The broad-ranging introduction of this book unravels the myths that surround sainthood, explaining why pious heroism is described through legend and how relics signify the reality of the saints. Then, the second half of the book is an illustrated encyclopedia of over 500 saints, in chronological order from the Apostles to saints of the 20th century, encompassing saints from all over the world. The life and work of each saint is described. Far more than a dictionary of saints, this book explores the conditions of sainthood and tells the lives of the saints. It offers a comprehensive, modern approach to this fascinating subject.