On July 12 we commemorate St. Paisios, who departed this life on that day in 1994. St. Paisios was canonized in 2015, and there is much that we modern-day Orthodox Christians can learn from him. Newrome Press offers two children’s books full of delightful insights into his life that will benefit readers of any age. Here is a glimpse into Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain: the Heavenly Signalman and A Boy’s Journey to Sainthood: Saint Paisios the Athonite.
Have you ever read a book and become so connected with the main character that you felt that they are now your friend? Perhaps you also wished that they were real so you could be together? Many readers of Newrome Press’ book Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain: the Heavenly Signalman will come away from this book feeling like that, with one major difference: this book’s readers will rejoice because not only is St. Paisios real; he also is a true friend, for he is praying for all of us!
This lovely children’s book by the Holy Monastery of Timios Prodromos, illustrated by Angeliki Deleha, tells the life story of St. Paisios in a beautiful way that will help children and adults alike feel as though they’ve been in the saint’s presence for a period of time. They’ll learn how Arsenios (his given name) fulfilled his country’s wishes that he serve in the army, without ever having to bear arms – to his relief – and to whom he gives credit for that blessing. Readers will find out why he stood in a bucket of cold water for hours when he first arrived at the monastery to begin his journey to becoming a monk. They’ll discover what happened with the insufficient concrete being used to rebuild a monastery under his guidance. They’ll learn about the bear; the deer with a cross on its forehead; and the bird concerts. Readers may find that they wish to have been one of the Bedouin children receiving the gifts that he offered to them (which he’d purchased with the money from the icons he carved and sold). Readers will probably find themselves wishing they’d been there to laugh at – and learn from – his jokes, and to eat the sweets that he loved to give to visitors. Maybe they’ll even wish they could run super fast and really far, like those two students who visited the monk when he was growing old… The lessons that he teaches at the end of the book allow the reader to sit at St. Paisios’ feet and learn from him.
You may already know and love St. Paisios. Whether or not you do, you’re sure to grow to know and love him even better through reading this book. The anecdotes that the book shares from his life give a glimpse of just how a human can live a saintly life. The lessons that he teaches are appropriate for any age. The book is written in an understandable format, and the charming illustrations will help readers to connect even more fully with this saint-turned-friend.
To order a copy, visit: https://newromepress.com/saint-paisios-of-the-holy-mountain-the-heavenly-signalman/
What happens when someone who is older and wiser than you teaches you that what you believe is not true? What if you’re a child when this happens? How do you handle this new information: what do you do with it?
Young Arsenios had this very experience, and it drove him to his knees. Literally. He went straight to prayer and prostrations, asking God to reveal Himself if He were real. What happened next? Find out in Newrome Press’ book A Boy’s Journey to Sainthood: Saint Paisios the Athonite, written by Anna Iakovou and illustrated by Christina Papatheou-Douligeri.
The book itself is divided into four parts: the first tells the above story. The second tells the life story of Arseny, who, over the years, was renamed Averkios, then Paisios. The third part of the book gives a glimpse into life in the village of Farasa, where Arseny was born.
The fourth and final part of the book is a collection of grace-filled short stories related to St. Paisios’ life. Did Fr. Paisios love to laugh? How did that affect his interactions with others? Did ants leave the box of sweets when Fr. Paisios directed them to go eat their own piece that he’d set aside for them? How did a frog teach a monk with its example? Whom did Father choose to obey, which helped him to break his self-will? Read these stories and more in this beautiful book for older children.
Get your copy at https://newromepress.com/a-boy-s-journey-to-sainthood-st.-paisios-the-athonite/
The Department of Christian Education would like to thank Newrome Press for a review copy of each of these books.
Reviewed by Kristina Wenger, educator, podcaster, co-author of Tending the Garden of Our Hearts.