Saturday, December 06, 2014

Perfectly Brilliant Christmas Gifts

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

I'm going to review a new product here, but let me say up front that I was not asked to do so by its creator, nor do I benefit from its sales; I didn't even get a free review copy! The editor of the volume is my brother-in-law, but the primary reason I want to tell you about this is because I think that you will actually want to know about it.

I am speaking about the Sacred Art Series' volume of the Holy Gospels according to St. Luke and St. John. The editor of the series makes the admittedly audacious claim that this is now the most beautiful and easiest way to read the Gospels. And I think he is right.

Those of you who have children, especially between the ages of 7 and 17 or so, have probably noticed the difficulty that used to exist in finding a Bible suitable for older children to read. On the one hand are all the "Children's Bibles" with abridged retellings of famous Bible stories usually with semi-cartoonish illustrations. On the other hand are the standard adult Bibles with small text, thin pages, and no images at all. How, then, to introduce young children to the reading of the sacred page in a way that is accessible to them without sacrificing any of the richness of the inspired Word? Well, here is the answer:

Here is the entire text of the Gospels of Luke and John in one easy to hold volume; but the text is divided story by story rather than by chapter and verse, and printed in a large font. The translation is based on the traditional Catholic Challoner revision of the Douay Rheims, slightly adapted for easier readability (e.g. the -eth verb endings are removed). It is bound in a nice leatherette with gilt pages and a ribbon marker. Best of all, however, as you would expect in any volume from the Sacred Art Series, there are nearly 100 gorgeous images, in full color, of artwork from many of the greatest masters in Christian history, including Fra Angelico (my personal favorite!), Michelangelo, Titian, Duccio (whose incredible works I only discovered quite recently), Giotto, Caravaggio, et al. And unlike many Bibles that have a set of illustrations grouped in the center of the book, these images are placed on the pages facing the stories they illustrate.

In fact, although originally conceived of as a way of introducing children to the practice of daily reading of Scripture, I think most adults would agree that it is actually ideal for that purpose regardless of age.

It is selling for $39.95 on, and you can get a 15% discount right now by entering BLOGCODE at checkout. It works for 20% off three or more copies as well.

Let me also add, in case you haven't seen these before, that the Rosary Flip Book from the Sacred Art Series is also a beautiful devotional aid worthy of sharing with friends and family.
(sizes: 8x10 or 4x5)

"The Sacred Art Series Rosary Flip Book is the perfect aid for praying the family rosary at home. It features a built-in easel so that the book stands on its own. Each page displays a full color image of one of the mysteries of the rosary. The images come from the 16th Century work of Goswijn van der Weyden, "The Fifteen Mysteries and the Virgin of the Rosary."

"The Rosary Flip Book is also great for displaying on your mantel or home altar. And even if you don't pray the rosary every day, displaying one new image each day is an excellent way to meditate on that mystery throughout the day."

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