Vision Series

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: 

Bernadette, Our Lady's Little Servant

Book cover: 'Bernadette, Our Lady's Little Servant'
Author(s): 
Hertha Pauli
Copyright: 
1956
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
187 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

In the consistent style of the Vision Series of non-fiction Catholic stories for young people, the author presents a very engaging account of the important story of Our Lady's appearnces to Bernadette Soubirous - probably the poorest and simplest child in the small town of Lourdes, France. Bernadette's beautiful devotion is inspiring and her stubborn honesty is refreshing. More important, however, is Our Lady's message and her profound effect on those who come to her out of devotion and sometimes only curiosity. Many people who have visited the famous spring at Lourdes have experienced miraculous cures, but there are many more miracles that can be seen only within the human heart.

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

Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio

Book cover: 'Saint John Bosco and Saint Dominic Savio'
Author(s): 
Catherine Beebe
Copyright: 
1955
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
157 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

This was the book that got our family "hooked" on the Vision Series. I happened to find it at a Used Book store (Ignatius Press books are fairly easy to spot because of the contrasting color around the author's name on the spine of the book). I didn't expect my children to be interested in full-length books at such a young age (my oldest had just turned five). Somehow we got started and they loved it. This is a particularly good Saint story to start with because St. John Bosco is a special patron of children and especially boys. Any child will delight in the stories of how he taught himself juggling and other tricks in order to teach catechism and morals to the troublesome boys in town. We also enjoyed the stories of the dog who followed Don Bosco through the streets of the city late at night and protected him from danger.

Perspective: 
Catholic
Review Date: 
1999
Reviewed by: 

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