the English speaking world, there has been a distinct Catholic strain in English literature.

The most notable figures are Cardinal Newman, a convert, one of the leading prose writers of his time and also a substantial poet, and the priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, also a convert, although most the latter's works were only published many years after his death. In the early twentieth century, G. K. Chesterton, a convert, and Hilaire Belloc, a French-born Catholic who became a British subject, promoted Roman Catholic views in direct apologetics as well as in popular, lighter genres, such as Chesterton's "Father Brown" detective stories. From the 1930s on the "Catholic novel" became a force impossible to ignore, with leading novelists of the day, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, converts both, dealing with distinctively Catholic themes in their work.

In America, Flannery O'Connor wrote powerful short stories with a Catholic sensibility and focus, set in the American South where she was decidedly in the religious minority.

French language

There was a strong Catholic strain in twentieth century French literature, encompassing Paul Claudel, Georges Bernanos, François Mauriac, and Julien Green.

  • Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly - 19th century novelist and short story writer, who specialised in mysterious tales that examine hidden motivation and hinted evil bordering the supernatural
  • Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald - counter-revolutionary philosophical writer
  • Charles Baudelaire -19th century decadent poet. There has long been debate as to what extent Baudelaire was a believing Catholic; but his work is certainly dominated by an obsession with the Devil and original sin, and often utilises Catholic imagery and theology.
  • Georges Bernanos, the novelist, a devout Catholic and author of The Diary of a Country Priest.
  • Leon Bloy, late 19th century/early 20th century novelist.
  • Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, 17th century bishop, preacher and master of French prose – wrote famous funeral orations and doctrinal works.
  • Pierre Boulle, author of "The Bridge Over the River Kwai" and "Planet of the Apes".
  • Paul Bourget, novelist
  • Jean Pierre de Caussade - Jesuit and spiritual writer
  • The Vicomte de Chateaubriand – The founder of Romanticism in French literature, he returned to the Catholic faith of his boyhood in the 1790s and wrote a famous apology for Christianity, "Génie du christianisme" ("The Genius of Christianity"), which contributed to a post-Revolutionary revival of Catholicism in France.
  • Paul Claudel, the devout Catholic poet, a leading figure in French poetry of the early twentieth century, and author of verse dramas focussing on religious themes.
  • Pierre Corneille - the founder of French tragedy, he was Jesuit-educated and also translated Thomas à Kempis's "The Imitation of Christ" into French verse.
  • St. Francis de Sales – Bishop of Geneva 1602–1622, a Doctor of the Church, famous as the author of classic devotional works, e.g. Introduction à la vie dévote ("Introduction to the Devout Life") and Traité de l' Amour de Dieu ("Treatise on the Love of God"). Pope Pius XI proclaimed him patron saint of writers and journalists.
  • François Fénelon – late 17th century/early 18th century. Archbishop and writer. Some of his writings were condemned as Quietist by Pope Innocent XII; he obediently submitted to the judgment of the Holy See.
  • Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange - leading neo-Thomist theologian
  • Henri Ghéon - French poet and critic. His experiences as an army doctor during the First World War saw him regain his Catholic faith (as described in his work "L'homme né de la guerre", "The Man Born out of the War"). From then on much of his work portrays episodes from the lives of the saints.
  • Étienne Gilson, prolific philosophical and historical writer and leading neo-Thomist.
  • René Girard - historian, literary critic and philosopher
  • Julien Green – A novelist and diarist, convert from Protestantism. A devout Catholic, most of his books focused on the ideas of faith and religion as well as hypocrisy.
  • Pierre Helyot – Franciscan history writer.
  • Victor Hugo - French novelist and poet
  • Joris-Karl Huysmans – originally a decadent novelist, his later novels, En Route (1895), La Cathédrale (1898) and L'Oblat (1903), trace his conversion to Roman Catholicism.
  • Francis Jammes, late 19th/early 20th century poet.
  • Pierre de Jarric – French missionary and author.
  • Brother Lawrence - 17th century Carmelite lay brother, known for the spiritual classic "The Practice of the Presence of God"
  • Henri de Lubac - priest (later cardinal) and leading theologian
  • Gabriel Marcel - convert, philosopher and playwright
  • Joseph de Maistre - late 18th/early 19th century writer and philosopher from Savoy, one of the most influential intellectual opponents of the French Revolution and a firm defender of the authority of the Papacy
  • Jacques Maritain – A convert and a leading Catholic philosophical writer.
  • St. Louis de Montfort – priest who wrote The True Devotion to Mary and is a Catholic saint.
  • François Mauriac – devout Catholic novelist, a strong influence on Graham Greene, whose themes are sin and redemption.
  • Charles Péguy – author of such long poems as "Mysteres de Charité de Jeanne d'Arc" (Mysteries of the Charity of Joan of Arc) and "Le mystère des saints innocents" (The Mystery of the Holy Innocents).
  • Pierre Reverdy - French 20th century poet
  • St. Therese of Lisieux – 19th century Carmelite nun and now a Doctor of the Church, whose autobiography L'histoire d'un âme ("The Story of a Soul") was a best-seller and remains a spiritual classic.
  • Patrice de la Tour du Pin - 20th-century poet
  • Jules Verne - science fiction author
  • Louis Veuillot, leading French Catholic journalist of the 19th century

German language

Gheg Albanian

  • Ndre MjedaJesuit poet of the nightingale's lament and Imitation of the Holy Virgin.

Gaeilge - Irish language

Icelandic language

Italian language

Lithuanian language

Norwegian language

  • Sigrid Undset, convert whose Medieval trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter has received high praise in Catholic circles. [8]. Won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.

Polish language

Portuguese language

Russian language

Slovenian language

Spanish language

Swedish language

Asian languages

Japanese language

  • Shusaku Endo – "His Roman Catholic faith can be seen at some level in all of his books, and it is often a central feature."

Genre writing

Science Fiction & Fantasy



  • Anthony Boucher – Wrote Quest for St. Aquin. Although it's science fiction it showed his strong commitment to the religion.
  • Anne Rice – Her new books focus on Jesus.
  • G. K. Chesterton - Wrote several books of short stories about a priest, Fr. Brown, who acts as a detective
  • Ronald Knox - Wrote six mystery novels
  • Antonia Fraser – A Roman Catholic (converted with her parents as a child), Lady Antonia caused a public scandal in 1977 by leaving her Catholic husband for Harold Pinter.
  • Ralph McInerny - is the author of over thirty books, including the most popular Father Dowling mystery series, as well as having taught for over forty years at the University of Notre Dame, where he is the director of the Jacques Maritain Center.


Writers mistaken for Catholic

  • Jeffrey Ford – He was raised Catholic, but abandoned the Faith in strong terms. [24]
  • David E. KelleySometimes assumed to be a Catholic because of his surname, Kelley is actually a Protestant.(His Wiki article)


  1. Roger Robinson and Nelson Wattie, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1998, pp. 45 - 48.
  2. First Tings
  3. The Keeper of Traken episode two audio commentary.


External links

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