The Queen and the Cross by Cornelia Mary Bilinsky is the story of Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine of Rome. One evening after her daily prayer time, Saint Helen has an overwhelming desire to find the True Cross on which Jesus died. The story follows her journey to Jerusalem and the trials she encounters while searching for the True Cross. It ends with her return home, having accomplished her mission of finding the True Cross.
This story most likely falls into the “legend” category, however I love legends, so no problems there. 🙂 I enjoy having legends to use as introductions of important stories for kids. I think sometimes it’s easier to grasp for them. It also affords them the opportunity to ask questions about a topic that may otherwise not come up.
I love the simplicity and straightforwardness with which this story is told. There is no difficulty with my four-year-old comprehending it. She actually got the book before I had a chance to sit down with it, and she sat and just looked and looked at it.
One thing I absolutely love are the prayers that are scattered throughout the book. The world of Catholic children’s books is relatively new to me, but one of the greatest “perks” I’ve found so far are the prayers included in each book I’ve read so far. Being able to share those with my children has been very special.
Finally, another thing I really enjoyed is the more detailed biography of Saint Helen included at the end of the book. As I myself am still learning about the lives of the saints, it’s helpful to have a short section to deepen my understanding of the saint’s life.
This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company. Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on The Queen and the Cross-The Story of St. Helen. The Catholic Company is the best resource for all your seasonal needs such as First Communion gifts as well as ideas and gifts for the special papal Year of Faith.