My children’s relationship with Saint Nicholas is complex and, at times, confusing. When we had our first son we decided not to “do Santa” in the traditional American way. Because of the questioning personality of our oldest son and the deeply secular, often antagonistic-towards-faith culture we live in, we felt uncomfortable insisting upon the down-the-chimney story. We decided to do stockings on Saint Nicholas day and gifts from family on Christmas.
But we did not discourage the elaborate, fantastical person of Santa Claus. My oldest son understands that Santa Claus is another name for Saint Nicholas and that people have come up with all sorts of wonderful, exciting stories about him that may not have happened but are true to the real person of Saint Nicholas.
But then I had a Nicholas and it got complicated. My Nicholas’s favorite person in the history of the universe is Saint Nicholas. My Nicholas’s favorite book is The Night Before Christmas. And I am totally okay with that. But it has always bothered me that I could not read a similar book to Nicholas about the historical person of Saint Nicholas. There are plenty of beautiful Saint Nicholas books– but many went over his head with their facts and details. I wanted to be able to tell one simple story that was as enchanting as that story of the jolly man flying through the sky. I wanted to be able to tell him a fairy tale about his fairy tale hero. A real one.
So I set out to write my own Saint Nicholas story. But then I found that I wanted to do the same thing for other saints. The neat thing is, when you start reading about the saints, you find that they do have fairy tale-like stories. These stories are often scary, raw, and horrifying– but they are also inspiring, incredible, enchanting– just like good fairy tales ought to be. And children love them.
A Storybook of Saints is my collection of saint stories. Most of these stories are based on historical fact with a small dose of creative license. Some rely on “legends” but, as I’ve told my children, this does not mean they are not true. I tried to be as true to reality as possible.
Writing this book was a joy. I learned a whole lot about saints I didn’t know as well and developed a deeper love for all the saints in general. I tried to include the patrons of my family members and close friends and their children, but, regrettably, I had to stop at some point. I already have a long list of saints I wish I had done and hope to do in another book later on (Agnes, Dominic, Stephen, Wenceslaus, Edmund, Paul…) But I am thankful to have been able to write what I wrote. I am especially thankful to my husband An, and my oldest son, Joseph, for their healthy critique, advice, and support. And to Sophia Press for helping me get the stories out into the world. I hope that you and your families enjoy them. Especially during this dark and confusing time– we need stories that give us courage and hope and faith!
—A Storybook Of Saints is available on Amazon but is on backorder due to Amazon’s Covid-19 situation. It should be available on Kindle soon too. But you can also purchase it directly from Sophia’s website. —https://www.sophiainstitute.com/products/item/storybook-of-saints