Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Books on the Lives of the Saints on Feast of All Saint's Day and the Joyful Illustrations of Tomie dePaola

Every morning when I get to school I check one of my favorite author/illustrator's blog as each day he does an illustration for the day. It adds a little joy and beauty into my day.
Tomie dePaola's Blog
One of the most important patron saints, Saint Jerome, patron of librarians!

Some days they are silly such as "National Pretzel Day"

Some days are celebrations of famous people's birthdays

Or other days of note

And many others tell of correlating saint's feast days.

Today celebrated The Feast of All Saints.

I'll admit that I am not Catholic and did not grow up celebrating saint's feast days. But I wish that I had and I think there is so much that can be learned from studying the lives of saints.
I think of Hebrews 13:7
"Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. 
Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith"
What better way to consider the outcome of their life then to learn and read about it with beautifully illustrated picture books?

Tomie dePaola spent 6 months at the Benedictine Weston Priory in Vermont after college. He is a master at retelling folktales and Christian legends and here are a few of my favorites.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
Not just for Saint Patrick's Day! A beautiful account of Saint Patrick bringing Christianity to Ireland. Tomie also retells a few of the legends such as the legend of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out.

Tomie wrote two different books on St. Francis of Assisi
Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi
The one is remarkable. The illustrations are beautiful and coupled with the different stories of St. Francis' life this make for a very compelling story.
The Song of Francis
This is his other St. Francis story. This a joyful, short story for younger readers/listeners.
Mary: The Mother of Jesus
A beautiful story of Mary.
The Lady of Guadalupe
This one is a bit harder to find, but so worth the effort. I love this one. It is the story of the Virgin appearing to Juan Diego in Guadalupe, Mexico.
Christopher: The Holy Giant
Saint Christopher, the patron saint of travelers, tells the story of how he carried the Christ-child across a river yet unbeknownst to him who the child was.
The Miracles of Jesus and The Parables of Jesus
are two different books retelling portions of Jesus' life. Both are excellent reads and include short stories that would make for a good quick read-aloud.

The Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica
by Kathleen Norris and illustrated by Tomie dePaola
This is the story of the twins as the separated yet supported each other as young adults through Benedict's founding of the Benedictine monks.

Saving the best for last, is one of my top favorite books of all time.
I love it so dearly that I've blogged about it before:
The Clown of God
Well this is not actually a books on Saints or their lives, but there is something so beautiful about this story that it always bears recommending it over and over again.
This book and the story are so deeply beautiful to me that it makes my heart ache.

Happy Reading on this All Saints' Day!

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