Did you know there is a saint who has come to be celebrated in the West as the patron of libraries and librarians? His name is Jerome, and you can read his full story here. He was born in 346, was a great lover of books, and a translator of the Bible into Latin. (View more beautiful icons of the saint, here)
There is an interesting legend about him that involves a lion. Rumer Godden and Margaret Hodges have both written children's books about the legend, which takes place in Bethlehem - where Jerome lived as a monk...
Today I'd like to tell you about Margaret Hodges' re-telling, because her book was given years ago to my kids by my mom and dad. It is beautifully illustrated by Barry Moser, as you can see in my photos below.
The lion stays on, his job being to guard the monastery donkey. Then the donkey disappears. The other monks think the lion has eaten it, but Jerome refuses to condemn him; instead, he requests that the lion stay to do the donkey's work.
Eventually, the lion finds the donkey and brings it home - together with the camels belonging to the merchants who stole it.
Moser's elegant illustrations include some exquisite calligraphy detail in brilliant red, that compliments the strong yet tender portraits of the contemplative saint and the noble lion.
(Copyright 1991, ages 5 and up).
Have you seen my other posts and book recommendations about saints? (click on the links below)
Stories of the Saints by Ruth Sanderson