He is the author or editor of more than fifty books, including The Fathers of the Church (2006); The Mass of the Early Christians (2007); The Resilient Church (2007); Living the Mysteries (2003); and What Catholics Believe (1999). His books have been translated into many languages, from Croatian and Portuguese to German and Braille. The Grail Code has appeared in ten languages since its publication in 2006.
Critics have praised Aquilina's work for making the Fathers accessible to non-academic readers: "Most scholars … study the paper trail — homilies, letters, teaching manuals, works of theological disputation … Aquilina loves the words, too. But he also finds the sermon in the stuff, the theology expressed in the little things that the first Christians left behind — fading murals on catacomb walls, pottery and dishware, pieces of coinage, ancient hymns and Mass prayers, common household items … The point is that for Aquilina, the little things matter — because they tell us big things about what Catholics believe and how they look at the world." Dr. John Grondelski said in the National Catholic Register: "Aquilina has made a vocation and career out of, in many ways, single-handedly popularizing patristics."
Aquilina's 2015 book Ministers and Martyrs was an official companion volume to the NBC series "A.D. The Bible Continues." A year later he published The World of Ben-Hur as a guide to MGM’s remake of the Lew Wallace classic Ben-Hur.
Aquilina is also a poet and songwriter. His poems, collected in the volume Terms and Conditions, have appeared in U.S. literary journals and in Polish and Spanish translations. His collaborations with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist Dion DiMucci include one book (Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth) and two albums, Tank Full of Blues (2012) and New York Is My Home (2016). The title song of the latter album was recorded as a duet by Dion and Paul Simon, launched by Rolling Stone magazine, and released as a single in 2015. It was used in episode 5, season 1, of comedian Louis C.K.’s series “Horace and Pete.” The song is also included in the Deluxe Edition of Paul Simon's album Stranger to Stranger.
In recent years, Aquilina has hosted ten television series on the Eternal Word Television Network and hosted two independently produced feature documentaries, one on St. Perpetua and another on St. Augustine. He is a frequent guest commentator on Catholic radio, especially Relevant Radio and EWTN. His journalistic work has appeared in many periodicals.
He was born in Kingston, Pennsylvania, in 1963. He received his elementary and secondary education in Catholic schools in Pittston, Pennsylvania. He is a 1985 graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and he received that university's Oswald Award for Achievement in Journalism and Mass Media. He and his wife Terri have been married since 1985. They live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh with their children, who are the subject of his book Love in the Little Things (2007).
- (2016) How the Choir Converted the World: Through Hymns, With Hymns, and In Hymns, ISBN 978-1-9451-2521-8
- (2016) The World of Ben-Hur, ISBN 978-1-6228-2317-8
- (2008, 2016) Take Five: On the Job Meditations With St. Ignatius (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna), ISBN 1-59276-403-7
- (2009, 2016) Sharing Christ's Priesthood: A Bible Study for Catholics, ISBN 1-59276-678-1
- (2016) The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions (co-author with Regis J. Flaherty), ISBN 978-1-6127-8965-1
- (2002, 2016) Praying in the Presence of Our Lord: With St. Thomas Aquinas, ISBN 0-87973-958-4
- (2015) Something More Pastoral: The Mission of Bishop, Archbishop, and Cardinal Donald Wuerl (co-author with Ann Rodgers), ISBN 978-0-6925-8742-3
- (2015) Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady through the Ages (co-author with Fr. Frederick Gruber), ISBN 978-1-6163-6874-6
- (2015) Ministers & Martyrs: The Ultimate Catholic Guide to the Apostolic Age, ISBN 978-1-6228-2265-2
- (2015) Seven Revolutions: How Christianity Changed the World and Can Change It Again (co-author with James Papandrea), ISBN 978-0-8041-3896-3
- (2015) The Ancient Path: Old Lessons from the Church Fathers for a New Life Today (co-author with John Michael Talbot), ISBN 978-0-80413-995-3
- (2014) The Holy Land: A Guide for Pilgrims (co-author with Fr. Dave Halaiko), ISBN 978-1-50321-393-7
- (2014) The Feasts: How the Church Year Forms Us as Catholics (co-author with Cardinal Donald Wuerl), ISBN 978-0-80413-992-2
- (2014) Terms and Conditions: Assorted Poems, 1985-2014, ISBN 978-1-50069-859-1
- (2014) The Witness of Early Christian Women: Mothers of the Church, ISBN 978-1-61278-802-9
- (1999, 2006, 2013) The Fathers of the Church: An Introduction to the First Christian Teachers, ISBN 1-61278-561-1
- (2013) Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lessons, ISBN 978-1-616366-28-5
