Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book review: Break-In at the Basilica

My son and I have enjoyed two books as of lately in a series of three.  The first one is called Lost in St. Peter's Tomb.  The second book is titled Break-In at the Basilica. The third, which we haven't read yet is titled Curse of the Coins.

The stories center around two young children. A brother and a sister whose parents travel frequently. The third person the story centers on is Sister Philomena.

Sister Philomena is a nun in a convent in Grottaferrata, Italy, which is near Rome. Few people realize she is a special investigative agent to the Pope. The young girl and boy are her niece and nephew and when their parents travel, they send the children to stay with her at the convent. This seems quite dull to them at first, especially Riley. He doesn't see how spending any time in a convent can be fun for a boy.

In the first book they are looking for  a mysterious intruder in the Apostolic Palace, they end up led astray by a white cat and end up in St. Peter's tomb. They help to recover the missing relics of St. Peter, all the while learning about St. Peter's life and learn about the Vatican and Italian lifestyles, as well as famous places and works of art.  Very interesting.

The second book starts out similar. They are sent to spend time with Sister Philomena, their aunt. When a break in occurs at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi. They again find themselves in the center of action, helping  Sister Philomena search for clues.  They explore the basilica, study its frescos, sneak into the tomb of Saint Francis, wander through Assisi, at find themselves at the little church of San Damiano.  In the story they spot a wolf, hear its howl or feel its presence. What is the meaning of the wolf. What is it trying to tell them? Woven into this story  are the personal stories of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and the sights and sounds of Assisi.

We enjoyed both of these books. They are very interesting and move quickly.  I am very excited to get the next books in the series. This book, too, sounds very interesting. They are in search of the 30 pieces of silver Judas was paid for betraying Jesus. Franciscan monks of Jerusalem sent the coins to the Vatican Museums for authentication and safekeeping - but then they disappeared!

I read, also, there is a fourth book coming. Sister of Siena.

Here is a link for more information:

I love the reading aloud part of homeschooling. It is my favorite part. It is amazing what I learn, too.

Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain