List of Catholic authors

Last updated

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.


Asian languages

Chinese language

  • Xu Guangqi – One of the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism. He was a Chinese scholar-bureaucrat, agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. Xu was a colleague and collaborator of the Italian Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Sabatino de Ursis and assisted their translation of several classic Western texts into Chinese, including part of Euclid's Elements.
  • Su Xuelin – Chinese educator, essayist, novelist and poet; she described Thorny Heart as a description of her 'personal journey on the road to Catholicism' [1]
  • John Ching Hsiung Wu – jurist and author; wrote in Chinese, English, French, and German on Christian spirituality, Chinese literature and legal topics
  • Li Yingshi – was a Ming Chinese military officer and a renowned mathematician,[1] astrologer and feng shui expert, who was among the first Chinese literati to become Christian. Converted to Catholicism by Matteo Ricci and Diego de Pantoja, the first two Jesuits to establish themselves in Beijing.
Xu Guangqi Ming Dynasty Chinese politician, scholar and lay Catholic leader

Xu Guangqi or Hsü Kuang-ch'i, also known by his baptismal name Paul, was a Chinese agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, politician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. Xu was a colleague and collaborator of the Italian Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Sabatino de Ursis and assisted their translation of several classic Western texts into Chinese, including part of Euclid's Elements. He was also the author of the Nong Zheng Quan Shu, a treatise on agriculture. He was one of the "Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism". His current title is Servant of God. On April 15, 2011, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi announced the beatification of Xu Guangqi.

Xú Guāngqǐ of Shanghai, and Lǐ Zhīzǎo and Yáng Tíngyún both of Hangzhou, are known as the Three Great Pillars of Chinese Catholicism. It is due to their combined efforts that Hangzhou and Shanghai became the centre of missionary activity in late Ming China. The three men shared an interest in Western science and mathematics, and it is probable that this was what first attracted them to the Jesuits responsible for their conversion.

Su Xuelin Scholar, author and poet

Su Xuelin or Su Hsüeh-lin was a Chinese author and scholar.

Japanese language

The Akutagawa Prize is a Japanese literary award presented semi-annually. Because of its prestige and the considerable attention the winner receives from the media, it is, along with the Naoki Prize, one of Japan's most sought after literary prizes.

Ayako Sono Japanese writer

Ayako Sono is a Japanese writer.

Saint Fr. Jacobo Kyushei Gorobioye Tomonaga de Santa María was a Japanese Dominican priest. He composed one of the first modern Japanese dictionaries.

Vietnamese language

European languages

Albanian language

  • Gjon Buzuku – priest; wrote the first known printed book in Albanian.
  • Pal Engjëlli – Archbishop; wrote the first known document in Albanian
  • Gjergj Fishta – poet; in 1937 he completed and published his epic masterpiece Lahuta e Malcís, an epic poem written in the Gheg dialect of Albanian. It contains 17,000 lines and is considered the "Albanian Iliad". He is regarded among the most influential cultural and literary figures of the 20th century in Albania.
  • Ndre MjedaJesuit poet; poems include "The Nightingale's Lament" and "Imitation of the Holy Virgin"
  • Giulio Variboba - poet; priest, of the Arbëresh Albanian people of Southern Italy, regarded by many Albanians as the first genuine poet in all of Albanian literature
Gjon Buzuku Albanian translator

Gjon Buzuku was an Albanian Catholic priest who wrote the first known printed book in Albanian. Gjon Buzuku was born in the village of Ljare in the Bar district, close to Northern Albania, then Ottoman Empire. He probably lived in or near Venice, Italy. There are claims that he was the bishop of two dioceses in north Albania or that he was a monk.

Pal Engjëlli Catholic cardinal

Pal Ëngjëlli was an Albanian Roman Catholic cardinal, clergyman, scholar, and Archbishop of Durrës who in 1462 wrote the first known sentence retrieved so far in Albanian. Pal Ëngjëlli is reported to have been a friend, co-worker and close counselor of Skanderbeg. As his envoy, he frequently traveled abroad, seeking for aid in the war against the Ottoman Empire. Pal is the Northern Albanian version of Paul, and Ëngjëlli is the Albanian form of angel.

Gjergj Fishta Albanian writer

Gjergj Fishta was an Albanian educator, franciscan, poet, politician, rilindas and translator who served as the Chairman of the Congress of Manastir in 1908 and as the Vice President of the Parliament of Albania in 1921. He is regarded among the most influential cultural and literary figures of the 20th century in Albania.

