Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes!

Christian - Non-Fiction
214 Pages
Reviewed on 08/11/2023
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Author Biography

Denise Mercado is an award-winning author, blogger, and solo traveler. Denise was born and raised in New York. As a military spouse, she lived in many cities around the USA and abroad. Her first book – They Created Us – tells the story of her family’s journey through the disability world with her youngest son, Danny. Although she turned from her faith in her teenage years, it was her youngest son’s illness that brought her back to her faith. Denise became an avid reader of Catholic and Protestant spiritual writings and enrolled in Bible studies and online religious courses. Her second book – Mary’s Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! – was recognized by the 2023 Catholic Media Association Book Awards and focuses on the life of the Blessed Mother and the mysteries of ALL the Rosaries including the Dominican, Servite, Brigitinne, and Franciscan Rosaries.

Denise is a solo traveler. She explores the beauty and history of the Catholic Church by visiting cathedrals, basilicas, monasteries, and shrines and writing about her findings in her Catholic Travel Blog. For more information about Denise’s books, blogs, and travel plans, visit her website at

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! is a work of non-fiction in the Christian writing, contemplation, and inspirational writing subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Denise Mercado. The work explores the depth of being Catholic by delving into the foundational elements and traditions of the faith. Raised Catholic but later questioning her beliefs, Denise embarks on a quest for truth, exploring Protestantism and spiritual writings. Ultimately, she returns to her Catholic roots, finding solace in understanding the history of her upbringing. Her research leads her to delve deeply into the Rosary, the life of Mary in the Bible, Infancy Gospels, and apocryphal writings, granting her the inner peace she sought.

Author Denise Mercado has lovingly crafted an intimate portrayal of her own personal faith journey and offers readers a chance to delve into the traditions of the Catholic faith for themselves. It provides not only a spiritual exploration but also an opportunity to gain a richer appreciation for Catholic traditions and beliefs whether you’re someone who’s already familiar with them or not. As an agnostic reader, I found this book to be a profound exploration of faith, combining personal experiences with historical and theological insights. Denise's journey is relatable whether you’re especially religious or not, and her exploration of Catholicism is informative and thought-provoking thanks to her tender yet confident narrative skill. Overall, Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! offers a well-written and heartfelt perspective on Catholicism that can resonate with believers seeking a deeper connection to their faith, and I’d certainly recommend it to one and all.

Nino Lobiladze

The Catholic Rosary is a form of prayer and devotion to the Blessed Mother of God. Also, it is a constant challenge for many Catholics. The requirement of the Blessed Virgin herself is not only to say the prayers but also to meditate on the mysteries of the Rosary. Many of us, like myself, are unsure how to meditate on and contemplate these mysteries properly. Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! by Denise Mercado is a guide to the Rosary and its mysteries, supported by solid historical research. The author explores the facts regarding the earthly life of Our Lady and her relationship with the Holy Trinity through the teaching of the Catholic Church, the perspective of Protestant theologians, and the Rosary in its many forms, which include the Dominican, Franciscan, and Brigittine.

Denise Mercado is a brilliant researcher. She did a tremendous job of exploring the subject of Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! Denise highlights the researched issues from every possible angle. She even offers Islamic views on the Blessed Mother. Thus, the book is well-balanced. While exploring the controversial Infancy Gospels, Denise stays respectful of the traditional views and opinions regarding the early years of Our Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother. I appreciated the insights into the history of the Rosary. Denise offered them in a clear and easy-to-understand way. It allowed me to grasp the meaning of the Liturgy of the Hours, among other intriguing aspects of the history of the Rosary. Denise shares with us her personal tragedies and the loss of loved ones. These reflections show us the role of the Blessed Mother in her life. Denise thoroughly explains the mysteries of the Rosary and the wonderful nature of the woman who gave birth to Jesus Christ. Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! is a profound read for those who want to understand the Rosary and its mysteries and learn more about the life of the Blessed Virgin.

Rich Follett

Mary’s Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! by Denise Mercado is an impeccably researched, carefully documented, and deeply reflective examination of the deeper meanings behind some of the fundamental beliefs and practices of the Catholic Church, specifically through devotion to Mary and the significance of the Rosary and related prayers. Through scholarly examination of the Rosary and the life of the Blessed Mother Mary as expressed in the Bible and supported by the Infancy Gospels and apocryphal writings, Denise Mercado endeavors in a soulful, heartfelt, and deeply personal manner to return Catholics, both devout and searching, to a sacred awareness of the fundamental significance of the Blessed Mother Mary in the daily practice of the Catholic faith.

Denise Mercado has crafted Mary’s Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! in a conversational style that is not in the least didactic or high-handed. She masterfully enhances the narrative by including personal reflections and experiences at the right moments to maintain her readers’ interest. The text reads like a conversation with a (very knowledgeable) friend over morning coffee in a breakfast nook, so much so that the reader may be astounded to find the long list of scholarly sources and citations at the close. Denise Mercado cares deeply about Mary’s importance in the Catholic faith. As a result, the reader cannot help but be drawn into her persuasive and passionate narrative. Mary’s Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! Inspires all believers, regardless of faith, to return to the well and drink deeply of the precious spirit that makes faith possible. Beautiful! It held my interest completely from the first page to the last.

