Monday 27 May 2019

Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids - Kathryn Griffin Swegart

Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids
Catholic Stories for Kids Book 1
Kathryn Griffin Swegart
ISBN 9781974266524
ISBN 9781729408681

This is the second book by Kathryn that I read in under a week, after finishing her historical fiction, Perilous Days Brave Hearts Book 1, I picked up this and book two of the Brave Hearts series.  This book is a wonderful little read. I have come across sections in many books about Eucharistic Miracles but have yet to read a book dedicated to them. I picked this book up to read with my kids and started reading it on my lunch at work. I literally could not put it down. I ended up reading through my whole lunch, and my commute home and finished the book before the kids got in the door from school. I started reading it with my youngest two that night. 

So right off the top, even though this book was written with children as the target audience it can be enjoyed by readers of any age. And it will inspire an, encourage, and stoke up the faith of any believer. In our house it is being enjoyed by readers from 8 to 50 years of age.

The chapters are:
Miracle of Skete, Egypt Third Century 
Miracle of Lanciano, Italy Eighth Century 
Miracle of Rimini, Italy 1227 
Miracle of Assisi, Italy 1240 
Miracle of Kranenburg, Germany 1280 
Miracle of Krakow, Poland 1345 
Miracle of Avignon, France 1461 
Miracle of LaRochelle, France 1461 
Miracle of Pibrac, France 1587 
Miracle of Tumaco, Colombia 1906 
Miracle of Fatima, Portugal 1916 
Miracle of Buenos Aires, Argentina 1994 
The Real Presence: A Lesson from Saint Philip Neri 1555 
Real Miracles in Real Places 

In the introduction Kathryn states:

“Every time we attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a miracle happens. The priest elevates the host and says, “Take this, all of you, and eat of it, for this is my Body, which will be given up for you.” Like the chrysalis, a big change occurs. We can’t see this change. We believe it because Jesus told us so at the Last Supper when he instituted the Eucharist. Our Catholic faith teaches us that at the moment of consecration, Jesus is present under the appearances of bread and wine. He is there Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. He becomes our spiritual food. The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is a mystery of God’s love, Eucharistic miracles do not prove this great mystery; they strengthen our faith. We believe in our hearts.”

The Eucharist is central to being catholic. And as Catholics it should be central to our lives. What these stories do is remind us of the importance and power in the consecrated hosts and wine. The introduction ends with these words:

“When you attend Mass, remember these stories. If you use your imagination, you can picture Him in the Host. After you receive Him at Holy Communion, be thankful that He is with you in this beautiful miracle of the Eucharist.”

And I have found that these stories are staying with me not just when thinking about the mass. But throughout the day. A few of these specific stories I was familiar with, but many I had not encountered previously. The stories in this volume span almost 1700 years. And these are but a few samplings of the eucharistic miracles that have been recorded. One of the stories that touched me most in this collection is that of The Miracle of Rimini Italy in1227, I do not recall coming across this story before. But the aged mule bowing and choosing Christ in the eucharist over a bunch of grapes was greatly enjoyed both by myself and the kids, thought I see myself more in the father in this story and needing Christ to bring me around time and time again. 

This is a wonderful book, for readers of all ages!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Kathryn Griffin Swegart:
Brave Hearts Series:
Perilous Days
Lucia of Fatima

Catholic Stories for Kids Series:
Heavenly Hosts: Eucharistic Miracles for Kids
Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids
Rescued! True Stories for Catholic Kids
Other Books:
The Wreck of the Essex: The Story of Thomas Nickerson

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