The authors listed on this page should be limited to those who identify as Catholic authors in some form. This does not mean they are necessarily orthodox in their beliefs. It does mean they identify as Catholic in a religious, cultural, or even aesthetic manner. The common denominator is that at least some (and preferably the majority) of their writing is imbued with a Catholic religious, cultural or aesthetic sensibility.
Xu Guangqi – one of the Three Pillars of Chinese Catholicism. He was a Chinese scholar-bureaucrat, agronomist, astronomer, mathematician, and writer during the Ming dynasty. Xu was a colleague and collaborator of the Italian Jesuits Matteo Ricci and Sabatino de Ursis and assisted their translation of several classic Western texts into Chinese, including part of Euclid's Elements.
Su Xuelin – Chinese educator, essayist, novelist and poet; she described Thorny Heart as a description of her 'personal journey on the road to Catholicism'
John Ching Hsiung Wu – jurist and author; wrote in Chinese, English, French, and German on Christian spirituality, Chinese literature and legal topics
Li Yingshi – Ming Chinese military officer and a renowned mathematician, astrologer and feng shui expert, who was among the first Chinese literati to become Christian. Converted to Catholicism by Matteo Ricci and Diego de Pantoja, the first two Jesuits to establish themselves in Beijing.
Gjon Buzuku – priest; wrote the first known printed book in Albanian.
Pal Engjëlli – Archbishop; wrote the first known document in Albanian
Gjergj Fishta – poet; in 1937 he completed and published his epic masterpiece Lahuta e Malcís, an epic poem written in the Gheg dialect of Albanian. It contains 17,000 lines and is considered the "Albanian Iliad". He is regarded among the most influential cultural and literary figures of the 20th century in Albania.
Ndre Mjeda – Jesuit poet; poems include "The Nightingale's Lament" and "Imitation of the Holy Virgin"
Giulio Variboba – poet; priest, of the Arbëresh Albanian people of Southern Italy, regarded by many Albanians as the first genuine poet in all of Albanian literature
Petar Preradović – was a Croatian poet, writer, and military general of Serb origin. He was one of the most important Croatian poets of the 19th century Illyrian movement and the main representative of romanticism in Croatia.
Mihalj Šilobod Bolšić – Roman Catholic priest, mathematician, writer, and musical theorist primarily known for writing the first Croatian arithmetic textbook Arithmatika Horvatzka (published in Zagreb, 1758).
Joost van den Vondel – dramatist and poet of the Dutch Golden Age; converted to Catholicism from a Mennonite background around 1641; his masterpieces are his dramas on religious and biblical themes, e.g., Lucifer, Noah and his short poems
As the anti-Catholic laws were lifted in the mid-19th century, there was a revival of Catholicism in the British Empire. There has long been a distinct Catholic strain in English literature.
The most notable figures are Cardinal Newman, a convert, one of the leading prose writers of his time and also a substantial poet, and the priest-poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, also a convert, although most of the latter's works were only published many years after his death. In the early 20th century, G. K. Chesterton, a convert, and Hilaire Belloc, a French-born Catholic who became a British subject, promoted Roman Catholic views in direct apologetics as well as in popular, lighter genres, such as Chesterton's "Father Brown" detective stories. From the 1930s on the "Catholic novel" became a force impossible to ignore, with leading novelists of the day, Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, converts both, dealing with distinctively Catholic themes in their work. Although James Hanley was not a practising Catholic, a number of his novels emphasise Catholic beliefs and values, including The Furys Chronicle.
In America, Flannery O'Connor wrote powerful short stories with a Catholic sensibility and focus, set in the American South where she was decidedly in the religious minority.
