For the Spiritual Historian
If your guy likes books such as Tolkien's The Silmarillion or if he is always watching the History Channel, then he just might enjoy the four volume set of Butler's Lives of the Saints.
We were first introduced to it by our priest who always had the most interesting little stories and facts about these great people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. I've done some reading about the Saints online before, but was never able to find the same level of detail as he always presented. And, I certainly wasn't able to find much information about some of the more obscure Saints.
I got the set for my birthday last year and loved it. One of my first thoughts is about how much my brother would like it. (The same brother who sports the Two Handed Great Sword.) He is the kind of guy who likes to know all the facts. He loves rich history. He enjoys deeper learning; just the surface level stuff would never do for him. He likes to get to know the people who shaped history itself. If that sounds like your guy, then this will also be a great gift for him.
Each Saint has a designated memorial day and the books are divided by those days. Each volume covers three months. The Saints can also be looked up by their name for easy reference. It should be noted that some of the feast days have changed since the original writing and printing of the book, but if you don't find the Saint under the expected date then you can just look them up by name. It also doesn't include the most recently canonized Saints since it was last updated in 1956.
We have found it interesting to read about the Saints on their feast day, so there are new exciting stories every day. Some of them are pretty bizarre, but all the stories are written as factually as possible, admitting when there isn't much reliable information about the facts surrounding a particular Saint. This happens with some of the early martyrs or other men and women who didn't have much written information about their lives.
Thoughtful and Unique Gift
These books are interesting and life changing. The stories of these amazing men and women give the reader a lot to think about. Although it is obviously a Catholic work, it is still of interest to non-religious people for its historical value. However, it is probably best for religious occasions such as confirmation, godparent gifts, etc.
Have you read this or other Lives of the Saints books? What are your thoughts? Share with us in the comments below!