Vision Series

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: 

Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus

Book cover: 'Saint Ignatius and the Company of Jesus'
Author(s): 
August Derleth
Copyright: 
1956
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
167 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the well-known saint/scholar, founder of the Jesuits and author of the Spiritual Exercises, was a surprisingly simple and humble man. Although he was rather arrogant and adventurous as a young soldier, a serious battle wound forced him into an extended bed rest. Restless and bored, he finally gave in to reading the only two books available to him - The Life of Our Saviour and The Lives of the Saints. Reading and studying these stories placed Ignatius onto a new and completely unexpected path - one of serious devotion to God and profound humility. The story follows his life as he seeks God's will, returns to school as a 33 year old man, gains folllowers while in the University and finally puts together his dream of "the Company of Jesus."

We are reminded in the story of what effect the stories of the lives of the Saints can have. The story of Ignatius is of particular value, not only because of his great effect on the world, but also because of the glimpse we are given of the spiritual development that takes place within him as he seeks to do God's will. Despite the depth of content, the story is told in a simple enough manner to be understood and appreciated by the whole family.

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

St. Therese and the Roses

Book cover: 'St. Therese and the Roses'
Author(s): 
Helen Walker Homan
Copyright: 
1955
Publisher: 
Ignatius Press
Series: 
Vision
Binding: 
Sewn Softcover
Number of pages: 
149 pages
Subject(s): 
Setting: 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Therese Martin (1873 - 1897) was the youngest of five girls growing up in a devout Catholic family in France in the late nineteenth century. We all know how, in just over one hundred years she has become one of the most beloved Saints in the Church and has recently been named "Doctor of the Church" by Pope John Paul II. This is the delightful and moving story of a little girl who became a great saint; of five sisters who were all called to religious vocations. The story focuses on her family life and the little details that make an interesting story and when added together make sense out of who she was. Although the Vision Series was intended for ages nine to fifteen, this story is one of my six year old daughter's favorites (we've had to read it aloud twice so far). It is an excellent read-aloud book for the whole family, which allows moms (and dads too) to benefit from the story and become more acquainted with Saint Therese's Little Way.

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

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: 

Pages