Bosnian language

  • Matija Divković – was a Bosnian Franciscan and writer from Bosnia. He is considered to be the founder of the modern literature in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Matija Divković was a Bosnian Franciscan and writer from Bosnia. He is considered to be the founder of the modern literature in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Croatian language

  • Ivan Gundulić – poet; work embodies central characteristics of Catholic Counter-Reformation
  • Marko Marulić – poet; inspired by the Bible, Antique writers, and Christian hagiographies
  • Andrija Kačić Miošić – poet
  • Petar Preradović – was an Croatian poet, writer, and military general of Serb origin. He was one of the most important Croatian poets of the 19th century Illyrian movement and the main representative of romanticism in Croatia.
Ivan Gundulić Croatian poet

Ivan Franov Gundulić also Gianfrancesco Gondola, better known today as Ivan Gundulić, was the most prominent Baroque poet from the Republic of Ragusa. His work embodies central characteristics of Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation: religious fervor, insistence on "vanity of this world" and zeal in opposition to "infidels". Gundulić's major works—the epic poem Osman, the pastoral play Dubravka, and the religious poem Tears of the Prodigal Son are examples of Baroque stylistic richness and, frequently, rhetorical excess.

Marko Marulić Croatian national poet and European humanist

Marko Marulić Splićanin, in Latin Marcus Marulus Spalatensis and Italian Marco Marulo, was a Croatian poet and Renaissance humanist. He coined the term "psychology".

Hagiography biography of a Christian saint

A hagiography is a biography of a saint or an ecclesiastical leader. The term hagiography may be used to refer to the biography of a saint or highly developed spiritual being in any of the world's spiritual traditions.

Czech language

Danish language

  • Jens Johannes Jørgensen   late-19th- and early-20th-century poet and novelist; also a biographer of Catholic saints

Dutch language

English language

As the anti-Catholic laws were lifted in the mid-19th century, there was a revival of Catholicism in the British Empire. There has long 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 20th 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. Although James Hanley was not a practising Catholic, a number of his novels emphasise Catholic beliefs and values, including The Furys Chronicle .

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.







