|St. Euphrosynos, Patron Saint of Cooks|
The book imaginatively tells the story of the 9th Century Saint, Euphrosynos (Ehf-ROH-see-nohs). It tells of a boy who is not academically gifted, or artistic, or even street-smart - in fact - the casual observer might have assumed that St. Euphrosynos had no gifts at all to serve God with. As a boy, St. Euphrosynos is ridiculed by others for being "stupid." As a man, St. Euphrosynos gives away his few possessions and becomes the humble assistant cook in a monastery - but even in the monastery he is looked down upon for being simple and lacking in impressive skills or gifts. He's not an Iconographer or a Theologian, he simply peels the vegetables, stirs the soup, and scrubs the kitchen floor!
But, St. Euphrosynos, it is discovered, DOES have gifts - a pure heart, humility, and a gift for being thankful in any situation.
Finally, the Monks discover through a miracle that the simple cook in their midst is a Holy man. Being humble, St. Euphrosynos cannot bear the adulation that follows their discovery.
This book, much like its namesake, humbly and gently challenges our preconceived ideas that only the great and accomplished can serve God. Many times those who cook - whether for families or for the public - feel like the gift they offer is less valued by God than the flashier gifts - but the story of St. Euphrosynos reassures us that those gifts we offer in thanksgiving, with a pure and humble heart are treasured by God. And the child reader is similarly reassured that his gifts to God are not judged by God as humans tend to judge.
The book also gently deals with the topic of a Godly response to bullying - whether the reader is at risk of being picked on, or of picking on others.
|The Boy, A Kitchen, and His Cave|
The Feast Day of St. Euphrosynos is September 11.
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