Author: Kathryn Griffin Swegart
Front cover art: John Folley
Publisher: Self Published
Age Range: 8 and up.
This user-friendly little book is just what teachers and homeschoolers need! Kathryn Griffin Swegart has presented the stories of four saints and seven miracles in short story form. Each chapter is only two or three pages long and tells an engaging story; for example, the Miracle of the Sun, the Rescue of the Divine Mercy Image or even Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico. Each story could be read out loud to a classroom or read as a family together. Kathryn Griffin Swegart has managed to highlight the most amazing and interesting aspects of these stories and told them in captivating ways.
The outside cover of this book is stunning and was one of the reasons I bought it on Amazon. Being self-published, the inside is quite simply put together: there are a few sketches here and there, but most pages are plain typeset. Younger readers might struggle with the unbroken pages of words, but each story is so short that with encouragement they should manage it.
I can really see teachers or homeschoolers choosing a story here and there to read out loud. The stories are simple, clear and really bring to life the ordinary people who became involved in extraordinary events in history.
As an added bonus, there is a section at the end of the book entitled: What Science and History Tells Us. Here Kathryn Griffin Swegart has compiled some further stories and research about how science attempts to explain some of these miraculous mysteries. I can see some inquisitive youngsters really loving this section. They will learn how the Shroud of Turin would have needed an ultraviolet light source far exceeding anything available at the time it was investigated. Scientific investigation adds further mystery to the miracles!
If you’re a teacher, buy this book and keep it handy as a resource for yourself. If you need something to fill in 15 minutes at the end of the day, then choose a Catholic Mystery to keep your students enthralled AND teach them about some of our favourite Catholic mysteries and miracles.
Kathryn Griffin Swegart is a fully professed lay Franciscan. She has written several Catholic books for children. Check her out at KarthrynSwegart.com HERE and read her delightful blog. Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids is available at Amazon HERE.
As mentioned this little book would be an absolute gem to have on hand.
You can use these stories in a number of ways – as a self contained read aloud story or as the basis of a larger project.
- You might gather together some other resources about the mysteries, for example Youtube clips, books or websites devoted to the saint/mystery chosen. You can then ask your child/classroom to research the miracle and create a project/presentation. Depending on the child/group this could be powerpoint, poster, short film, podcast or oral presentation.
- I would probably also find some prayers or devotions to match the subject matter. Some of the easier topics would be Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Miracle of the Sun, or even Blessed Carlo Acutis. Maybe you can compose a prayer together.
- As always, I would encourage an artistic response to the stories for children who naturally respond in that way: drawings, paintings. If you happen to be focusing on music you might ask children to find music to match the story, eg: “flying” music for Padre Pio, followed by adventurous music to depict the Miracle of the Sun.
- Some children will even enjoy creating some movement/dance to match the music – don’t forget to ask them to dress up in appropriate costumes (my daughter would have LOVED this activity).
- Craft/engineering/fine motor skill development: why not create The House of the Virgin Mary out of boxes, paper, bits n pieces? Or really clever kids could build the miraculous staircase…