Vision Series

Saint Philip of the Joyous Heart

Author(s): 
Francis X. Connolly
Copyright: 
1957
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
168 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The lovely story of the 16th century priest and saint of Rome whose joy brought many away from the evils of the day. He patiently bore a great deal of emotional persecution from some fellow priests, but eventually won his tormentors over to the love of Christ. Many insights into the meaning of a vocation and how to spread the joy of Christ.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
4-26-01
Reviewed by: 

Lydia Longley, The First American Nun

Author(s): 
Helen A. McCarthy
Illustrator(s): 
John Lawn
Copyright: 
1958
Publisher: 
Book Farrar, Straus & Cudahy
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
187 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Dramatic changes are in store for Lydia Longley when her father brings home a new mother for his children. At the time she is twelve-years-old. This change, however, proves to be small in comparison to the traumatic event that changes her life forever when she is twenty.

While everyone is busy preparing breakfast, a party of Abenaki Indians raids their peaceful farm, killing her parents, brothers and sisters. Miraculously, they spare her life along with her younger brother and sister. Sadly, her three-year-old sister does not survive the treacherous journey north.

Upon arriving in Ville-Marie (Montreal, Canada), Lydia begins her new life. Having grown up in a serious Puritan family, the changes are rather startling. What is life like in her new home? What are these strange customs these French Catholics do? Who is the mysterious Jeanne LeBer? How did she survive the long and arduous trek from Groton, Massachusetts to Ville-Marie at the hands of her Indian captors?

While remaining faithful to the actual events of her life, Lydia Longley, the First American Nun presents an interesting and inspiring account of her life. The reader is also introduced to Blessed Jeanne LeBer (Leber). Lydia lived from 1674-1758.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
2-18-2008
Reviewed by: 

Francis and Clare

Saints of Assisi
Book cover: 'Francis and Clare: Saints of Assisi'
Author(s): 
Helen Walker Homan
Copyright: 
1956
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
187 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

I've been reading a number of the Vision Books aloud to my five year old daughter and she seems to like each one more than the last. The story of Saint Francis is both uplifting and enjoyable, due to the many humorous events captured in the story. The book is also informative enough to be interesting to older children and even adults (I had never read a full-length book about St. Francis).

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

Saint Anthony and the Christ Child

Author(s): 
Helen Walker Homan
Copyright: 
1958
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
174 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

In the tradition of the Vision Series, this book is a very readable and even enjoyable story of one of the most popular saints whom no one seems to know very much about. Although he is commonly known as Saint Anthony of Padua (Italy) and Finder of Lost Things, Saint Anthony actually hails from Portugal. The beginning of the story, the author admits, is somewhat fictional as very little is known about Saint Anthony's early life. An extremely gifted, orator, Saint Anthony traveled throughout Europe as a humble Franciscan (during the lifetime of Saint Francis of Assisi), preaching the faith, performing miracles, and spreading his devotion to the Christ Child. You'll also learn why Saint Anthony is the patron of the Lost - but I don't want to spoil that for you!

I found it rather disappointing to learn at the end of the story that almost the entire childhood portion of the story is fictitious.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
3-17-2000
Reviewed by: 

The Cure of Ars

The Priest Who Outtalked the Devil
Book cover: 'The Cure of Ars: The Priest Who Outtalked the Devil'
Author(s): 
Milton Lomask
Copyright: 
1958
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
190 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This is a quicker and slightly easier read than the title by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. It lacks the richness of explanations about the priesthood, but I thought that it portrayed St. John Vianney's humility and simplicity a little more clearly. It's also clearly written to be interesting even to those who are not accustomed to reading saint stories, so there is more emphasis on exciting events, such as when John Vianney, as a young boy, helped to hide a hunted priest from the authorities.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
3-7-01
Reviewed by: 

Saint Margaret Mary, Apostle of the Sacred Heart

Author(s): 
Ruth Fox Home
Copyright: 
1960
Publisher: 
Farrar Straus and Cudahy
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
187 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This is such a beautiful story of a simple, humble nun who was chosen by Jesus to spread devotion to his most Sacred Heart. I especially like how the author presents God's plan and how He had specially prepared Sr. Alocoque and Father de la Columbiere for this important mission. As Ignatius Press is reprinting many books from the Vision series, I hope this will be back in print sometime soon.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

