Tuesday, January 14, 2014

saint felix and the spider

Do you know the story of Saint Felix of Nola?  It is quite an intriguing story.

Saint Felix was born in Nola, Italy and lived in the third century.  After his father's death, Felix sold off his possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor and was ordained a priest by Bishop Maximus.  During the persecution under Roman emperor Decius, Maximus was forced to flee while Felix was arrested and beaten for his Christian faith.  Freed by an angel, Felix escaped prison and came to the aid of his bishop.  The Romans attempted a subsequent arrest, but were thwarted by a spider weaving her web over the opening of a hole into which Felix had crept, miraculously causing the soldiers to turn away and search elsewhere.

In Saint Felix and the Spider, author Dessi Jackson tells this tale from a perspective of love and friendship between a man and one of God's tiniest creatures.  Ms. Jackson does something quite clever in her story of how the spider ends up at the cave with Felix and leaves one with the feeling that with God, nothing happens by accident.  This picture book is a great read-aloud that will delight and captivate all who listen.

Spiders and their webs have no place in an orderly home.

 "In a small village, in a land far away in times further back than you can think,
there was a wee little house."

Felix is delighted to meet the spider and names her Fidelis or "faithful one."

"As I can see by your beautiful web, you are faithful to your gifts and your place in life."

Notice the soldier giving the "thumbs down". :)

"Look at this web!  It has been here for a very long time ... There is no way Felix is in there!"

Felix teaches how to live for God.

"Together they spun and wove the days of their lives, like wee pearls on the necklace of life!"

Are you as fascinated with the detail of the illustrations as I am?  What is even more impressive is that the talented illustrator is a teenager (and homeschooled to boot)!  I first came upon her artistry through her adorable alphabet coloring pages Writing the ABC's on Little Hearts, which we use as part of our preschool/kindergarten curriculum.  Check out how proud of her work her family must be.  I would be, too!

Stay tuned for an interview with the illustrator herself, Miss Lydia Grace of The Saracen's Head, coming some time in February.



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