People often ask me how I find the books that we reprint. The answer varies. Sometimes we get great suggestions from our readers. Other times we find one great book that leads us on a breadcrumb trail to others. Certainly our Highway to Heaven series has been an explosion of breadcrumbs. But my favorites are the ones that I come across completely by accident.
(Well...I don't believe it's really an accident...God's Providence is clearly at work here...)
A few years ago, I had one of these "accidents" while searching for something on eBay, and saw "Alphabet of the Altar" in the "Recommended for You" links. I nearly fell off my chair when I opened the link and saw the beauty of that book.
Just last week, I had another one of these "accidents."
Here's how it happened: In the course of our research on Mother Mary Loyola, I have done some searching to find which of her titles were translated into other languages. I would expect to find lots in French, German and Spanish, and it was exciting when I actually found a copy of King of the Golden City in Japanese (alas, it is in a library there and I won't be able to get hold of it...). But so far the language into which I have found nearly all of her titles translated...is Dutch.
You wouldn't have guessed that, would you?
Well, I was doing some searching for curiosity's sake, to see if I could find any of these Dutch books for sale anywhere on the internet. My trusty friend Google brought me this page, which had some rather intriguing thumbnails in the image section at the top:
I wonder what those are??? I clicked on them...and found myself falling, falling, falling into a deep rabbit hole, because once I found what book they came from, I could not rest until I had found a copy.
Nor was it just one book...it was two. One on First Confession, the other on First Communion. Though they are written in Dutch, one can make out much of what is being said just by looking at the beautiful illustrations:
For example, we can easily see in this first illustration (left) that they are starting with a discussion of baptism. The child's name is written in the book of life by the little angels, and an angel is given to the child to guard him and keep him safe:
Those with a wicked sense of humor might be tempted, in today's climate, to ascribe a different explanation to the illustration of this priest below, but obviously here they are talking about the seal of the confessional:
And toward the end there is this beautiful rendering of the child coming out of the confessional with a clean "wedding garment" and a heart unstained by sin, having been reconciled to his Heavenly Father as a beloved child.
Well, folks, what do you think? Are you as excited as I am to see this brought back into print (and in English)? I know I can't wait. If you happen to speak Dutch and would like to help us out with the translation, by all means do contact us! We would love your help!
Currently I do not have images of the First Communion book...that is on its long sea voyage to me now. I will try to update this post with photos of that when it arrives.
Until then, enjoy these images and we'll keep you posted when these books are ready for you!