With great excitement I opened the box that had just arrived in the mail. Inside was the book “The Apostles Illustrated Edition” by Pope Benedict XVI. The medium sized book just begged to be opened! At first glance, I just knew this was a gem of a book. The beautiful illustrations throughout the book make this a keepsake. My favorite genre of art is the old classics and this book is full of them along with beautiful mosaics right out of magnificent churches.
The words in this book are printed very nicely in a font that is easy to read. The sections and chapters are presented in a way that you can read some quickly, whenever you can find a few minutes. Then there is the author, the Pope. There is always a little bit of trepidation when I think about a book written by a man who is as intelligent and full of wisdom as the Pope, but this book is very easy to read and understand. It also makes for very good meditation and I would not hesitate to bring this book with me to Adoration.
The first part of the book talks about the origins of the Church. It talks about the time on earth with Jesus, the institution of the Eucharist, and Jesus’ vision for the future. The second part of the book goes into detail about each of the apostles. Each chapter on the apostles gives the background of the apostle, talks about the time he spent with Jesus, and gives beautiful and meaningful insight into his life. There are extensive biblical references throughout the writings as well.
Overall, this book is simply beautiful in both words and illustrations. I have plans to share it with my children. This can be a starting point for many discussions and assignments. The rabbit trails that I envision already include early church history, a starting point for extensive study on any one of the apostles, and even art appreciation. I think this book would make a fine gift for anyone, but especially for Confirmation or for someone entering the Church. It is both well written and well illustrated. You can order a copy from the Catholic Company. That is where I got mine. You will not be disappointed!