Sister Wendy Beckett became a nun at the age of 16, lived for nearly 20 years as a hermit, and then was introduced to the world in a successful career as the "art nun." In her television series, she offered fresh, entertaining, and often soul-stirring comments on paintings from all eras. Beckett is the author of more 20 books. In her last one, Encounters with God, she shared her enthusiasm for eight ancient icons of Mary that she tracked down in Rome, the Ukraine, and in a remote monastery at Sinai.

In this volume, Beckett comments on what she calls the "extraordinary collection of pre-iconoclastic icons" at St. Catherine at Mt. Sinai, the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the Christian world. These icons of Jesus, Mary, and of the Saints were not created for beauty but for praise of God. Throughout Real Presence, Beckett marvels at the many ways these icons have "all the emotion and drama of early Christianity."