Maurice Baring – English man of letters, convert, friend of Belloc and Chesterton
James K Baxter (1926–1972) – New Zealander poet, dramatist, literary critic and social commentator; a convert to Catholicism
Hilaire Belloc – strongly held, orthodox Catholic views; wrote apologetics, famous comic verse, historical, political and economic works and well-known account of a pilgrimage he took on foot, "The Path to Rome"; French-born but became a British subject and politician
G. K. Chesterton – English convert, wrote apologetics including Orthodoxy as well as novels, including The Man Who Was Thursday, poetry, biographies and literary studies, and lighter works including the "Father Brown" detective stories
Annie Dillard – American writer of fiction and narrative non-fiction. While her website notes that she espouses no religion, her books deal deeply with theology and Catholic liturgy (especially Holy the Firm and Teaching a Stone to Talk)
Piers Paul Read – contemporary but orthodox Catholic British novelist; vice president of the Catholic Writers Guild
Anne Rice – American writer; after a long separation from her Catholic faith during which she described herself as atheist, she returned to the church in 1998 and pledged to use her talents to glorify God; in 2010, she recanted her faith, declaring that she was going to follow Christ without Christianity, out of solidarity for her gay son
David Adams Richards – award-winning Canadian novelist, essayist and screenwriter; from New Brunswick
Kevin Rush – American lay Catholic, playwright of award-winning stage play, Crossing Event Horizon, about a Catholic high school guidance counselor's midlife crisis, and novelist, author of Earthquake Weather, a novel for Catholic teens, and The Lance and the Veil, an adventure in the time of Christ.
George Santayana – Spanish-American philosopher and novelist; baptised Catholic; despite taking a sceptical stance in his philosophy to belief in the existence of God, he identified himself with Catholic culture, referring to himself as an "aesthetic Catholic"
William Shakespeare – regarded by most to be the greatest playwright and poet in the English language, as well as being one of the greatest writers in the world; although disputed, a growing number of biographers and critics hold that his religion was Catholic
Patrick Augustine Sheehan – Canon Sheehan of Doneraile, Catholic priest, novelist essayist and poet; significant figure of the renouveau Catholique in English literature in the United States and in Europe
Robert Smith – American Catholic priest, author and educator
Joseph Sobran – wrote for The Wanderer, an orthodox Roman Catholic journal
St. Robert Southwell – 16th-century Jesuit; martyred during the persecutions of Elizabeth I; wrote religious poetry, i.e., "The Burning Babe", and Catholic tracts
Dame Muriel Spark – Scottish novelist; decided to join the Roman Catholic Church in 1954 and considered it crucial in her becoming a novelist in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene; novels often focus on human evil and sin
Maurice Walsh – one of the most popular Irish writers of the 1930s and 1940s, now chiefly remembered for the Hollywood film of his short story 'The Quiet Man;' wrote for the Irish Catholic magazine the Capuchin Annual and listed in the 1948 publication 'Catholic Authors: Contemporary Biographical Sketches, 1930–1952, Volume 1;'
Evelyn Waugh – novelist; converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930; his religious ideas are manifest, either explicitly or implicitly, in all of his later work; strongly orthodox and conservative Roman Catholic
Oscar Wilde – late-19th-century playwright and poet; fascinated by Catholicism as a young man and much of his early poetry shows this heavy influence; embraced a homosexual lifestyle later on, but converted to Catholicism on his deathbed (receiving a conditional baptism as there is some evidence, including his own vague recollection, that his mother had him baptised in the Catholic Church as a child)
Honoré de Balzac – 19th-century novelist; wrote in a preface to La Comédie Humaine that "Christianity, and especially Catholicism, being a complete repression of man's depraved tendencies, is the greatest element in Social Order"
Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly – 19th-century novelist and short story writer, who specialised in mysterious tales that examine hidden motivation and hinted evil bordering the supernatural
Charles Baudelaire – 19th-century decadent poet; long debate as to what extent Baudelaire was a believing Catholic; work is dominated by an obsession with the Devil and original sin, and often utilises Catholic imagery and theology
Georges Bernanos – novelist, a devout Catholic; novels include The Diary of a Country Priest
Leon Bloy – late-19th- and early-20th-century novelist
The Vicomte de Chateaubriand – founder of Romanticism in French literature; returned to the Catholic faith of his 1790s boyhood; wrote apologetic for Christianity, "Génie du christianisme" ("The Genius of Christianity"), which contributed to a post-Revolutionary revival of Catholicism in France
Paul Claudel – devout Catholic poet; a leading figure in French poetry of the early 20th century; author of verse dramas focusing on religious themes
René Descartes – one of the most famous philosophers in the world; dubbed the father of modern philosophy; much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day; also a mathematician and a scientist.