  • George Santayana – Spanish-American philosopher and novelist; baptised Catholic; despite taking a sceptical stance in his philosophy to belief in the existence of God, he identified himself with Catholic culture, referring to himself as an "aesthetic Catholic"
  • Steven Schloeder – American architect and theologian; wrote book Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998)
  • William Shakespeare – regarded by most to be the greatest playwright and poet in the English language, as well as being one of the greatest writers in the world; although disputed, a growing number of biographers and critics hold that his religion was Catholic
  • John Patrick Shanley – screenwriter and playwright; educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and the Sisters of Charity
  • Patrick Augustine Sheehan – Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, Catholic priest, novelist essayist and poet; significant figure of the renouveau Catholique in English literature in the United States and in Europe
  • Dame Edith Sitwell – English poet; a convert
  • Robert Smith – American Catholic priest, author and educator
  • Joseph Sobran – wrote for The Wanderer, an orthodox Roman Catholic journal
  • St. Robert Southwell – 16th-century Jesuit; martyred during the persecutions of Elizabeth I; wrote religious poetry, i.e., "The Burning Babe", and Catholic tracts
  • Dame Muriel Spark – Scottish novelist; decided to join the Roman Catholic Church in 1954 and considered it crucial in her becoming a novelist in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene; novels often focus on human evil and sin
  • Robert Spencer – writer and commentator on Islam and jihad
  • Karl Stern – German-Jewish convert and psychiatrist
  • Francis Stuart – Australian-born Irish-nationalist Catholic convert; son-in-law of Maud Gonne; accused of anti-Semitism in his later years by Maire McEntee O'Brien and Kevin Myers
  • Jon M. Sweeney - American author of many books on religion, popular history, and memoir; convert
  • Harry Sylvester - American journalist, short story writer, and novelist; most famous books were the Catholic novels Dayspring and Moon Gaffney
  • Ellen Tarry – writer of young-adult literature and The Third Door: The Autobiography of an American Negro Woman
  • Allen Tate – convert; poet and essayist
  • Francis Thompson – 19th-century poet; wrote the devotional poem "The Hound of Heaven"
  • Colm Toibin – Irish actor and writer; wrote The Sign of the Cross
  • J. R. R. Tolkien – writer of The Lord of the Rings ; devout and practicing Catholic
  • John Kennedy Toole – Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of A Confederacy of Dunces .
  • F. X. Toole (born Jerry Boyd) – Irish-American Catholic
  • Meriol Trevor – convert; author of historical novels, biographies, and children's stories
  • Lizzie Velásquez – writer of self-help, autobiographical, and young adult non-fiction
  • Elena Maria Vidal – historical novelist
  • Louie Verrecchio – Italian-American columnist for Catholic News Agency and author of Catholic faith formation materials and related books.
  • Christopher Villiers – British Catholic theologian and poet; author of Sonnets From the Spirit.
  • Maurice Walsh - one of the most popular Irish writers of the 1930s and 1940s, now chiefly remembered for the Hollywood film of his short story 'The Quiet Man;' wrote for the Irish Catholic magazine the Capuchin Annual and listed in the 1948 publication 'Catholic Authors: Contemporary Biographical Sketches, 1930-1952, Volume 1;'
  • Auberon Waugh – comic novelist and columnist; son of Evelyn Waugh
  • Evelyn Waugh – novelist; converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930; his religious ideas are manifest, either explicitly or implicitly, in all of his later work; strongly orthodox and conservative Roman Catholic
  • Morris West   Australian writer; several of his novels are set in the Vatican
  • Donald E. Westlake – American writer; three-time Edgar Award winner
  • Henry William Wilberforce – English journalist and essayist
  • Tennessee Williams - convert, American playwright and poet, who wrote such noted plays as The Glass Menagerie , The Cat on a Hot Tin Roof , and A Streetcar Named Desire .
  • D.B. Wyndham-Lewis – English comic writer and biographer
  • Oscar Wilde – late-19th-century playwright and poet; fascinated by Catholicism as a young man and much of his early poetry shows this heavy influence; embraced a homosexual lifestyle later on, but converted to Catholicism on his deathbed (receiving a conditional baptism as there is some evidence, including his own vague recollection, that his mother had him baptised in the Catholic Church as a child [9] [10] )
  • Gene Wolfe – science-fiction author; has written many novels and multivolume series; some, such as the Book of the New Sun and the Book of the Long Sun , are considered to be religious allegory
  • Carol Zaleski – American philosopher of religion, essayist and author of books on Catholic theology and on comparative religion

French language

There was a strong Catholic strain in 20th-century French literature, encompassing Paul Claudel, Georges Bernanos, François Mauriac, and Julien Green.


  • Honoré de Balzac – 19th-century novelist; wrote in a preface to La Comédie Humaine that "Christianity, and especially Catholicism, being a complete repression of man's depraved tendencies, is the greatest element in Social Order"
  • 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
  • Charles Baudelaire – 19th-century decadent poet; long debate as to what extent Baudelaire was a believing Catholic; work is dominated by an obsession with the Devil and original sin, and often utilises Catholic imagery and theology
  • Georges Bernanos   novelist, a devout Catholic; novels include The Diary of a Country Priest
  • Leon Bloy   late-19th- and early-20th-century novelist
  • Louis Gabriel Ambroise de Bonald – counter-revolutionary philosophical writer
  • Jacques-Benigne Bossuet   17th-century bishop, preacher and master of French prose; wrote famous funeral orations and doctrinal works
  • Pierre Boulle   writer; novels include The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (1963)
  • Paul Bourget   novelist
  • Pierre Boutang
  • Jean Pierre de Caussade – Jesuit and spiritual writer
  • The Vicomte de Chateaubriand – founder of Romanticism in French literature; returned to the Catholic faith of his 1790s boyhood; wrote apologetic for Christianity, "Génie du christianisme" ("The Genius of Christianity"), which contributed to a post-Revolutionary revival of Catholicism in France
  • Paul Claudel   devout Catholic poet; a leading figure in French poetry of the early 20th century; author of verse dramas focusing on religious themes
  • François Coppée
  • Pierre Corneille – the founder of French tragedy; Jesuit-educated; translated The Imitation of Christ , Thomas à Kempis, into French verse
  • Léon Daudet
  • René Descartes – one of the most famous philosophers in the world; dubbed the father of modern philosophy; much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day; also a mathematician and a scientist.
  • Pierre Duhem   late-19th-century physicist, historian and philosopher of physics
  • Saint Francis de Sales – Bishop of Geneva from 1602 to 1622; a Doctor of the Church; wrote 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- and early-18th-century writer and archbishop; 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 – 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   philosophical and historical writer and leading neo-Thomist
  • René Girard – historian, literary critic and philosopher
  • Julien Green – 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
  • Hergé – nom de plume of the writer and illustrator of Tin Tin, one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, answer to Le Petit Vingtième request for a Catholic reporter that fought evil around the world
  • 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
  • Max Jacob
  • Francis Jammes   late-19th- and early-20th-century poet
  • Pierre de Jarric – French missionary and author
  • Marcel Jouhandeau


