Sunday 27 August 2017

Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle - Mary Lea Hill & Matthew Archambault - Encounter the Saints Book 22

Saint Paul
The Thirteenth Apostle
Encounter the Saints Series Book 22
Mary Lea Hill
Matthew Archambault (Illustrator)
Pauline Books and Media
ISBN 9780819872241

Having read almost half of this series now I must state it is an incredible series! I have done extensive studies on Paul and Pauline Theology. In university I did a final year directed reading course that I designed on Paul. During that course I wrote a paper called: Who is Paul? Can we really know? This is my approach to Paul and Pauline Studies. And even though this book is written for younger readers I wish I had had it as a resource for my studies. And I am thankful to consider this book my children's introduction to the study of Paul, his life and letters. As a family we loved this book and the whole series. The Encounter the Saints Series, from Pauline Books and Media, are all wonderful reads. Written for younger readers, they are great reads for anyone who wants to encounter saints in a very real way. These books are great to read to children, with children or if you just want a good read for yourself. I started reading the series before reading them with my kids and we have now tracked down all 37 books currently available in the series in one format or another, and we are working through them together. But I must admit I have read many of the books more than once, reading it myself, and then reading it with one or more of my three children. 

The chapters in this book about Saint Paul:
Citizen of Two Worlds 
2. The Way 
3. Plans and Counterplans
4. Never the Same 
5. Narrow Escape
6. Unexpected Visitor 
7. Adventures  
8. Trouble and More Trouble   
9. An Invitation     
10. Freedom and Bondage  
11. On to Greece
12. Riot   
13. Miracle and Farewell  
14. The Prophecy 
15. Foiled Ambush 
16. "Except for these Chains..."  
17. Shipwreck! 
18. From the Eternal Eternity    
Maps of Saint Paul's Journeys 

My children are familiar with Saint Paul from reading the bible, from Sunday school, Vacation Bible School and from sermons in church. But there were amazed to read his story in this format. They loved the four maps at the end of the book tracing his different missionary journeys. In fact their favorite part of the books in this series is often the prayer, but for this book they loved the maps.  They loved how the journeys were traced through the bible passages for each of the 4 mission trips. The prayer to Saint Paul:
"Saint Paul, you really are the thirteenthapostle, specially chosen by Jesus just as theoriginal twelve apostles were. Your meeting withthe Lord on the road to Damascus changed yourwhole life. You became so close to Jesus that hewas actually living his life again in you. This iswhy you could ask your friends to imitate you asyou imitated Jesus. This is why you want me toimitate you, too. 
I'm amazed when I think of all you wentthrough to spread the Good News, Saint Paul.Help me to love and follow Jesus as totally as youdid. I'm counting on your help. Pray for me,Saint Paul. Amen."
This prayer is one of the ones that is identical in The Saints Pray for Us. So they have encountered this prayer before and prayed it from the prayer book.

Like the other books in the series this book contains five illustrations. The illustrations in this volume are by Matthew Archambault, currently this is the only book in the series illustrated by Matthew. The illustrations on in a pencil sketch style. They are not as detailed as some in the series but are wonderful sketches and add nicely to the story, especially for the younger readers. This is also one of two books in the series written by Mary Lea Hill, but Hill has written about a dozen other books with an almost equal mix of books for kids and books for adult readers. 

This book is a wonderful introduction to Paul. It sticks very close to the biblical sources. It does not drift far into speculation. My children loved it, and I as an amateur Pauline scholar loved it as well. Having read this book three times now, first by myself, then with my son and finally with my youngest, I can state it holds up to multiple readings.  Another great book in an amazing series! 

Currently there are 37 books in this series, including The Saints Pray for Us, and I have read about half of them. I have read many of these books on my own and also about half of them with my children.  My oldest who is 11 can read them to me. She has also helped me read them to the younger children. My son who is 9 can read them with some help on the more difficult words, but he also enjoys just listening to these powerful stories. This series and this specific Book on Saint Paul are geared for readers between the ages of 9 and 12 but in our house they are loved by the 6 year old and myself and I am pushing 50. As mentioned this book is part of the Encounter the Saints Series; from Pauline Books and Media, and this book is an excellent read as is the entire series!  This family gives them top marks.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

Encounter the Saints Series from Pauline Books and Media:
Blessed James Alberione Media Apostle
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Journey to the Summit
Journeys with Mary Apparitions of Our Lady
Saint André Bessette Miracles in Montreal
Saint Anthony of Padua Fire and Light
Saint Bakhita of Sudan Forever Free
Saint Bernadette Soubirous And Our Lady of Lourdes
Saint Catherine Labouré And Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Saint Clare of Assisi A Light for the World
Saint Damien of Molokai Hero of Hawaii
Saint Edith Stein Blessed by the Cross

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Daughter of America
Saint Faustina Kowalska Messenger of Mercy
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini Cecchina's Dream
Saint Francis of Assisi Gentle Revolutionary
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla The Gift of Life
Saint Ignatius of Loyola For the Greater Glory of God
Saint Isaac Jogues With Burning Heart
Saint Joan of Arc God's Soldier
Saint John Bosco Champion for the Young
Saint John Neumann Missionary to Immigrants
Saint John Paul II Be Not Afraid
Saint John Vianney A Priest for All People
Saint Juan Diego And Our Lady of Guadalupe
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha: Courageous Faith
Saint Katharine Drexel The Total Gift
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Saint Martin de Porres Humble Healer
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Mary's Knight
Saint Paul The Thirteenth Apostle
Saint Pio of Pietrelcina Rich in Love
Saint Teresa of Avila Joyful in the Lord
Saint Teresa of Calcutta Missionary of Charity
Saint Teresa of Kalkota Missionary of Charity

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