Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Herod was wroth and sent men to slay all the infants of Bethlehem and the parts there about, from two years old and under, thinking that with them he would also certainly slay the King Who had been born.
Appropriate to the theme of today's remembrance of the Holy Innocents, I am posting some thoughts about childhood innocence and why I am so passionate about "good books for young souls"...
"Blessed Are The Children", artist: Vasili Belyaev
St. Petersburg, Russia [source]
My husband and I saw many beautiful sights on our recent trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. In gazing up at this beautiful mosaic in the Our Savior of the Resurrection Church-now-turned-museum [the fate of many churches after the Soviet takeover - see photo and note below], I couldn't help but think of this pertinent quote for my blog from The Diary of a Russian Priest by Fr. Alexander Elchaninov:

"Why are childhood impressions so important? Why is it essential to fill a child's mind and soul with light and goodness, starting from the very earliest stages of its life? In childhood we find a natural gift for faith, simplicity, gentleness, a capacity for tenderness, compassion, imagination, an absence of cruelty and hardness. Now this is precisely the kind of soil that yields a harvest thirty-fold, sixty-fold or an hundred-fold. When, later in life, the soul has become hard and dry, a man can be cleansed anew and saved by the continuing presence of his childhood experience. That is why it is so important to keep children close to the Church--it will provide them with nourishment for their entire lifetime." 

Book recommendation - DRITA: An Albanian Girl Discovers the Faith of Her Ancestors. This is a story about a young Albanian girl whose family has lived for years under repressive communist rule. After decades of religious oppression, Drita is finally able to discover the faith of her ancestors. As she experiences God’s love for her through the example of her grandparents and the teachings of missionaries, she turns her heart toward Christ. At the story’s joyful conclusion, Drita is baptized and lives in an Albania where all are now free to openly worship, praise, and glorify God in His Church.

My husband and I outside this
beautiful Russian church, December 2011
History of Our Savior of the Resurrection Church in St. Petersburg:
Construction began in 1883 under Alexis III, as a memorial to his father Emperor Alexis II, who was mortally wounded on the sight (which is why the church is also sometimes referred to as the "Church of the Savior on the Spilt Blood". Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907.

Funding was provided by the Royal family with the support of many private investors. The church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million.

In the aftermath of the Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s.

During World War II, the church was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of "Savior on Potatoes." It suffered significant damage during the Siege of Leningrad and after the war, it was used as a warehouse for a nearby opera theatre.

In July 1970, management of the church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the cathedral were ploughed back into restoring the church. The church was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been resanctified and does not function as a full-time place of worship. It is now one of the main tourist attractions of St. Petersburg.
[source and more pictures]

No comments:

Post a Comment