Saint Francis de Sales – Bishop of Geneva from 1602 to 1622; a Doctor of the Church; wrote classic devotional works, e.g., Introduction à la vie dévote (Introduction to the Devout Life) and Traité de l' Amour de Dieu (Treatise on the Love of God); Pope Pius XI proclaimed him patron saint of writers and journalists
François Fénelon – late-17th- and early-18th-century writer and archbishop; some of his writings were condemned as Quietist by Pope Innocent XII; he obediently submitted to the judgment of the Holy See
Henri Ghéon – French poet and critic; his experiences as an army doctor during the First World War saw him regain his Catholic faith (as described in his work "L'homme né de la guerre", "The Man Born Out of the War"); from then on much of his work portrays episodes from the lives of the saints
Hergé – nom de plume of the writer and illustrator of Tintin, one of the most popular European comics of the 20th century, answer to Le Petit Vingtième request for a Catholic reporter that fought evil around the world
Joseph de Maistre – late-18th- and early-19th-century writer and philosopher from Savoy, one of the most influential intellectual opponents of the French Revolution and a firm defender of the authority of the Papacy
Malika Oufkir – Moroccan writer imprisoned with her mother and siblings in a secret Saharan prison for 15 years; these years are recounted in her autobiography, La Prisonniere, later translated into English as Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
Blaise Pascal – polymath (physicist, mathematician and philosopher); made significant contributions to various fields including probability and mathematics; wrote Pensées
Charles Péguy – poet; long poems include "Mysteres de Charité de Jeanne d'Arc" ("Mysteries of the Charity of Joan of Arc") and "Le mystère des saints innocents" ("The Mystery of the Holy Innocents")
Clemens Brentano – German poet and novelist of Italian origins; leading figure in the Romantic movement; later withdrew to a monastery and acted as secretary to the visionary nun Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich
Angelus Silesius – 17th-century convert to Catholicism from Lutheranism; became a priest and wrote religious poems, some of which became famous as hymns in the German-speaking world; some of his poetry seems to lean towards pantheism or quietism, but his prose works were orthodox, and the Catholic Encyclopedia says he repudiated any unorthodox interpretation of those poems
Blessed Henry Suso – 14th-century Dominican friar; devotional writer of the Middle Ages, including "the Minnesinger of Divine Love" in works such as his Little Book of Eternal Wisdom; his works contributed to the formation of German prose
Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin (1780–1838) – Irish language author and one-time hedge school master; is also known as Humphrey O'Sullivan. Was deeply involved in Daniel O'Connell's Catholic Emancipation movement and in relief work among the poor of County Kilkenny. His diary, published later as Cín Lae Amhlaoibh, was kept between 1827 and 1835. "His personal charisma allowed him to cross social and religious barriers, and he used this affability to collect signatures in support of Catholic Emancipation – even getting non-Catholic friends to add their names to ‘The Protestant Declaration in favour of Catholic Emancipation’."
Dante Alighieri (simply called Dante) – his Divine Comedy is often considered the greatest Christian poem; Pope Benedict XV praised him in an encyclical, writing that of all Catholic literary geniuses "highest stands the name of Dante"
Alessandro Manzoni – wrote the novel I Promessi Sposi (The Betrothed) which reflects his Catholic faith; in his youth "he imbibed the anti-Catholic creed of Voltairianism", but after his marriage, under the influence of his wife, he "exchanged it for a fervent Catholicism"
Pope Gregory I – Pope; one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; born to a patrician family in Rome and became a monk; known today as being the first monk to become Pope and for traditionally being credited with Gregorian chant; emphasized charity in Rome
Saint Jerome – one of the Four Latin Church Fathers; known for translating the Bible into Latin; this translation is known as the Vulgate and became the founding source for Biblical subjects in the West
G. K. Chesterton – English lay theologian, poet, philosopher, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist; wrote several books of short stories about a priest, Father Brown, who acts as a detective
Antonia Fraser – English writer of history, novels, biographies and detective fiction; Roman Catholic (converted with her parents as a child); caused a public scandal in 1977 by leaving her Catholic husband for Harold Pinter
Ronald Knox – English priest and theologian; wrote six mystery novels
^Prado-Garduño, Gloria. Creación, recepción y efecto: Una aproximación hermenéutica a la obra literaria (in Spanish) (Second edition-First electronic ed.). México: Universidad Panamericana A.C. 2014. p. 203. ISBN978-607-417-264-5.
^LaGreca, Nancy. Rewriting womanhood: feminism, subjectivity, and the angel of the house in the Latin American novel, 1887-1903. United States of America: Penn State Press. 2009. p. 202. ISBN978-0-271-03439-3.