Friday, May 16, 2014

Searching the Shelves for Mary

Since I am appropriately reflecting some on Mary this month of May, I thought I would share with you the Marian books on our shelves. If you don't see your favorite here, would you please leave a comment with the title? We are always looking to add to our collection!
First of all, I must share my very favorite books for sharing Mary with my children. These two books have spoken to their hearts, regardless of age or gender. Leading the Little Ones to Mary is a gem of a book with very short daily readings to inspire our children to become as "Little Marys" and "Little Marios" imitating our Blessed Mother. The Secret of Mary Explained to Children is a book we just discovered this year, and the author takes the writings of St. Louis de Montfort and makes the idea of a consecration to Mary accessible to young children. These chapters are longer, several pages to each, but such truth and simplicity are found here!
Of course, there are books about Mary for all ages, Mary Faban Windeatt wrote about several of the Marian apparitions in wonderful chapter book form, such as The Miraculous Medal and The Children of Fatima. My First Prayers with Mary is a board book with a gentle introduction to Mary for the youngest ones. And, all of the Father Lovasik St. Joseph picture books about Mary are fabulous, such as Mary My Mother, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Our Lady of Fatima.
Catholic publishers are doing such a phenomenal job of finding ways to reach children. We have many coloring and activity books that are about our faith. This photo includes My Rosary , Coloring Book About Mary , Teach Me About Mary , and The Brown Scapular Catholic Story Coloring Book (out of print but some in the series by Mary Faban Windeatt are not). Each of these is only one in a series of titles about various other aspects of our faith and are wonderful for children to work in while I am reading something aloud!

Three of our picture books about Mary are full of beautiful illustrations. Tomie de Paola's Mary the Mother of Jesus is special to us, and I am sad to see it is out of print except for a Kindle version. Mary Joslin wrote Mary Mother of Jesus, which is a part of the Catholic Mosaic curriculum. But, if you have not read Take It to the Queen by Josephine Nobisso, you simply must get this story of truth and beauty for your children!
For more formal instruction on Mary, Mondays with Mary (I have the older edition) is an excellent tool to use throughout the year, providing ideas for simple celebrations for well-known and little-known Marian feast days. And, we have complied our Marian geography binder using the posts from The Bookworm about the various Marian apparitions around the world. Every few years we go through it again and learn more about Our Lady's appearances, and it is simply astonishing to hear these stories.

Even something as simple as this coffee table book (another out of print one) someone gave us as a Christmas gift one year can be inspiring. My three-year-old was studying it last week, and I didn't dare interrupt him with such a serious look on his little face. A more in depth art study could certainly be done using the information in the book, as well.

The Marian books I keep on my shelf meet me in various seasons and inspire me to appreciate our Blessed Mother, regardless of how foreign she seems to me. Hail Holy Queen by Scott Hahn is one our mom's group studied together when I had my first child. Totus Tuus is my most recent addition, written by a priest with whom I attended college, and he is donating half the proceeds to our campus ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Center and the other half to the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. I have just read the introduction but cannot wait to dive into this preparation for Marian consecration under the tutelage of Saint John Paul the Great! I also have Through the Year With Mary with a small daily reflection for each day of the year and A Woman Wrapped in Silence, which is actually an epic poem on the life and virtues of Mary which I like to pull out during Advent. Finally, I enjoy pulling out The Imitation of Mary from time to time, using those brief meditations to evaluate myself as compared to Our Lady's virtues.

Whether you have shelves of Marian books or just one or two, I hope you treasure what you have. If there is something above you seek out, I pray the words within bless your faith and your family!

What are your favorite books about Mary not listed above?

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee, and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee!

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