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St. Valentine Is More Than Cards and Candy Hearts continued

Increasing Saint Literacy at Your House
By Carol Ann Morrow

IF YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN, grandchildren, godchildren, nieces and nephews to know about saints, surround them! Provide multimedia opportunities to get acquainted with the vast host of holy women and men who have achieved sainthood. Here are a few potential Valentine gifts that will last much longer than the traditional card and candy treats.

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 after—their 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.

Saint 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.

Saints of the Seasons for Children 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 saints—such as Francis of Assisi and Bernadette of Lourdes—are 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.

Francis VideoVideos: 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 $19.99 each.

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,, features "Saint of the Day." A bookmark to that Web site will connect Internet users to a new saint profile each day of the year.

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 You can also search the Web for "Catholic saints" to gather other information.

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 as well.

Unless another number is listed, all resources listed above are available from St. Francis Bookshop by calling 1-800-241-6392.

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