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Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints Paperback – July 1, 2011
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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
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Let’s hear it for teens ― Thanks to a five-year strategic pastoral plan, this year will be devoted to teens and young adults in the arch. The aim is a spiritual awakening for youth, so they’ll become wholehearted Catholics. How about role models who have already made the journey? Here’s a collection of stories about young heroes for inspiration: ""Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints," by Colleen Swaim“Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints” by high school teacher Colleen Swaim, is about eight teenagedsaints or “blesseds” recognized officially by the church. (Of course there are many more whose names we’ll never know.) Three of Swaim’s subjects were from Italy, and the other five from Chile, Uganda, Poland, India and Spain. The youngest is 11-year-old St. Maria Goretti. Swaim writes about some who were obvious saints from the get-go, like Dominic Savio who served Mass daily at age five. Or Stanislaus Kostka, a home-schooled kid in 1564 who levitated during Mass at age 14. Or young Kizito. He lived in Uganda and was a page in the court of an evil king who also happened to be a pedophile. Kizito, newly baptized at age 14, went singing to his martyrdom, along with 15 other boys and young men, St. Charles Lwanga and some adult Christians. But when Juanita Solar was a youngster, she was rich, spoiled and had temper tantrums. (Nothing too saintly there.) A typical student, she called her boarding school “a dungeon,” and hated to go back after summer break. People can change. Juanita entered a Carmelite convent at age 18 and while her life was brief, today she’s known as the “St. Teresa of the Andes.” The most recent addition to this select company is Chiara “Luce” Badano. Called “a saint of our times,” she’s been chosen by Pope Benedict as one of the patrons for World Youth Day 2011. Before she died of bone cancer at age 18, she “lived the Gospel” doing acts of love for others. She appeared average ― hanging out in coffee shops with friends, playing tennis and swimming. She might even be called “the saint who flunked high school math.” She offered all her suffering to God, and 20 years after her death, in 2010, she was named Blessed Chiara. Swaim has arranged her appealing book with lots of extra tidbits from helpful definitions and photos to brief discussion-starters, saintly challenges and prayers. As the author says, “Be who you should be, and you will set the whole world ablaze!” It’s available for $12.99 + shipping from Liguori Publications, (800) 325-9521, or at amazon. com. (Delores Madlener Catholic New World, newspaper for the Archdiocese of Chicago 2011-07-18)
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Top Customer Reviews
Ablaze is aimed at teens, but truthfully, the resources contained within this book will aid anyone looking to grow in sanctity and faith. Colleen profiles the lives of eight young saints and blesseds, sharing their path to sainthood with accounts that are filled with insight and detail. She has a voice that truly manages to bring these stories to life. Perhaps it's her work as a high school teacher that has provided her with an insight into what will move, challenge and inspire young people. Ablaze is filled with so much more than simply biographical details, including sidebars, vocabulary descriptions, maps, sacramental lessons, and even recipes. Journal prompts, prayers, scripture references and reflection questions help the reader to fully interact with the content presented, applying it to the challenges of every day life.
Each of the saints profiled, though living in different periods of history, has a freshness and a relevance to the world our teens face today. Colleen Swaim aptly brings their heroic virtues to light in a way that will have teens (and grown ups too!), eagerly interacting with her content and asking for more. I give Ablaze my highest recommendation and will enjoy sharing it with my own son this summer.
Colleen Swaim carries this challenge forward in her new book, Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints (Liguori, paperback, 132 pages). The book profiles eight young saints who exhibited fiery, zealous virtue all the way to their death. These eight were chosen as perfect models for modern young people both because of their young age and imitable lives:
- Saint Dominic Savio
- Saint Teresa of the Andes
- Saint Kizito
- Blessed Chiara Luce Badano
- Saint Stanislaus Kostka
- Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception
- Blessed Pedro Calungsod
- Saint Maria Goretti
Besides their virtue, each of these saints share two things in common: they each died young--just one lived past twenty--and almost all are modern, dying within the last hundred years.
But Swaim's masterful storytelling really brings them back to life. Saint biographies can sometimes be dry or stilted but this book is vibrant and breezy. In addition to the biographies, Swaim also includes helpful sidebars defining obscure terms and she's added 'extras' like recipes, prayers, and reflection questions.
Ultimately, these eight heroes show that holiness isn't some dusty old ideal but something that can be pursued and lived out in the present, by any young person. Ablaze is perfect for young people, particularly those in high school, but it would be just as good for anyone looking to discover some new heroes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here’s a collection of stories about eight young heroes, written by a high school teacher. These are real life role models, not make-believe super heroes. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dolores J. Madlener
thank you! The shipping was fast and the product was same as described.Published 5 months ago by Stella
Very interesting stories of teen saints and there lives. Many of these saints I had no idea existed. Written very well and very good on the kindle. Overall, I give it four stars.Published 6 months ago by m phelan01
This book is well written and an easy read. Unique saints, great stories. I am a youth minister and will use this book with my young people.Published 7 months ago by Alex Mechley
Excellent buy for a 13 year old relative; good writing and subject choices, very pleased.Published 7 months ago by Jan S
Really interesting book that was a gift for a young man for his First Communion! His Mom shared that both her boys enjoyed reading the stories then telling her about them!Published 8 months ago by Ed Spinelli
Read it to my kids, super inspiring! Everyone young & old should look to these heroic figures who lived lives of heroic virtue in a world sadly lacking in true role modelsPublished 9 months ago by KELLEY MELTON