Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Catholic Company Review: The Saints Pray for Us

The Saints Pray for Us edited by Christina Miriam Wegendt, FSP

First, I have to say I do not like this cover at all. I think it's poorly designed. It's a shame, because the book itself is a wonderful little collection of prayers to the saints.

Thirty saints were selected for the book, all of whom have biographies in the Encounter the Saints series, also offered by Pauline Kids. The cover art for those books, in fact, is used as as the basis for the illustration for each saint in The Saints Pray for Us. There are some wonderful saints included, among them a few of our favorites: Saint Juan Diego, Saint Francis, Saint Clare, and Saint Martin de Porres. There are also others I hope my children grow to know and love as they learn more of them like Blessed Teresa and Saint Damien of Molokai.

Years and places of births and deaths as well as feast days are included for each saint, but no biographical information. This is a not a book of saints, it is a book of prayers. So each saint has an illustration with a facing page of text full of the prayer. I compared a few to the Encounter the Saints books I had near-by and discovered they are the identical text or are edited for space and clarity. The prayer for Saint Gianna Molla also no longer contains the word "abortion" which makes it perfectly appropriate for children of all ages.

I thought the introduction, by Sister Patricia Edward Jablonski, was quite nice.
Some very close friends of God live in heaven. We call them the saints. During their lives here on earth the saints tried their best to love God with all their mind, and heart, and soul, and to love their neighbor as themselves. They wanted to think, act, and love just as Jesus, God's Son, did. They weren't always successful, but they never gave up trying.
She goes on to explain briefly about intercessory prayer and why reading and learning about the saints can help us grow closer to God. I especially like how "each of us can find heavenly friends with whom we feel very comfortable, just as we feel especially close to our good friends here on earth." Just as I ask my dear friends to pray for me, I want my children to know they can turn to their patron saints in heaven to ask them for prayers.

These are lovely little prayers, perfect for us to use each day during our evening prayers. We always begin with a litany of saints, then each child can offer up any prayer they like. Sometimes we sing. Sometimes we say the Our Father. Prayer cards with prayers asking for a saint's intercession are often chosen. I think this book of prayers will be just as popular. Even if we had all the books in the Encounter the Saints series, it would be impractical to keep them all by our prayer table. This book will find a home there.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Saints Pray for Us. They are also a great source for a baptism gifts or first communion gifts.

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