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3 Beautiful saint story collections for the modern Catholic home


By Carey Wallace | Illustrated by Nick Thornborrow | Workman Publishing

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 07/08/21

These recently published, gorgeously illustrated books inspire us with the beauty of the saints' lives.

Reading about the lives of the saints is one of the most reliable ways to feel inspired to grow in virtue. Their courageous holiness triumphed over sin, encouraging us to live the same way. 

There are many wonderful treasuries of saint stories, for people of all ages. But some of the most recent collections are the most stunning. 

These three collections of saint stories have all been published very recently, and each is a true gem. They achieve new heights of beauty and inspiration. 

Besides offering “living,” truly engaging narratives, these books are filled with gorgeous artwork to delight the eyes. While aimed at older elementary-school-aged children, these books have so much to offer readers of any age.

1Saints Around The World

Filled with fascinating stories about little-known saints and evocative illustrations, this volume is the new gold standard of saint collections. The map images are an especially nice touch for including geography and history in faith formation!

The greatest strength of this book is that it introduces readers to saints they haven’t heard of from all over the world. Buy it for your kids, but read it for yourself! It’s a guarantee that you’ll meet some new heavenly friends in its pages. The publisher says,

The lives of the saints are one of the most powerful ways God draws people to himself, showing us the love and the joy we can find in him. But so often, these saints seem distant—impossibly holy or dull or unlike us in race and age and state in life. In Saints Around the World, you’ll meet over one-hundred saints from more than sixty countries, including saints with different disabilities, strengths, and struggles. The beautiful illustrations and captivating storytelling will introduce you and your children to new heavenly friends while also helping you fall more in love with Jesus.

Each story in this book is written not only to capture the imagination but also to speak about God’s tremendous love and our call to be saints. There are stories in Saints Around the World for when you feel like life isn’t fair, when people are being unkind to you, when you’ve made a terrible mistake, when you’re struggling at school, when prayer is hard. And there are stories of shouting down Nazis, of fleeing a murderous villain, of making scientific discoveries, of smoking a cigar while enemy soldiers amputate your leg.

There are scared saints, brilliant saints, weak saints, adventurous saints, abused saints, overjoyed saints, disabled saints—and the point of every one of them is the love of God. Whether you’re checking the map to find saints who look like you or perusing the extensive indices to find saints with your skills or struggles, you’ll find countless stories in this book that remind you how very possible holiness is.

2Brilliant! 25 Scientists Mathematicians & Supersmart People

Sadly, in today’s world, there’s a common misconception that religion is the province of the uneducated. This book proves that stereotype wrong, and how! It’s a book that should be in the hands of every young scientist or budding intellectual. The publisher says,

Think faith and science don’t go together? Think again! It’s important to teach children at a young age that faith and science are complementary! Too many people today—adults and children—think that faith and science don’t go together. In fact, many people who leave the Catholic Church report that they don’t believe faith is compatible with science. Sadly, one study found that the median age of people who leave the Church is surprisingly young: thirteen.

In an effort to help children learn about the relationship between faith and science, the Daughters of St. Paul, a premiere publisher of Catholic children’s books for over seventy years through Pauline Books & Media, have partnered with the Word on Fire Institute to present an exciting new book for children: Brilliant! 25 Catholic Scientists, Mathematicians, and Supersmart People. The book introduces children to many of the Catholics who have been behind groundbreaking discoveries in science and math for centuries.

Children will embark on an adventure through history where they’ll meet faith-filled pioneers in every field from anatomy to astrophysics. They’ll walk in the footsteps of these supersmart Catholics who changed the world and learn how brilliant they can be when they unite faith and science!

3Stories of the Saints: Bold and Inspiring Tales of Adventure, Grace, and Courage

This book is not from a Catholic publisher, but the stories are taken from Church history and fit wonderfully in a Catholic home. Many of the illustrations are quite different from traditional depictions of the saints, which helps readers approach their stories from a fresh perspective and with new understanding. The publisher says,

From Augustine to Mother Teresa, officially canonized as St. Teresa of Calcutta, discover 70 of the best-known and best-loved saints and read their riveting stories.

Meet Joan of Arc, whose transcendent faith compelled her to lead an army when the king’s courage failed. Francis of Assisi, whose gentleness tamed a man-eating wolf. Valentine, a bishop in the time of ancient Rome, who spoke so often of Christ’s love that his saint’s day, February 14, has been associated with courtly love since the Middle Ages. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great teacher. Peter Claver, who cared for hundreds of thousands of people on slave ships after their voyage as captives. And Bernadette, whose vision of Mary instructed her to dig the spring that became the healing waters of Lourdes.

Each saint is illustrated in a dramatic and stylized full-color portrait, and included in every entry are the saint’s dates, location, emblems, feast days, and patronage. Taken together, these stories create a rich, inspiring, and entertaining history of faith and courage. For kids age 10 and up.

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