June 11/24 we commemorate Saint Mitrophan,
here is something for your children on his day.
Book #83 in the "Paterikon For Kids" series from Potamitis Publishing.
This book offers a great opportunity to introduce the ecumenical beauty of our Faith to your child. It is about a Chinese saint, a priest, who lived far from all the countries that we consider orthodox and, still, the Word of God did reach him, and he spread the Good News to his fellow countrymen.
“Before His Ascension, Christ said to his Apostles, “Go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you.” Therefore, Christians from all over the world share their faith with other nations. Some of them have reached places as far as China, a large and beautiful country with old and distinct traditions.”
The story is illustrated in a way that makes it appealing to even a very young child. I tried to convey the colorful and light mood of a Chinese feast, while at the same time combining it with the solemn expression of the Byzantine style iconography. A child can therefore easily follow the story enjoying plentiful details - Chinese lions, dragons, chrysanthemum flowers, and golden, red and white koi fish swimming around.
Parents and teachers alike will also find the book interesting as they can learn together with children about the faith-filled life of Saint Mitrophan.
In one of the book spreads, describing the ordination of Saint Mitrophan into the priesthood, we are introduced to another great saint of The Far East - Saint Nicholas of Japan.
The Holy Martyrdom of Saint Mitrophan and of his 222 parishioners is only briefly mentioned, making the book suitable even for the youngest Orthodox.
Commemorated June 11.
Let us the flock of Christ with love and piety now glorify with hymns and truly joyous odes the faithful Martyrs of the truth who suffered for Christ in China. For having confessed the Faith, they all bravely went unto death as lambs which were sacrificed for our Shepherd and Master Christ. And therefore to the Martyrs, we cry out: Remember us all, who sing your praises.
Enjoy your copy, or get one here!
What to discuss with the youngest readers:
1. What was the name of the saint?
2. What country was he from?
3. Was he a priest, a doctor or a scholar?
4. What happened to him and the other faithful Christians?
5. He paid with his own life for his faith in Christ. That is called martyrdom. Why did Saint Mitrophan do this - did he do this out of love or out of fear? Who else do you know gave His life out of love? Christ gave His life for us out of love.
6. Print out a free coloring page of Saint Mitrophan here.
7. Learn how to say “hello” in Mandarin Chinese. Listen to it
What to discuss with a little older kids:
1. What was the name of the saint and where was he from? Do they know any other saint of non traditionally orthodox background ( Saint Moses the Black, Saint Ahmed)
2. What do they know about China? Where is it situated? How large is it compared to the US? (Appr. the same size - though the population is much bigger in China - 1.34 billion in China and 311 million in the US)
3. Which of the Apostles is said to have traveled and preached the Word of God to Asia? (Apostle Thomas)
4. When did Saint Mitrophan live? (End of the 19th century) What other events of major significance took place during that time in the world?
1883 One of the largest explosions of a volcano happens - Krakatoa, Indonesia
1889 The Eiffel Tower is inaugurated in Paris, France
1889 Aspirin is patented
1892 Basketball invented
1894-1895 1st Sino-Japanese War
1894 The Olympic Games revived in Athens
1899 over 1 million people killed by a famine in India
1900 Hawaii becomes US territory
1899-1900 the Boxer Rebellion in China
5. Let them retell Saint Mitrophan’s life story in their own words - basic events: He was a Chinese Christian, became a priest, lived during turbulent times. He and 222 other Christians were killed for their faith in Christ.
6. Who did ordain him a priest? (Saint Nicholas of Japan) Where? (Japan)
7. Read one more time about the Boxer Rebellion. Who were the Boxers? Why did their rebellion happen? Whom did they blame for all their misfortunes? Were they supported by the Queen Dowgard of China?
8. Why were the Chinese Christians targeted and martyred?
9. Optional/bonus: talk with the older children about the Christian Faith in today’s Communist China, and eventually compare it with Taiwan.
10. Make a Chinese dragon craft.
Historical background: China, the end of the 19th - beginning of the 20th century.
You can buy your copy of “Saint Mitrophan” here. Remember to ask for The Box of Saints - a special box to store your Paterikon For Kids books when you buy 10 or more books from the series. You can invest in the future of your children, by ordering the complete set, here, and save 30%. Shipping is free for those who pray for our family/ministry!
"Potamitis Publishing - Orthodox Children's Books" is a family ministry, founded in 2007, that has published more than 160 new books for Orthodox children, in English, and another more than a total of 400 editions of their books in Greek, Romanian, and fifteen other languages.
Have the Potamitis family in your prayers.
Christ is ascended!