The Pilgrim by Davis Bunn

The Pilgrim


When I agreed to review “The Pilgrim” I was actually unaware of its subject. My past experience with Davis Bunn’s novels is that I can expect them to hold my interest and to be very well researched. I have read so many of them that I do not hesitate when a new one is released. I grew up in a small, southern, rural community where almost everyone went to a Protestant church – usually Baptist, Methodist, or Presbyterian so I had very little knowledge of the Catholic faith. I went into this book with absolutely no clue about Empress Helena and very limited memory about her son Constantine, but I am so thankful I had the opportunity to get to know her through its pages.

What a lady! I can only wish that my faith and determination to live it could be even a fraction of the amount of faith Helena possessed. Her pilgrimage to Jerusalem and her firm belief in the vision she received from God were inspirational. Her strength and love motivated an ever-growing group of pilgrims whose faith grew as a result. I couldn’t help but think how different our world today might be if Christians worked together in the same way and were an example to those who were yet to believe.

“The Pilgrim” is a story for everyone. It may be the story of a Catholic saint but her trust in the Lord to take care of her as she followed the path as He directed is an example to all those who claim to follow Christ.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from
Franciscan Media in exchange for my honest review.


Travel with Empress Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine the Great, on a perilous journey through ancient Judea to Jerusalem.

Abandoned by her husband, in danger because of her faith, but with an implacable will to do what God calls her to, Helena meets those who would help and harm her along the way. Miracles seem to follow this humble but determined woman as she wins many over to the faith, and changes lives forever—including her own. This unforgettable story is a vivid portrait of one of Christian history’s most important women.

Free sample of The Pilgrim by Davis Bunn

ISBN-10: 1632530341

ISBN-13: 978-1632530349

Hardcover and Paperback: 176 pages

Publisher: Franciscan Media

Publication Date: July 17, 2015


Davis BunnDavis Bunn is an award-winning novelist with total worldwide sales of seven million copies.

His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

Davis divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College at The University of Oxford. Visit Davis at

Q-and-A-with-Davis-Bunn-Author-of-The-PilgrimQ&A With Davis Bunn, author of The Pilgrim

Q: There are many legends about Constantine and his mother, Helena. How did you decide which legend to incorporate into the story?

Davis Bunn: The period when Constantine became the first Christian emperor is one about which so much has been written, and yet so little detail is known. No one knows for certain where his mother, Helena – the main character in The Pilgrim – was born. There are three main legends, and I used the one that has the greatest sense of historical resonance, that she was British, and her father ruled one of the provinces taken over by the Romans. Her husband was a general who met Helena in the local market and fell in love at first sight.

Q: What is the appeal of writing about a historical figure? What was one special challenge you faced in doing so?

First and foremost, Helena is a saint in the eyes of the Catholic church. Her son, Emperor Constantine, was the first Roman leader to convert to Christianity. His death marked the moment when Christians were freed from persecution. Constantine was led to faith by his mother. The Pilgrim is her story.

While I am a fervent evangelical Protestant, my wife is Catholic. My mother is a Catholic convert. As is my sister, who has raised her two daughters as Catholic. So part of what I wanted to do here was to grow closer to the heritage that these dear people treasure. Their faith has had such an impact on my own life.  It was important that I use this story and this opportunity to create something that would honor their perspective on faith. I also wanted to share with readers the enormous life lessons we can learn from the lives of the saints.

So many, many different issues came up as a result of this quest. It proved to be a beautiful and intense growing experience. Although this book is not particularly long, the actual writing took as long as some of my much bigger books. Part of this was honing the story so their faith, and their history, was honored, but done from a foundation that reflected my own personal walk in faith.

My hope, my fervent prayer, is that the story will resonate with readers from both faith communities.

Q: The end of The Pilgrim leaves the reader wanting more. Will you revisit this story down the road?

I am working on a second book, The Fragment, which is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2016. The Fragment carries some of the concepts from The Pilgrim into the early twentieth century, when the U.S. came to possess a reliquary with a supposed component of Jesus’s cross. It ends in a vignette that happens today, when a couple travels to Rome.

Q: How can readers find you on the Internet?


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You Were Born For This by Bruce Wilkinson

His New York Times phenomenon The Prayer of Jabez changed how millions pray.
Now Bruce Wilkinson wants to change what they do next.


You Were Born For This (subtitled “7 Keys to a Life of Predictable Miracles”) is a book about what my pastor might call “intentional living”. In his newest book, Bruce Wilkinson lays out a plan that teaches the average believer how to partner with God and the Holy Spirit to impact others through everyday miracles.

Divided into four sections, You Were Born For This covers the following:

  1. Welcome to Everyday Miracle Territory
  2. Four Keys to a Life of Miracles
  3. How to Deliver a Miracle
  4. Three Keys to Special Delivery Miracles

You Were Born For This is written in an almost conversational style that is easy to read and follow and is separated into sections with points that is reminiscent of common sermon styles. Mr. Wilkinson fleshes out his teaching with narratives of the experiences of himself and others who have followed these keys.

Don’t let the word “miracles” throw you. This book is not about showy miracles such as instantaneous healings where the blind see, the deaf hear, or the lame walk (not to say that couldn’t happen); but instead seems to illustrate what some might call divine appointments or words of knowledge that make a difference in the other person’s life. Usually the miracle is that God will send a believer who is particularly equipped  to answer a specific need or  prayer for someone else.

  • Why are experiences of the miraculous so rare for most people?
  • What if God wanted you to experience them on a regular basis?
  • What if ordinary people like you and me are invited to partner with God to deliver them to others?

So if you have ever wondered why God is not using you more or would like the answers to the above questions (from flyleaf), I would recommend that you purchase your own copy of You Were Born For This. You just might be like me and be eager to try these keys out yourself. Mr. Wilkinson makes so much sense and his keys are so simple that you will wonder why we have never learned this before now.

YouWerBornAnyone can do a good deed, but some good works can only happen by a direct intervention from God. Around the world these acts are called miracles—not that even religious people expect to see one any time soon. But what would happen if millions of ordinary people walked out each morning expecting God to deliver a miracle through them to a person in need? You Were Born for This starts with the dramatic premise that everyone at all times is in need of a miracle, and that God is ready to meet those needs supernaturally through ordinary people who are willing to learn how Heaven works.

In the straightforward, story-driven, highly motivating style for which he is known, Wilkinson describes how anyone can help others experience miracles in such universally significant arenas of life as finances, practical help, relationships, purpose, and spiritual growth.

You Were Born for This will change how readers see their world, and what they expect God can do through them to meet real needs. They will master seven simple tools of service, and come to say with confidence, “I want to deliver a supernatural gift from God to someone in need today—and now I know how!”

To learn how to purchase your own copy of You Were Born For This click here.

For more resources and to download the first chapter of Your Were Born For This, go to the website.


BruceWOne of the world’s foremost Christian teachers, Bruce Wilkinson is best known as the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller The Prayer of Jabez. He is also the author of numerous other bestsellers, including A Life God Rewards, Secrets of the Vine, and The Dream Giver. Over the past three decades, Wilkinson has founded several global initiatives, including organizations that recruited and trained thousands of Americans to address hunger, AIDS, and poverty in Africa. Bruce and his wife, Darlene, have three children and six grandchildren. They live outside Atlanta.

David Kopp has collaborated with Bruce Wilkinson on over a dozen bestselling books, including The Prayer of Jabez. He is an editor and writer living in Colorado.