Nancy J. AZZARO, The Vision of Christ In St. Columba Church. Brooklyn CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017. pp. 174. $9.99 pb. $4.99 kindle. Reviewed by Christine CALABRESE
Huntington, NY.  


While this book is the personal testimony of a vision the author experienced in a church in Brooklyn, the over-riding theme derives significance of this grace based on Church history, theology and scripture. This book is well-suited for the layperson.

In the beginning, the author takes us through her childhood in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950’s. Memories of an Italian American extended family are described as loving and lively. Though traditionally Catholic, we learn that family life was not unusually religious. Drawn at a young age to the Lord, Azzaro’s life displays a humble pursuit of the divine. Next, a discussion of many saints ensues highlighting mysticism and visions which have been part of the Church since antiquity. Some of the saints considered include: Mother Theresa and Princess Diana (an interesting correlation), St. Francis of Assisi, St.Teresa Avila, St Padre Pio as well as Our Blessed Mother and her workings with the saints. In addition, the definition of a mystical experience is explored by citing quotations from scholars such as: Balthasar, St. John of the Cross, St. Thomas Aquinas, K. Rahner, H. Egan, Eveylyn Underhill and William James. Azzaro’s inspiration for this book is thus offered in context, laying an excellent case for its authenticity. This adds a pillar of validation to the vision.

Continuing on, scripture is reviewed and quoted demonstrating that Our Lord Jesus did indeed appear to many early disciples as promised. Nancy Azzaro describes her own vision; a miraculous and beautiful grace which she shares in detail. This vision presented Our Triumphant Lord with specific qualities of humility, peace, divinity, majesty, and royalty. The book is replete with scripture characterizing Our Lord as the humble Lamb of God. This is the Jesus whom the author saw, thus a fitting study of his Deity as the Lamb of God; holy, yet ever humble is included. By citing old testament scripture and helpful meditations, the author visits Our Lord as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The reader is encouraged to quiet his soul in order to listen to Jesus. Our Lord’s majesty and splendor are also important themes under consideration. As High Priest, Jesus Christ is presented via scripture and in the Catholic Mass. Jesus is our Mediator. In Mass, Catholics take part in the mystical sacrifice of Our Lord, receiving the grace of forgiveness therefore becoming reconciled to God. Old and New Testament scriptures are quoted displaying the priestly assignment of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Finally, Jesus is not in the tomb, He is risen as he said and this author saw the risen savior, therefore, she proves him via scripture and scholarly citations as our risen Lord. Nancy Azzaro stands by her vision in unwavering faith and though we have not seen him with our eyes as she has, her witness challenges us to look upon Jesus with our own spiritual eyes of faith.

In conclusion, though the subject of this book is lofty, the author’s voice presents a humble disposition which enables the reader to approach the text enthusiastically and quickly. Because the vision is deftly placed in context via breadth and depth of theological study, the experience is familiar rather than foreign. This book sparks interest in scripture, scholars and mysticism in the Catholic Church; it is a must-read for Catholics and Christians alike.