German language



Icelandic language

Irish language

Italian language

Latin language

  • Saint Ambrose   Bishop of Milan; one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; notable for his influence on Augustine; promoter of antiphonal chant and for the Ambrosian Rite
  • Augustine of Hippo   the earliest theologian and philosopher of the Church still having wide influence today; Bishop of Hippo; one of the Four Church Fathers; known for his apologetic work Confessions
  • Boethius  philosopher; known for The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Pope Gregory I   Pope; one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; born to a patrician family in Rome and became a monk; known today as being the first monk to become Pope and for traditionally being credited with Gregorian chant; emphasized charity in Rome
  • Saint Jerome   One of the Four Latin Church Fathers; known for translating the Bible into Latin; this translation is known as the Vulgate and became the founding source for Biblical subjects in the West
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas   One of the greatest Philosophers ever, known for his Summa Theologica.

Lithuanian language

Norwegian language

Polish language

Portuguese language

Russian language

Slovenian language

Spanish language

Swedish language

Welsh language

Genre writing


  • Anthony Boucher – American science-fiction editor, mystery novelist and short- story writer; his science-fiction short story "The Quest for Saint Aquin" shows his strong commitment to the religion
  • G. K. Chesterton – English lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist; wrote several books of short stories about a priest, Father Brown, who acts as a detective
  • Antonia Fraser – English writer of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction; Roman Catholic (converted with her parents as a child); caused a public scandal in 1977 by leaving her Catholic husband for Harold Pinter
  • Ronald Knox – English priest and theologian; wrote six mystery novels
  • Ralph McInerny – American novelist; wrote over thirty books, including the Father Dowling mystery series; taught for over forty years at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the director of the Jacques Maritain Center

Science fiction and fantasy


Writers mistaken for Catholic

See also


  1. [ dead link ] "The Study of Professor Su Xuelin" Archived 22 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine . National Cheng Kung University.
  2. Roger Robinson and Nelson Wattie, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, Oxford University Press, Auckland, 1998, pp. 45–48.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 March 2008. Retrieved 2006-08-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  4. .
  5. Liukkonen, Petri. "Seamus Heaney". Books and Writers ( Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 18 November 2005.
  6. First Tings
  7. .
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 February 2007. Retrieved 2005-11-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  9. Cavill, Paul; Ward, Heather; Baynham, Matthew; Swinford, Andrew (2007). The Christian Tradition in English Literature: Poetry, Plays, and Shorter Prose. p. 337. Zondervan.
  10. Pearce, Joseph (2004). The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde. pp. 2829. Ignatius Press.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-08-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  12. .
  13. .
  14. . Christianity Today .
  15. . The Guardian .
  16. . San Francisco Chronicle .
  17. . Sims, Harley J. (December 13, 2016). "A Polish Tolkien? The fantasy world of Andrzej Sapkowski". Mercatornet. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  18. Prado-Garduño, Gloria. Creación, recepción y efecto: Una aproximación hermenéutica a la obra literaria (in Spanish) (Second edition-First electronic ed.). México: Universidad Panamericana A.C. 2014. p. 203. ISBN   978-607-417-264-5.
  19. LaGreca, Nancy. Rewriting womanhood: feminism, subjectivity, and the angel of the house in the Latin American novel, 1887-1903. United States of America: Penn State Press. 2009. p. 202. ISBN   978-0-271-03439-3.
  20. [ dead link ] "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 October 2005. Retrieved 2005-11-20.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
  21. .
  22. .
  23. .
  24. [ dead link ] .
  25. [ permanent dead link ].
  26. .
  27. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 September 2005. Retrieved 22 November 2005.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link).
  28. .
  29. [ permanent dead link ]. Time Out .
  30. Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  31. .
  32. The Keeper of Traken episode two audio commentary.
  33. .
  34. Staff (25 November 2002). "Corrections". The New York Times . 18 June 2014.

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