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Michel Benoit Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Thirteenth Apostle (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Silence of Gethsemane (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Prisoner of God (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Michael Benoit is the pen name used by French author of religious scholar and thriller novels. A Ph.D. holder in Pharmacology, Michael later became an unordained monk in Benedictine at the convent of St. Benoit Sur Loire where he served for 22 years. However, due to the non-conformity of his ideas, Michael left the church and became a writer. He first became published in 1992 when his memoirs of Prisoner of God were published. Benoit became a published fiction author in 2006 when The Thirteenth Apostle, a novel based on his lifetime research on the life of Jesus Christ was published.

The Thirteenth Apostle

The Thirteenth Apostle is the story of an ancient sect narrated within the papyrus sheaves hidden in the caves at Qumran, today known as The Dead Sea Scrolls. It forms the foundation of a well-researched novel containing lore’s more familiar to the fans of Knights Templar than the readers of Dan Brown, but will surely ignite similar passions.

A discovery of century-old secret places the existence of the Catholic Church at stake. Evil Vatican officials, afraid and scared that Father Andrei has stumbled on a truth that will question the divinity of Jesus plan for the execution. Father Andrei on his train headed for Rome is tossed out of the train window to his death. The Catholic priest leaves behind a clue in the form of some cryptic note for his best friend, Father Nil, whose his investigation about the existence of a 13th apostle puts him in danger.

Nil’s enemies include a group of lethal assassins, a retired Mossad agent and a member of Hamas.

The Thirteenth Apostle is an excellent story; it is a mixture of detective thriller and religious study involving the secretive and lethal three religions and their politics as well. The murder of a monk, father Andrei recently summoned to Rome to justify his research finding is quickly explained as suicide. It is this murder that sets the ball rolling. His best friend and fellow monk, Father Nil carries on with the work of the deceased priest and investigates his ongoing studies as well as the circumstances surrounding his death. When it’s time to present himself to Rome, Nel discovers that he is being spied on by agents of the Palestinian and Jewish secret services in the pay of a Vatican power broker with a secretive sexual fantasy world.

Father Nil meets with an old friend from his earlier days as a seminarian and forms alliances to work and destroy the evil forces working against them and discover the truth about the thirteenth apostle from their studies of ancient documents and the search of a missing epistle. The narrative recounts the events from the 1st century AD as the man they refer to as Jesus’s beloved disciples fall out with Peter in the aftermath of Jesus crucifixion and are exiled. The historical backstory includes the link to the birth and rise of Islam and the duties of the Knights Templar. All these different plots are woven into the main narrative alongside with the power struggles between various cardinals thirsty for power and conquest.

Prisoner of God

The Prisoner of God is a subversive testimony against the Catholic Church and its methods against the brainwashing to wish many of its members are submitted. It also examines the power and how it exerts influence across a broad spectrum of the society. The book is also an account of the strange world of the abbeys; how monks live their day to day life and how they manage to overcome solitude, sexuality, and silence.

As a student with a bright career ahead of him under the mentorship of Jacques Monod, Michael Benoit decided that at the age of twenty-two that he would follow the path lay in front of him by God and take on the monastic orders as the Brother Irenee. However, after 22 years of devoted service and self-sacrifice and a quest for God, Michael was discharged from the Monastery by the Church. What could have happened? What could have led to the Catholic Hierarchy to deny one of its own after two decades of dedicated service?

In this compelling and captivating autobiography, the author explores the events that resulted in his rejection by the Catholic Church. Along the way, Michael investigates how sectarianism and the techniques used by organizations to choke the freedom of expression and bring down the individual. It is a captivating true story that reveals how the mysterious realm of the Catholic society handles issues such as sexuality, silence, and solitude.

The Silence of Gethsemane

On the eve of Easter, a midst an olive grove, a rabbi from Galilee is waiting. He understands that people have deserted him and soon he will be arrested. Alone in the garden, he relives all the events that ultimately changed his life- his encounter with John the Baptist and his stay in the desert as well as his two years of wandering. He retells of his message to the world, which was often misunderstood by his followers, condemned by those in power and ultimately leads to his betrayal and downfall.

In this remarkable and intriguing work, the author Michael asks whether it is possible to resurrect the critical force of Jesus which was lost at the same time that Christianity collapsed.

In his afterword, Michael credits his recent scholarship in different fields with allowing his personal studies and achievements to reveal the riches of the Kingdom that Jesus spoke. He shows how the kingdom is “coming” and how it is already here with us. He showcases how the only difference between these two phrases is within us, rather than separate worlds in which people live. By this approach, he shows what Jesus was demonstrating to his followers and those around him, only if they could understand and contemplate the personal devotion also required to experience it.

The Silence of Gethsemane is a good recommendation for those who want to learn the complexities surrounding the life of Jesus thanks to its detailed and touching renditions of oft-told stories with understanding more worthy consideration than many published scholarly works.

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