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TAN Books and Publishers was founded by Thomas A. Nelson in 1967, when the problems developing in the Church were clear and becoming more severe. Many Catholic publishers such as Benziger and Bruce were getting out of Catholic publishing. Mr. Nelson recalls that at age 30, after studying politics and world events, he concluded that the only way to turn around the political situation in the U.S. and the world was through spiritual means. He believed that if enough people were living in the state of grace and striving to do God's will, then, “for the sake of the elect,” God would “run interference” for the just in the social and political arena, according to Proverbs 21:1: “The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord: whithersoever he will he shall turn it.”
“When I was 30,” Mr. Nelson recalls, “I said to Our Lord: ‘There must be something that You need done that I can do.’ Three months later I was in the Catholic book business.” That was October 13, 1967, which happened to be exactly 50 years after the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. TAN was founded in Tom Nelson's parents' basement with a $3,300 investment. TAN has no connection with the famous Thomas Nelson publishing company in Nashville, Tennessee.
TAN has consistently attempted to reach out to more and more souls with the truths of the Catholic Faith in the firm belief that this is the path to salvation and happiness, both in this life and hereafter. For example, the company has vigorously promoted St. Louis De Montfort's Secret of the Rosary, printing over 4,000,000 copies, Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan from Heaven (over 2,000,000 copies), True Devotion to Mary (over 350,000 copies) and many others.
The Douay-Rheims Bible was out of print and no longer available anywhere when TAN began publishing it in 1971.
TAN now has over 500 titles in print and has shipped out millions of books, booklets and prayercards in the last 39 years. It is the objective of TAN Books and Publishers, Inc. “to see the Church return to her traditions, to see her triumph in the hearts of men and women throughout the world and achieve the predominant influence once more in all aspects of our social, political and moral lives, and not just in America, but throughout the world!”