Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Saints, Our Friends: a children's book

John of the cross

My besties PM and JM are launching their book entitled "The Saints, Our Friends," from which we have already had a preview here some time ago. The book contains short stories from the lives of 19 Saints, Blesseds or Servants of God and is aimed at children around the age of 8-9 that can be enjoyed by younger kids too (4-5 probably being the youngest I'd read it to). Since tomorrow is the feast of St. John of the Cross, who is one of the 19 in the book, here is his story:
“Saint John of the Cross, who lived around five hundred years ago and was a friend of Saint Teresa of Ávila, was one of the greatest poets ever and is still famous for having written some of the most beautiful verses in the Spanish language. Listen to the following lines from his poem, The Dark Night of the Soul:

All in the dark went right,
Down secret steps, disguised in other clothes,
(O coming of delight!)
In dark when no one knows,
When all my house lay long in deep repose.

And in the luck of night
In secret places where no other spied
I went without my sight
Without a light to guide
Except the heart that lit me from inside.

It guided me and shone
Surer than noonday sunlight over me,
And lead me to the one
Whom only I could see
Deep in a place where only we could be.

How did you like that? Who do you think he was talking about at the end there? Yes, it was Jesus, who is in your heart too and who calls you to follow him and to love everyone you meet.

Do you think St. John wrote this poem while sitting on a beach or while walking through a calm forest? No, he wrote it in prison - a prison that his fellow monks put him in because they didn’t like what he was doing. All St. John wanted was to live simply and spend his life talking to Jesus in prayer and loving the people around him. The other monks found that too hard and because they didn’t want to give up their comforts, they turned on St. John.

Do you think he gave up? No, he stayed faithful to Jesus all his life and that is why he is a Saint.”
The book is available from in print and from iTunes as an iBook. Printable coloring pages can be downloaded from and I wholeheartedly recommend it :)