St. Augustine, Fla. – April 2, 2016 – Across many cultures and many centuries, people have marked the beginning of April by making a fool of others. But others across many cultures and centuries have been challenged by this question: Are you ready yourself to be a fool — a “fool for Christ”– to witness to the world of your faith?
In his just-released book, Holy Fool, Holy Father, novelist Nick Marziani explores the ancient idea of fools for Christ, people the rest of the world doesn’t understand, people who are willing make sacrifices others find extreme, even foolish.
“Over the centuries, men and women who were sold out to Christ and didn’t care what other people thought were considered fools, but accomplished great things for God. But to be a fool for Christ ourselves – are we willing to do that?” Marziani asks.
“Most of us like our respected positions and argue for our witness being seen to be pure,” he continues. “But the Bible teaches that the ‘foolishness’ of God is wiser than the ‘wisdom’ of men.”
In Holy Fool, Holy Father, Nick Marziani explores these ideas wrapped inside a fast-paced novel set primarily in Russia, but starting in a Kazakhstan village so small it has no name. He introduces us to the endearing faith and commitment of a gifted young man named Misha who is mentored by his Russian Orthodox Church leader in their tiny village until he’s called to take bigger steps into the wider world. By the time the novel ends, Misha has fallen in love, become a scientist, and moved to Rome, then ends up the man of the hour when a cataclysmic dystopian event threatens modern technological life all over the world.
And that’s only part of Misha’s story.
The thought-provoking novel ends with more questions to be answered, but heightens our awareness of larger issues in our world, and in the church.
Author Marziani has some unique credentials that inform his understanding of the church. He’s Father Marziani, a Roman Catholic priest, but a former Episcopalian priest who came to Christ as a young man through the witness of Messianic Jews.
Before serving in the ministry, Marziani trained as a scientist and also as an electrical engineer, and taught at both the high and college level. He then became an Episcopalian priest after receiving a doctor of ministry degree. In recent years he became a Catholic priest when the opportunity became available, and currently serves at St. James Catholic Church in St. Augustine, Florida. The married father of three and grandfather of seven, he embraces the unity of the faith and believes strongly that difficult days in our world are ahead but the church has a powerful role to play and that we must move past sectarian differences.
He believes the second coming of Christ can’t come until we have unity in the church, not just unity across denominational lines as Protestants tend to think of it, but unity worldwide including the Orthodox church and the Roman Catholic church.
Marziani challenges the church to reach out across the wide divides that separate Christ’s followers and to be willing to be fools for Christ.
He points, in fact, to the meeting earlier this year when Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, met face to face in Cuba.
“The stunning thing about this meeting,” Marziani explained, “is that it was the first time in a thousand years that the leaders of these two branches of the church met face to face.”
He sees this meeting as playing a part in restoring fellowship, a stated goal of Pope Francis who became Pope in March 2013. And Marziani’s hoping to engage all Christians to join him in thinking ahead to what real unity in the church would look like.
But those thoughts are the back story to a delightful novel about life, love, serving God, and thinking bigger about the world and our place in it.
Holy Fool, Holy Father [ISBN 978-1-942587-28-6] released April 1 from Carpenter’s Son Publishing. It will be available from Amazon and other online retailers, as well as in selected book stores. Learn more about the book at www.holyfoolholyfatherthenovel.com.
For a review copy or to interview Marziani, contact Joni Sullivan Baker, Buoyancy PR, at 513/319-3231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.