Saint Thomas More of London

Book cover: 'Saint Thomas More of London'
Author(s): 
Elizabeth Ince
Copyright: 
1957
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
188 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

An interesting and readable life of Thomas More (1477-1535): the great saint, scholar, father, lawyer, statesman, author, patriot and lover of the Church. The author, a descendant of Thomas More, has included many interesting details and anecdotes that bring this great man to life and help us better understand who he was. Even as an adult who became interested in St. Thomas More from the movie A Man for All Seasons, I found many tidbits that helped fill in the details not present in the movie - particularly regarding More's life before he became Chancellor of England. We also get more of a sense of his holiness and spirituality. Highly Recommended.

Part of the Vision series from Ignatius Press, this book best for upper grade school and high school.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
9-29-03
Reviewed by: 

Saints of the Church

Book cover: 'Saints of the Church'
Author(s): 
Michael G. Allen
Copyright: 
2000
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Softcover
Number of pages: 
184 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 
Review: 

This book is a companion to the Vision series of saint's biographies (also published by Ignatius Press). It is a wonderful help to extending the biographies into a full-blown unit study, if you wish, or just to help enrich the reading. For each of the 17 books covered in Saints of the Church , the author includes:

  • an overview of the book
  • vocabulary lists broken out by chapter
  • quotations from the books called "Language in Context" that develop comprehension and illustrate various literary devices
  • Time Line information
  • Outline Map information
  • Numerous topics for written reports on various levels
  • Biographical sketches of other famous people in the book
  • "Turning to Scripture and Catechism" which requires looking up various verses or topics in the Bible and the Catechism; this is done to "make connections between the saint's life and the living tradition of the Catholic Church."
  • Discussion questions

This is a wonderful, well-organized, and thorough guide to really getting the most out of the Vision books...likely just the kind of thing we would do on our own if we had the time.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

Mother Cabrini

Missionary to the World
Book cover: 'Mother Cabrini: Missionary to the World'
Author(s): 
Frances Parkinson Keyes
Copyright: 
1959
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
190 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

The story of the great Italian missionary to the United States is told to two young students in one of the schools she founded. The story especially elaborates on the history of the schools and works founded by Mother Cabrini in New Orleans, Louisiana. A very beautiful story already, this particular rendition has the unique angle of being told by one of the Sisters of Charity who had come to America from Italy with Mother Cabrini. This would make a good read aloud story for the whole family and would be a helpful supplement to your American History curriculum.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

Saint Dominic and the Rosary

Author(s): 
Catherine Beebe
Copyright: 
1956
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
161 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

It is the late twelfth century and Christendom is threatened from within by the Albigensian heresy - a belief that the world is so evil that it must have been created by the devil. The consequences of this are more serious than one might at first think. Although they believe the man's soul was created by God (and therefore good), the Albigensians (who presumably "started out" as Catholics) reject the doctrine of the Real Presence because they believed the bread and wine were made by the devil, they didn't believe in marriage and having children and even went so far as justifying murder and suicide.

Enter Dominic de Guzman. Dominic decided to be a priest when he was very young. He understood the importance of all of his studies as preparation for his vocation. "A priest, or in fact any well-educated person, must learn all that he possibly can about all subjects He must learn not only those that are especially necessary for his chosen work." The story contains an excellent explanation of a good education and its purpose. "You must perfect yourself in arithmetic, algebra, geometry - the exact sciences, which will teach you to think clearly. You must learn to read with understanding...And, of course, logic. That will teach you to reason in a sound and exact way."

The story follows the life of St. Dominic as becomes a great preacher, continually arguing against the Albigensian heresy. He has limited success, however, until Our Lady appears to him and entrusts him with one of the greatest heavenly gifts - the Rosary.

This is an excellent story, well written and understandable, and filled with many important insights for us today.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
11-16-99
Reviewed by: 

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