- (2013) The Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church, ISBN 978-1-936045-96-9
- (2013) The Fathers of the Church Bible, ISBN 978-1-61278-611-7
- (2013) Saint Monica and the Power of Persistent Prayer (co-author with Mark W. Sullivan), ISBN 978-1-61278-563-9
- (2013) The Church: Unlocking the Secrets to the Places Catholics Call Home (co-author with Cardinal Donald Wuerl), ISBN 978-0-77043-551-6
- (2012) Faith of Our Fathers: Why the Early Christians Still Matter and Always Will, ISBN 978-1-93715-587-2
- (2012) Yours Is the Church: How Catholicism Shapes Our World, ISBN 978-1-61636-434-2
- (2011) A Year with the Angels: Daily Meditations with the Messengers of God, ISBN 978-1-935302-52-0
- (2011) Understanding the Mass: 100 Questions, 100 Answers, ISBN 978-0-86716-949-2
- (2011) Dion: The Wanderer Talks Truth (co-author with Dion DiMucci), ISBN 978-0-86716-999-7
- (2011) The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition (co-author with Cardinal Donald Wuerl), ISBN 978-0-307-71880-8
- (2010) The Doubter's Novena: Nine Steps to Trust with the Apostle Thomas (co-author with Christopher Bailey), ISBN 978-1-59276-596-6
- (2010) A Year With The Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living, ISBN 978-1-935302-35-3
- (2010) Take Five: Meditations with John Henry Newman (co-author with Fr. Juan Velez), ISBN 978-1-59276-800-4
- (2010) Roots of the Faith: From the Church Fathers to You, ISBN 978-0-86716-938-6
- (2010) Sweet Gridlock: Selected Love Poems 1985-2010, ISBN 0-615-32163-1
- (2009) Why Me? When Bad Things Happen, ISBN 1-59276-708-7
- (2009) Take Five: Meditations with Pope Benedict XVI (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna), ISBN 1-59276-554-8
- (2009) Fire of God's Love: 120 Reflections on the Eucharist, ISBN 0-86716-923-0
- (2009) Praying the Psalms with the Early Christians (co-author with Christopher Bailey), ISBN 1-59325-155-6
- (2009) Angels of God: The Bible, the Church and the Heavenly Hosts, ISBN 0-86716-898-6
- (2008) Companion Guide to Pope Benedict's 'The Fathers' , ISBN 1-59276-542-4
- (2008) Signs and Mysteries: Revealing Ancient Christian Symbols, ISBN 1-59276-450-9
- (2007) Love in the Little Things: Tales of Family Life, ISBN 0-86716-814-5
- (2007) The Resilient Church: The Glory, the Shame, & the Hope for Tomorrow, ISBN 1-59325-104-1
- (2001, 2007) The Mass of the Early Christians, ISBN 1-59276-320-0
- (2006) The Grail Code: Quest for the Real Presence (co-author with Christopher Bailey), ISBN 0-8294-2159-9
- (2006) The Great Life: Essays on Doctrine and Holiness in Honor of Father Ronald Lawler, O.F.M. Cap. (co-editor with Kenneth Ogorek), ISBN 1-931018-32-4
- (1995, 2006) Talking to Youth About Sexuality: A Parents' Guide (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna), ISBN 1-59276-310-3
- (2003) Living the Mysteries: A Guide for Unfinished Christians (co-author with Scott Hahn), ISBN 1-931709-12-2
- (2001) A Pocket Catechism for Kids (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna), ISBN 0-87973-722-0
- (2000) The World's First Christmas: Jubilee 2000 (co-author with Regis J. Flaherty), ISBN 0-87973-314-4
- (1999) What Catholics Believe: A Pocket Catechism (co-author with Fr. Kris Stubna), ISBN 0-87973-574-0
- (1999) The Way of the Fathers: Praying With the Early Christians, ISBN 0-87973-334-9
- (1997) Weapons of the Spirit: Selected Writings of Father John Hugo (co-editor with David Scott), ISBN 0-87973-608-9
- Mark Sullivan, "Spiritual Son of the Fathers," National Catholic Register, Oct. 28, 2008, http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/spiritual_son_of_the_fathers.
- David Scott, "Review of 'A Year with the Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living,'" Catholic News Agency, Dec. 3, 2010, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/column.php?n=1417.
- John Grondelski, "Invisible Helpers," National Catholic Register, Feb. 11, 2012, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/lenten-reads-for-40-days1/.
- Arsenio Orteza, “Notable CDs,” World Magazine, March 19, 2016, http://www.worldmag.com/2016/03/notable_cds.
- David Mills, “Mike Aquilina’s Terms & Conditions,” Patheos, Aug 13, 2014, http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidmills/2014/08/mike-aquilinas-terms-conditions/.
- Marcia Z. Nelson, "Runaround Catholic: Dion Writes Spiritual Memoir," Publishers Weekly, Apr 27, 2011, http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/religion/article/47001-runaround-catholic-dion-writes-spiritual-memoir.html.
- Kory Grow, “Hear Dion, Paul Simon Duet on Heartfelt 'New York Is My Home’,” RollingStone.com, November 12, 2015, http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-dion-paul-simon-duet-on-heartfelt-new-york-is-my-home-20151112.
- Karl Keating, "Mike Aquilina Explains Schmoozing," This Rock, October 1996, http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/1996/9610int.asp.