Monday, January 19, 2015

Announcing a New Children’s Book: The Life of Saint Benedict

As father of a family and an oblate of the Benedictine monastery of Norcia, I am truly delighted to be able to announce to NLM readers the publication of a new children’s book on the life of St. Benedict, written by one of the monks of Norcia, Br. John. Below are some photos and the press release from Ignatius.

Let’s be honest: most children’s saint books are a combination of sentimentality, superficiality, and bad artwork, so when a very fine book like this one comes along, it’s a serious cause for rejoicing. Parents ought to snap up this one as quickly as they can. If Alasdair MacIntyre is right that we, in the worn-out West, are desperately looking for a new St. Benedict, it is going to be important to plant those Benedictine seeds early and deeply in the hearts of our children.

As a friend wrote to me: “Now the Monks of Norcia have beer for adults and a book for children!”

SAN FRANCISCO, January 7, 2015 – Who would be better to write a story for children about Saint Benedict than a son of the Saint himself? Br. John McKenzie, O.S.B., a Benedictine monk from the Monks of Norcia, has composed a delightful story that captures the amazing life of this beloved saint, called The Life of Saint Benedict. Children and parents alike will be delighted by the lovely illustrations by artist Mark Brown, lay oblate of the monastery. Based on the biography of Saint Benedict by Pope Saint Gregory the Great, these stories and pictures are rich with interesting details.

Br. John explains why he decided to write a children’s story about his order’s founder, saying, “The life of St. Benedict is filled with great imagery and authentic monastic wisdom. The Benedictine Monastic Life expands over 1,500 years of lived tradition and it has a home on all continents of the world! This book was simply put together so that families, most especially 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.”

The holiness of Benedict, his wisdom, his great impact on the world, and his miracles will intrigue and inspire everyone in the family. Also included are stories involving his twin sister, Saint Scholastica.

About the Author: Br. John McKenzie, O.S.B., was born and raised in Detroit, MI. In 2005 he entered the Benedictine Monastery in Norcia, Italy, the birth place of St. Benedict. He made his solemn profession in 2009 and is currently studying theology in Rome.

The book may be ordered from Amazon or directly from the publisher. (The book is also available in Italian, here.)

Sample pages:

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: