While a search of the history shelves at the local library yielded
gems such as Adventurer Saints, by Omer Engelbert, and Popular
Patron Saints, by Don Sharkey and Sister Loretta Clare, you
can't keep library books forever. You need to have inviting, well-illustrated
anthologies geared to the ages of the young people who will be inquiring.
You want to search out an anthology which includes the saints those
researchers will be aftertheir own patrons, for instance,
as well as the patron saint of the parish.
An Anthology: The Children's Book of Saints, by Louis M.
Savary, S.T.D., is a good, basic volume available through Catholic
bookstores for $9. This 1986 hardcover edition has an illustration
for each entry. It is published by The Regina Press, which also
publishes coloring books of the saints, with some brief text by
Sister Karen Cavanagh, C.S.J. Some saints are even featured in comic-book
treatments, available from Pauline Books and Media.
of the Day, by Leonard Foley, O.F.M., in paperback
at $14.95, offers 200 saints whose feasts are celebrated in
the New Missal. This book is oriented to adults, but it can
help the family storyteller to supply a bedtime vignette.
Ms. Pochocki has written Saints
and Heroes for Kids ($10.95). In addition to
canonized saints, this volume includes some "unofficial
saints" well worth imitating.
Special-interest biographies: It's worth the search to have
a book which features your children's patrons in detail. Some saintssuch
as Francis of Assisi and Bernadette of Lourdesare more likely
to receive a full-length treatment. If their baptismal saint isn't
featured this way, try to encourage a Confirmation saint who is
more widely known and whose life can be studied and imitated.
Many young people are more likely to credit information which appears
onscreen. Consider adding some videos to your collection. Heroes
of the Faith is a series of 30-minute, animated videos produced
by CCC of America and distributed by St. Anthony Messenger Press.
Francis of Assisi, Patrick, Francis Xavier, Bernadette and Nicholas
are the "stars" of these videos, which are $14.95 each.
Catholic Videos Unlimited (1-800-571-3636) also distributes these
animated videos. In addition, the company carries full-length feature
films on saints. While these films certainly weren't produced with
young children in mind, they offer an excellent overview for adults
and may be of interest to older children. Brother Sun, Sister
Moon on St. Francis, Don Bosco on the life of St. John
Bosco and Damien: The Leper Priest are just a few of the
titles available at excellent prices.
CVC Distribution (1-800-545-2846) also offers videos about saints
for adults. Their catalog includes Saint Joan and Who
Are My Own?: The Life of St. John Baptist de la Salle, founder
of the Christian Brothers. CVC also offers a 34-minute "anthology"
video called The Saints' Gallery of Heaven's Heroes, as well
as a companion video on saints who founded religious orders, for
A new video series from Twenty-Third Publications (1-800-321-0411)
is called Saints for All Seasons. The set of eight is designed
for school use, but parish libraries may find it a popular item
for lending. Each video is $29.95.
Internet: St. Anthony Messenger's Web site, www.AmericanCatholic.org,
features "Saint of the Day." A bookmark to that Web site
will connect Internet users to a new saint profile each day of the
A site geared to home-schooled children is maintained by Robert
Kephart. The L.P.H. Book of Saints features charming sketches written
by children. The address is www.netaxs.com/people/rmk/saints.html.
You can also search the Web for "Catholic saints" to gather
CD-ROM: Harmony Media (1-888-427-6334) offers the old Butler's
Lives of the Saints on CD-ROM for $29.95. This disk also includes
Lives of the Saints for Children and other related resources
Unless another number is listed, all resources listed above
are available from St. Francis Bookshop by calling 1-800-241-6392.