Adrienne von Speyr (1902 – 1967) was a Swiss medical doctor, convert to Catholicism, a mystic, wife and author of over 60 books on spirituality and theology. She collaborated closely with Hans Urs Von Balthasar, her confessor for 27 years, and together co-founded the Community of Saint John. Her numerous writings, published by Ignatius Press, are being recognized by leading theologians as a major contribution to the mystical and spiritual writings of the Church.
A convert from Protestantism, Adrienne von Speyr entered the Catholic Church on the Feast of All Saints, 1940. During the next twenty-seven years, Hans Urs von Balthasar, as Adrienne’s confessor and spiritual director, carefully observed her interior life and was convinced that she was gifted with a special mission in the life of the Church—to revitalize personal, as well as communal, faith and prayer.
Working in close collaboration with von Balthasar, Adrienne received these intimate portraits of men and women, both inside and outside the Church, in conversation with God. Through a unique charism, she was able to put herself in the place of various individuals to see and describe their prayer, their whole attitude before God. Not all of her subjects are saints in the strict sense of the word, but all struggled, with varying degrees of success to place their lives at the disposal of their Creator.
“The Book of All Saints is a wonderful gift to the Church because it shows how the saints pray and because it invites us—by contagion, as it were—to pray ourselves.” – Vivian Dudro