CBB Review – The Life of Saint Benedict

CBB Review – The Life of Saint Benedict June 15, 2015

The-Life-of-Saint-Benedict_coverIf you are looking for quality children’s books on the saints there are numerous options to choose from. The main things most people look for are illustrations that will draw kids into the story as well as a story that will maintain their attention. The Life of Saint Benedict by Brother John McKenzie, O.S.B. fits that bill nicely.

Author Brother John McKenzie is a Benedictine Monk from the Monks of Norcia, Italy. Being a Benedictine makes him the perfect candidate to write this book on his spiritual father Saint Benedict. Combine that with illustrator Mark Brown who just so happens to be a lay apostolate of the same monastery, suffice it to say the book had a definite mission.

Brother John used the biography of Saint Benedict written by Pope Saint Gregory the Great as the foundation for his own book. The book itself is divided into short stories which are a page in length maximum, the perfect length for maintaining the little ones’ attention. Some of the stories included are:

The Birth of Saints Benedict and Scolastica, Saint Benedict Goes to Rome for Studies, Saint Benedict Flees to the Hills of Subiaco, Some Wicked Monks Ask Benedict to Be Their Abbot and A Monk Leaves the Monastery and Meets a Dragon. In total there are 21 stories of varying length with accompanying illustrations in this hardcover book.

The Life of Saint Benedict is a great introduction for children to the beloved Saint Benedict. As Brother John has stated “The life of St. Benedict is filled with great imagery and authentic monastic wisdom. The Benedictine Monastic Life expands over 1,500 years of live tradition and it has a home on all continents of the world! This book was simply put together so tha families, mostly kids, can get a chance to understand the greatness and uniqueness of my holy founder, not to mention his twin sister St. Scholastic who also plays a central role in this book. In short, I wanted to show just how cool St. Benedict really is.”

Ignatius Press and Magnificat have teamed up for yet another great volume for kids. Saint Benedict is indeed a saint that everyone should know about. His Rule of Saint Benedict is followed by many. Brother John McKnezie has written a book that both children and their parents can learn about this saint, his rule and the multiple monastaries he created that grew into a worldwide movement. If you are interested in sharing the story of Saint Benedict with your children this book would be a great place to start.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Ignatius Press, in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Hermit Sans Permit

    Thank-you for the great review of a wonderful little book, just a note of correction for the sake of precision, Mark is not an ‘Lay apostolate’, but, an Benedictine Oblate (Lay).

    PAX