Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Book to read on All Saint's Day

Sofia Institute Press has reprinted the 1912 classic by Scottish writers Andrew and Lenora Lang, "The Book of Saints & Heroes" just in time for use on All Saint's Day.
This book, written in story form, is ideal for read aloud to older children ages 10 and up, because of it's somewhat arcane use of language. I read it to my girls, ages 10 and 14, and I imagine that many of these stories would be particularly interesting to boys, since 21 of the 25 stories are of valiant holy men, from the well-known St. Francis of Assisi, to the lesser-known desert fathers, Sts. Paul and Anthony. These saints are not presented as unapproachable plaster saints, but rather as fervent Catholics immersed in their courageous promotion of the Kingdom of God.
The Langs in the preface, caution the reader, "These saints were the best of men and women, but the pretty stories are, perhaps, rather fanciful. " The Book of Saints and Heroes, should be viewed as a means of inspiring youth to live their faith with boldness and courage, in today's world. In an age when real heroes are increasingly rare, the revival of such a book is a great help for the family who is raising young soldiers of Christ.
According to a recent address by Archbishop Charles Chaput, this culture we live in may hold even greater challenges for Catholics than the Roman Empire of the early Church. Who better to lead this generation than the saints who converted the world to Christianity in the first place?

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