St. John Vianney parishioner publishes books on saints, farming

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A local parishioner has recently published two books on the saints that explore her fascination with farming and have helped her connect with patron saints that benefit her work as a homesteader. 

Andie Andrews Eisenberg is the author of “Farming and Homesteading with the Saints” and “The Shepherdess: The Story of St. Germaine Cousin,” both of which were released this summer. The former has been a five-year work in progress since Eisenberg said she felt called to marry her passions into a single work, while the latter is just the beginning of a new series of fictionalized novelettes on underrated saints.  

“Eucharistic adoration is a huge part of my life, and it is where I find myself getting a lot of my marching orders for my writing projects. It is where I look for direction or redirection,” Eisenberg explained. “The Lord sometimes says, ‘Not that,’ but my newest book came about from a thought this way. 

“I have always been a writer and an editor, and now that I am at leisure to write what I want, it is what I do,” she added. “We try to live where everything we do always traces back to the Lord. Everything we do has to have a deeper meaning, lest we labor in vain.”

While Eisenberg has only lived in Tennessee for the past three years, she has been a dedicated hobby farmer for years. She recently retired from a career in editing for non-profit publications and moved with her husband from suburban New Jersey to a homestead in Gallatin, becoming a parishioner at St. John Vianney Church. She is a self-described “cradle Catholic” and has endeavored to live out her faith in every aspect of her life.  

She is happily retired but said she has never worked harder thanks to her farming work, which she said keeps life interesting and brings joy to her life, tending to sheep, horses, chickens, and gardening.  

Her time working on “Farming and Homesteading with the Saints” began in 2018 when her family was still living in New Jersey. They had just purchased a three-and-a-half acre plot of land which required a year to restore to usability, due to overgrown plants, broken water lines, tangled barbed wire, and severe flooding. 

“I started looking up the patron saints for farmers,” Eisenberg said. “Surely there had to be one for haymakers, and we needed to invoke him in this time because we couldn’t find any hay to purchase during the flooding. 

“Little by little, the Lord led me to investigate things that were troubling me through the experiences of the saints who had been there before, and that is how I started writing the book—by researching who I could go to for help,” she continued.  

“It required a ton of research. I could get stuck for weeks on a single saint, trying to find out why St. Ann is the patron saint of equestrians,” Eisenberg added. “It wasn’t as simple as Googling why. It was peeling back layers of information and running Italian documents through Google translator. It could take me 40 hours to figure out one saint’s background and why they have a tenuous connection to their patronage.” 

The finished book was originally accepted for publication by Tan Books before editorial staff changes and a pandemic-driven restructuring resulted in the book being dropped. Seen as a sign that God wanted this book to be released to the world, it was later picked up by Loyola Press. 

The process of getting through editorial became a long journey of laborious fact-checking before the final book was able to see the light of day, but it’s a process Eisenberg said she appreciated in the publisher’s desire to protect the integrity of their content. 

Eisenberg said “Farming and Homesteading” is both a field guide and a prayer book, structured to help readers address various issues they deal with on the farm. It allows readers to find and invoke saints while facing specific issues, and offers devotional prayers and micro-biographies of the individual patron saints and their historic connections to agriculture. The last part of the book offers traditional prayers and blessings. 

“Growing up in rural Kentucky, I learned quickly that life on a farm is always full of adventure, surprises, challenges, and, most of all, blessings,” said Bishop J. Mark Spalding after reading the book. “This delightful book helps to connect us with so many saints who remind us that God is with us in each and every one of those moments.”

Eisenberg said she felt honored that Bishop Spalding was willing to offer such kind words on her book, and learned that he appreciated the spirit of her book. 

“It’s a blessing and a grace to be able to claim a patron saint, especially as a modern farmer or homesteader,” Eisenberg said. “We have an incredible connection and responsibility to the earth, working in its service for the glory of God and as a pathway to holiness. 

“These holy men and women, over 200, with agricultural connections are standing at the ready to help and encourage us,” she continued. “I feel strongly that working shoulder-to-shoulder with the saints offers a real opportunity to cultivate our faith while cultivating the land.”

Her subsequent book was an outgrowth of her previous project. “The Shepherdess” is a historical fiction novelette that explores the life of St. Germaine Cousin of Pibrac, the patroness of those suffering from abandonment, abuse, disability, or poverty. It proved to be a much easier project to pull together, only requiring a week to write.

“Anybody who reads “Farming and Homesteading” will find two or three saints that resonate with them, and, for me, it was St. Germaine,” Eisenberg said. “I wanted to explore her life and write about it more. 

“It is just a 65-page novelette, and I see myself writing a series on different saints with really interesting stories that translate relevantly to our time,” she added. “I fictionalized elements of it, and it helped me get back in touch with my roots as a historical fiction writer.”

Both books, “Farming and Homesteading with the Saints” and “The Shepherdess: The Story of St. Germaine Cousin,” are available through online bookstores. 

Along with her novelettes, Eisenberg also operates a faith-based blog that follows her journey as a shepherdess at For more information, visit her website at

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