Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg (Pauline Kids)

Easter egg hunts are a tradition many families, both Christian and secular, still perform. The parents love this task, because it keeps the kids busy for a while, and the kids love this task, because the eggs usually contain candy, money, or little trinkets. But where did the tradition of Easter eggs come from? If you had asked me when I was a child, I would have told you the Easter Bunny. If you had asked me several years ago, I would have told you Mary Magdalene. Now, thanks to Pauline Books and Media, I have learned of a tradition involving Simon of Cyrene. The book is called  Simon of Cyrene and the Legend of the Easter Egg.

The book begins with Simon of Cyrene going to the market in Jerusalem to try and sell a basket of eggs. Upon his entry in Jerusalem, Simon sees a crowd of people and a man dragging a cross. Simon doesn't recognize the man, but another man, John the Apostle, explains to Simon who Jesus is and how He is innocent. Simon is then tasked with helping Jesus carry the cross. After Jesus' Crucifixion, Simon is thanked by by Jesus' mother and invited to spend the night and rest. It is here that he learns more about Jesus and His ministry. Simon sticks around several more days and learns firsthand of the Resurrection. After the celebration at the good news, Simon had to depart for home, without selling any of his eggs. When he arrives home, he tells his family all that happened and when he opened the basket of eggs, he sees that they have been transformed in color from white to all different bright colors.

Simon of Cyrene is essentially a footnote in Sacred Scripture. However, he played a a very important part in Jesus' Passion, and is remembered in the Stations of the Cross for his role. This book expounds on his minor role by re-creating what Simon might have been thinking and feeling during Jesus' Passion. Many people don't think of Simon as someone who willingly helped Jesus and who also quickly disappeared after the fact. Instead, we get a picture of a man who was changed by his brief encounter with Jesus. At the end of the book is a brief biography of Simon and a prayer for courage and compassion. This is an excellent book and one you should pick up for your child and put in their Easter basket.

This book was provided to me for free by Pauline Books and Media in exchange for an honest review.