Carmen Tenorio

Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! by Denise Mercado starts with a historical background on the rosary, how it got its name, and how and why the prayers were added. A discussion of some unauthorized accounts of the life and humanity of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus follows this. The second part of the book talks about the different varieties of rosaries officially recognized by the Catholic Church, followed by a discussion of the different Mysteries that are meditated upon for each kind. The author talks about the importance of Ignatian spirituality and meditation and how its method makes praying the rosary a means of developing the proper discernment and awareness of a sacred and Almighty presence in our lives. The Dominican rosary takes center stage as the author thoroughly discusses the most common and familiar mysteries of the rosary, including the more recent set of mysteries that were added when John Paul II was the Pope. The last chapter talks about the particular mysteries of the rosary that raise the importance of the continued role of Mary in the Catholic faith post Jesus' Resurrection and Ascension and her Assumption. The author concludes by saying that the rosary, through the intercession of Mary, is one prayer practice that will lead us to have a more heightened spirituality, intimate knowledge, and relationship with whom the faithful know as the ultimate Creator.

What is interesting about the book is the deep research done by author Denise Mercado about the official and unauthorized materials related to what Christians believe is the Holy Family. She has included a lot of information and insights. It can also make the reader wonder why some versions of their life story are acceptable while others are not. Her historical background on the different kinds of rosaries is beneficial and can elicit much understanding and appreciation, especially for those who practice devotion. The author discusses it as a means to expand knowledge to encourage spiritual growth and deepen one's faith. Her analysis and reflection on the different mysteries make for good, imaginative, and personal meditations that others can use if they want a more enhanced prayer life. The fact that the author was raised as a Catholic but has also immersed herself, learned a lot, and related well with protestants and a non-denominational church makes her indeed a witness to the claims of the Catholic faith of being universal in its beliefs and its applicability to all. The book's formal yet clear and factual tone can also attract those interested in Christian tenets. It is highly recommended for lapsed Catholics as a good refresher course that could help them embrace their faith again.

Jamie Michele

In the non-fiction theological book Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes!, Denise Mercado chronicles her Catholic upbringing, the discerning role of the Rosary, and a personal tragedy that temporarily severed her faith. Mercado's spiritual exploration led her through different Christian denominations until the Eucharist ultimately drew her back to Catholicism. It was also the Rosary's historical importance and contemplative essence that played a role in reigniting her faith. Mercado discusses Mary's significance and the excluded Infancy Gospels, examining diverse interpretations. Mercado traverses canonical, apocryphal, Synoptic, and Gnostic Gospels with particular emphasis on Mary's lens on Jesus' life. A range of Rosary iterations are employed in uniting prayer and reflection, and the Luminous Mysteries deepen the Rosary's scope. In its entirety, Mercado's work encompasses Mary's Gospel presence, unwavering faith, and intercessory role, addressing theological dimensions, her Assumption, and personal encounters.

I wanted to read Mary's Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes! because I am neither a Catholic nor a Christian at all, and I am always fascinated by the journeys of others to their faith. Denise Mercado takes the experience a step further still by writing about her disillusionment with Catholicism and what exactly it was that brought her back into the fold of her lifelong beliefs. I think by going into Mercado's book with almost zero understanding of Catholicism gave me a slight advantage over Christian readers because, as a clean slate, I didn't have alternative ideas ingrained in my head. The most interesting to me were the discussions on saints. Mercado shares her love for Saint Ignatius and his transformation from a soldier to a spiritual leader. After being injured in battle he immersed himself fully in Christ's life, igniting a spiritual conversion. For me, this is a 360 back to Mercado's journey. The book is exhaustively researched, tightly written, and comfortably accessible to readers of all levels, and the personal touches set it apart from others in the genre. Very highly recommended.

Scott Smith

Wonderfully comprehensive and intricately interwoven accounts of the life of the Blessed Mother from every conceivable source, as well as the author's own life and experiences -- let Denise Mercado be your guide through this most remarkable of human lives. SCOTT SMITH, author, attorney, theologian, and Catholic blogger.

Missy Garrett

A great historical review of the Rosary. There is no better weapon for battle than the graces for meditating on the mysteries of the most holy Rosary. This book is a unique perspective through the spiritual exercises of contemplative prayer on each of the mysteries of the Rosary wherein the author places herself as a character in the scene of each mystery being meditated upon. MISSY GARRETT, President - St. Petersburg Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Amanda Lauer

Like the practice of Lecto Divina where one reads, reflects, and responds to scripture passages by immersing themselves in the readings and imagining their reactions to the events unfolding before them, Mercado does a similar thing with each mystery of the Rosary. AMANDA LAUER, author – Winner of 2016 YA CALA Award; Winner of 2022 CMA 1st Place Catholic Inspirational Novel

Sister Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND

Clearly, Mercado has done an amazing amount of research to produce Mary’s Life Journey & Her Amazing Yes!... Each type of Rosary… is presented, usually with a list of its mysteries. This part of the book is a boon for those who wish to improve their prayer life. Each mystery is thoroughly explained… the story is told implementing the prayer method of St. Ignatius of Loyola… Because of this method, the sacred events are not frozen in time but come alive and touch the heart of the person praying… After reading this book, people will pray the Rosary with more devotion. More important, they will better understand and appreciate our Blessed Mother. SISTER MARY KATHLEEN GLAVICH, SND, author of Heart to Heart with Mary: A Yearly Devotional

Sister Mary Sean Foley, RSM, MTS

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is drawn to persevere with searching for answers to questions about their faith. Throughout this book the author questions the controversies and inconsistencies in her considerable and thorough study, sharing her beliefs and conclusions. The beautiful book cover offers a window into the theme of this book. SISTER MARY SEAN FOLEY, RSM, MTS

Eddie Trask

Denise Mercado is clearly a gifted writer. I would call this fantastic self-published work conversational scholarship. The facts she presented were quite new to me, but I felt as if we were learning together because Denise's tone, cadence, and editing are so strong. I highly recommend this book!

Ellen Gable Hrkach

This is a wonderful book that outlines the life of Mary with the author's thoughts as well as autobiographical information. It's written in a more academic style that is refreshing in this day and age of so many self-publishing authors. Highly recommend.