Saint Story Collections

Around the Year Once Upon a Time Saints

Ethel Pochocki
Ben Hatke

This is a lovely gem of a book, covering about thirty saints, organized according to the calendar year, by their feast day. Like her previous publications from Bethlehem Books (Once Upon a Time Saints and More Once Upon a Time Saints), these stories are intended to capture the essence of holy men and women through the sometimes fantastical stories that are likely to capture the imagination of young children. Here is what the author wrote about her own stories:

Saints for Sinners

Archbishop Alban Goodier

There is nothing quite like reading the lives of the saints to give us hope and inspiration. Saints for Sinners from Sophia Institute Press brings many of these inspiring and holy lives to the reader drawing both from well-known and obscure saints' lives. Archbishop Alban Goodier selected these saints because in many ways their lives seemed like failures. In the eyes of the world, they amounted to very little--or so it seemed in their own time. In the eyes of God, however, their lives remain as heavenly models for us today!

Saints of Asia

Vincent J. O'Malley, C.M.

How many Asian saints can you name? Saint Andrew Kim? Saint Paul Miki? Not bad.

We don't tend to learn much about Asian history today, much less about Catholic history in Asia. Did you know that the Catholic faith survived in India from the time of St. Thomas the Apostle? A number of saints in this collection were descended from families who were catechized by St. Thomas!

Truth Was Their Star

Book cover: 'Truth Was Their Star'
Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy, O.P.

Recently republished by New Hope Publications, the lay Dominican community in New Hope KY, Truth Was Their Star by Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy, OP offers a gentle introduction to various Dominican saints. Naturally, since she is a Dominican, she would be interested in sharing the lives of several Dominican saints. While not talking down to the child, the text is written as though speaking to a younger child. Each chapter is really an introduction to a particular saint offering a vignette about his or her life, or encapsulating a series of popular stories about the saint.

Saints for Young Readers for Every Day

Book cover: 'Saints for Young Readers for Every Day'

Rather than take a morning vitamin, our family reads Saints for Young Readers for Every Day every morning! It is a two volume set, with a saint story for every day (sometimes two). The first volume contains saints for January to June, the second volume covers the rest of the year. This hardcover set is a little expensive, but worth the money. We leave it on the kitchen counter, and do a daily reading with breakfast each day. The stories are well-written, engaging, and always one or two pages in length. There are black and white line drawings that accompany some stories.

Reading Comprehension: Stories of the Saints

Elaine Woodfield

Although this series of Saint Stories from Catholic Heritage Curricula is listed on our Reading Comprehension page, they should also not be overlooked as really wonderful stories for their own sake. The stories are well-written and contain very interesting details about the lives of the saints that I haven't seen elsewhere. Highly Recommended!

Once Upon a Time Saints (audio book)

Book cover: 'Once Upon a Time Saints (audio book)'
Ethel Pochocki

Once Upon a Time Saints is a collection of stories about the lives of the saints written as stories and not biographies to capture the attention of young children, from preschool through the early grades. Intertwined in the stories are mixtures of legend, fact, and humor, embellishing on the human qualities of the saints and presenting them as not mere statues, but real people. Reading with expression and drama, the narrator brings these stories to life, allowing us to listen to the book as it should be read, out loud.

Once Upon a Time Saints

Book cover: 'Once Upon a Time Saints'
Ethel Pochocki

In the Bethlehem Books catalog, this book is recommended for ages 5 - 10, but I think many of the stories will be appealing even for preschoolers. The stories have been carefully chosen to be interesting to children at the "fairy tale age". Many of the saints chosen are knights and princesses with adventures and lessons to share with your children. Some parents may not like the informality of her story-telling style, but I think most will appreciate using this book to foster an interest in the Saints at a very young age.

In God's Garden

Amy Steedman

"Long ago in a far distant land there lived a boy called Offero." So opens the story of St. Christopher, one of fourteen saint stories in In God's Garden. Written in a friendly story teller format, the book's primary audience is younger children, approximately preschool-age to 3rd grade.

Heroes of God's Church

Father P. Henry Matimiore, S.T.D.

"In writing this volume, the purpose has been to acquaint our children with biographies that will have some particular influence on the development of their characters. Each story has been planned as a real character-training project, not merely as a reading lesson to inspire admiration for faith and religious heroism." (From the Foreword)

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