Newrome Press has a series of children’s books called Rivers of Holiness. One of them is Saint Sergius: a Beacon in the Wilderness of Radonezh, written by George Danias and Christina Hatzithanasi-Dania, and illustrated by Angeliki De La Hoya. It was published in 2019.
How beautiful would life be if we were all connected to God as the saints are? How would our relationships with others, even with the wild animals, be different? Speaking of wild animals, why do they respond to saintly people as they do? Readers will find some answers to these questions in this book!
Join a grandfather as he tells his grandchildren all about a young man named Bartholomew who became a monk named Sergius. The story tells of Bartholomew’s longing and love for God even from within his mother’s womb. The book gives a glimpse into his life as he grows to become the monk Sergius. It highlights his relationships with others, including wild animals (like bears), slowly revealing his holiness to the reader.
While reading, learn the answers to even more questions. Which virtue did Saint Sergius struggle to acquire? How did he demonstrate humility? What miracles did God work for the monks at Saint Sergius’ monastery when they were hungry and thirsty? What is it that all good Christians should remember to do when God helps them? (Hint: this is demonstrated in this book by Prince Dimitri.)
After the grandfather finishes telling the story of the life of Saint Sergius to his grandchildren, there is a section of the book called “Wondrous Stories.” It offers “bonus materials,” as it were, in the form of extra stories: five additional accounts of miracles that God worked for and through Saint Sergius. The book is written at a level that elementary (and older) children can understand and enjoy, and features a handful of illustrations that add to the stories.
Saint Sergius is commemorated on 25th of September. On that day in 1392, he departed this life. But the saint’s impact on the world did not stop when he departed this life. He continues to intercede for the world, and sometimes has appeared to people, as parents or Church school teachers and the children in their care will learn as they read this book together. Please pray for us, St. Sergius!
Find your own copy of this book at: https://newromepress.com/saint-sergius-a-beacon-in-the-wilderness-of-radonezh/
The Antiochian Department of Christian Education thanks Newrome Press for sharing this book so that we could read and review it.
Reviewed by Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts.