When he was nine years old, a little Polish boy bamed Karol lost his mother. That boy grew up to become a priest, then a cardinal, then one of the most well-loved popes of the Modern era: Pope St John Paul the Great.
“Prime the engine!!!!”
My finger jammed the red button – once.
“Go!!!!!” My voice strained against the wind.
Nothing. Chop slammed the side of the Whaler.
I stumbled. Fell.
Salt water churned in my shoes. We had run aground on Wilkinson’s Point. My great, great grandfather’s first wife had drowned there, as had a friend of my mother.
I put my head between my knees and prayed.
Juan Diego was poor.
He was a farmer, a laborer, a simple man.
And yet the Virgin Mary gave him a really important job.
Today’s What to Read Wednesday, and I’m bringing you four vintage children’s book authors I’m sure you’ll love.
If you grew up in the 17th century, you knew a thing or two about death. Average life expectancy in early 17th century England was just under 40, and the infant mortality rate was 12%. Add to that the expectation that of every 100 live births, 60 children would die before their 16th birthday, and clearly – you knew a thing or two about death.
Not much changed as time moved forward. Infant mortality remained high throughout the 18th century, finally tapering off around the end of the Romantic period (mid 19th century). It comes as no surprise, then, that children’s literature from that era focused more on instruction than delight: unlike Peter Rabbit after his forays into Mr. MacGregor’s garden, poorly behaved fictional children weren’t sent to bed without their supper. Instead, they caught fire and died after playing with matches, finding themselves damned for all eternity.
Lovely bedtime reading, eh?
There’s a story behind the title of Our Lady of Faith, but I’m not going to tell it in this post. If you’re curious, you can find it here.
If faith is a gift, there are definitely days I’d prefer to give it back.
Because gifts shouldn’t make you work. They shouldn’t require you to take a blind leap, unsure of what will catch you.
But faith? Faith does that.
And that’s why faith is hard.