History of the Pieta Prayer Book

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In the early 1970s a gentleman in southwest Michigan, Harry Faulhaber, wanted a spiritual gift to leave with people when making home visits on behalf of his parish. With his wife Lillian and a friend in San Damiano, Italy, they compiled their favorite prayers, took them to a local printer and had 1,000 copies made.

Eventually all the books were given away and they made the decision to print more. They realized that they would have to charge a small fee for the book to offset the printing and shipping costs. To keep the cost as low as possible, they asked at the post office, “what’s the cheapest way to ship this?” “Book rate (media mail),” replied the postmaster, “but in order to be considered a book, it must have at least 72 pages.” They opened the Pieta book and it had exactly 72 pages! That was over 40 years ago and we now have over 9 million books in print in all parts of the world.

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