Tales from the Bonny Blue House

Monday, March 13, 2006

Everything Irish This Week

Since Friday is St.Patrick's Day we are incorporating a lot of Irish into school this week. For us this means lots of books. This narration by Erin features Saint Patrick by Ann Tompert and illustrated by Michael Garland. Ann Tompert is a wonderful children's story teller who also has written two other saint books; Saint Nicholas and Joan of Arc, Heroine of France. These books are an accurate account of each's saint's life and the illustrations are beautiful. We really enjoy them. I strongly urge you to check out some of her picture books from your library, The Errant Knight is also wonderful. I found St. Patrick's Day by Gail Gibbons at the library last week. It is a really nice book about the life of this great Saint for the early readers. Not great literature by any means but if you come across it you should pick it up. The back of the book is devoted to some of the legends concerning Patrick. Gibbons also touchs on the different types of celebration that take place on March 17th. The illustrations are cartoon-y and engaging for a young one. The Blackbird's Nest, Saint Kevin of Ireland made it's appearance here last year in Kevin's Easter Basket. He, being two, was unimpressed. However, this is a book that will become a lasting part of our celebration and an enduring keepsake for him. It is the story of one of Ireland's lesser known but beloved saints and the process of his transformation from awkward boy to a devout and holy monastic. The illustrations, by Doug Montross, are so life-like and beautiful they leap at you from the pages. This is a great Irish story and a necessary Lenten one. Saint Ciaran, The Tale of a Saint of Ireland by Gary D. Schmidt and illustrated by Todd Doney is a beautiful book. The paintings are exquisite and really give you a sense of the the depth of color that abounds in this lovely green country. Saint Ciaran was called to worship a God whose name he did not even know and traveled the great distance to Rome to learn all about God. There he met Saint Patrick who encouraged him to return and begin the work of converting the Irish. Saint Patrick soon followed Ciaran. Ciaran was a hermit who was never to be alone, his prayerful ways attracted many men and women who took vows and became some of the first monks and nuns in Ireland. This is a wonderful story about following God's call. Of course, no feast day in this house would be complete without a Tomie de Paola book. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland is wonderful. Mr. de Paolo is a true friend to a Catholic homeschooling mom. Our more secular reading will include..... Wild Irish Roses, Tales of Brigits, Kathleens and Warrior Queens by Trina Robbins is a fun read. Katie received this for Christmas and has been dipping into it ever since. It is a collection of stories and myths about the great women of Eire from Saint Brigid to the pirate Queen Grania O'Malley. Great fun! Saint Patrick's Day in the Morning is a fun read. The story of young Jamie trying to prove he is not too young to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade. Tomie de Paola's Jamie O'Rourke books are so much fun. Erin and Kelli love the tale of Jamie O'Rourke and The Pooka . Told with his own brand of Irish wit Mr. de Paola has, yet again, given us some fun holiday classics. It is likely that by this time I will have no voice left. So time to take a break with a video. Saint Patrick Brave Shepherd of the Emerald Isle is a great choice for the little ones. St. Patrick Apostle of Ireland is a great choice for the older children. Of course, mom and dad need to watch The Quiet Man at some point this week. This week there will be copy work from Saint Patrick's prayer, popularly known as "Saint Patrick's Breast-Plate" (or "Lorica"), and is believed to have been composed by him in preparation for this victory over paganism. I bind to myself to-day The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe. I bind to myself to-day The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day. I bind to myself to-day The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men. I bind to myself to-day The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks. I bind to myself to-day God's power to guide me, God's Might to uphold me, God's Wisdom to teach me, God's Eye to watch over me, God's Ear to hear me, God's Word to give me speech, God's Hand to guide me, God's Way to lie before me, God's Shield to shelter me, God's Host to secure me, Against the snares of demons, Against the seduction of vices, Against the lust of nature, Against everyone who meditates injury to me, Whether far or near, Whether few or with many. I invoke to-day all these virtues Against every hostile merciless power Which may assail my body and my soul, Against the incantations of false prophets, Against the black laws of heathenism, Against the false laws of heresy, Against the deceits of idolatry, Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids, Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man. Christ, protect me to-day Against every poison, against burning, Against drowning, against death-wound, That I may receive abundant reward. Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ at my right, Christ at my left, Christ in the fort, Christ in the chariot seat, Christ in the poor, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me. I bind to myself to-day The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity. I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe. ------ That should keep us all busy for a while. I'll be posting more this week about food and other customs and traditions we have here in the Bonny Blue (Green this week) House.


  • Wow! I will be linking this post with all your great books!! We have a few of these books, but you've shared so many I've not seen before, thanks so much, have a wonderful week of St. Patrick!! Blessings!

    By Blogger meredith, at March 13, 2006 2:51 PM  

  • Mary Ellen,
    Great post.
    I've linked it at my site and also let my publisher know about the St. Ciaran book to add it to the Catholic Mosaic booklist. I was unfamiliar with that one. Thanks!

    By Blogger Cajun Cay, at March 13, 2006 6:42 PM  

  • Thanks ladies! We are huge fans of everything Irish here.

    By Blogger Mary Ellen Barrett, at March 15, 2006 5:20 AM  

  • This is so great, Mary Ellen. You are just incredible!

    By Blogger Alice, at March 15, 2006 8:01 PM  

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