Friday, June 9, 2017

32 Days (Pauline Books and Media)

If you are Catholic, then you are most likely familiar with the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Why that man is not a canonized saint is baffling to me, but this review is not the place for that platform. In an interview in 1979, he was praised for his accomplishments and lauded for the various important people he had met throughout the world. He was then asked, who he considered to be the biggest inspiration to him. In his humility, Sheen responded that he had never met his biggest inspiration, but that it was an eleven year old Chinese girl and her love for the Eucharist that inspired him most. 32 Days: A Story of Faith and Courage tells the story of that girl.

Pei was a village girl who lived in China. Like most children, she had parents, siblings, and grandparents. They worked hard and didn't have a lot, but they loved each other and loved Jesus too. Within their village, there was a Catholic Church, a priest, and a school run by a Catholic nun. Things were quiet for the most part until the Communists took over the village. Everything changed at that point. The Communists used propaganda techniques, intimidation, and fear to try and "convert" people to this change in regime. In addition to imprisoning the priest, one of their worst atrocities was destroying the Church and everything inside of it. They even desecrated the Eucharist by throwing it on the ground and stepping on it. Pei witnessed all of this and felt helpless about it, but one day she resolved to go consume the sacred hosts, as that was Jesus and she longed for Him. There were 32 hosts, so she had to sneak out at night 32 times to do this. She was almost caught several times, and sadly, on the 32nd night she was. She was martyred that night, but during that month+, she grew closer to Jesus than most of us do in our lifetime. The book was an easy read, and one that I was able to read in about an hour. The content is sad, but beautiful. I would recommend it for those in 4th-6th grade, but even older children and adults could learn a lot from it.

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