There is a garden which God has planted for Himself, more beautiful than
any earthly garden. The flowers that bloom there are the white souls of
His saints, who have kept themselves pure and unspotted from the world.
In God's garden there is every kind of flower, each differing from the
other in beauty. Some are tall and stately like the lilies, growing
where all may see them in their dress of white and gold; some are half
concealed like the violets, and known only by the fragrance of kind
deeds and gentle words which have helped to sweeten the lives of others;
while some, again, are hidden from all earthly eyes, and only God knows
their loveliness and beholds the secret places where they grow. But
known or unknown, all have risen above the dark earth, looking ever
upward; and, although often bent and beaten down by many a cruel storm
of temptation and sin, they have ever raised their heads again, turning
their faces towards God; until at last they have been crowned with the
perfect flower of holiness, and now blossom for ever in the Heavenly
In this book you will not find the stories of all God's saints. I have
gathered a few together, just as one gathers a little posy from a garden
full of roses. But the stories I have chosen to tell are those that I
hope children will love best to hear.
Let us remember that God has given to all of us, little children as well
as grown-up people, a place in His garden here on earth, and He would
have us take these white flowers, the lives of His saints, as a pattern
for our own. We may not be set where all can see us; our place in God's
garden may be a very humble and sheltered spot; but, like the saints, we
may keep our faces ever turned upward, and learn to grow, as they grew,
like their Master, pure and straight and strong--fit flowers to blossom
in the Garden of God.
'Saints are like roses when they flush rarest,
Saints are like lilies when they bloom fairest,
Saints are like violets, sweetest of their kind.'
LIST OF STORIES
SAINT URSULA, 1
SAINT BENEDICT, 16
SAINT CHRISTOPHER, 29
SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, 41
SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO, 54
SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY, 62
SAINT CECILIA, 71
SAINT GILES, 79
SAINT NICHOLAS, 84
SAINT FAITH, 97
SAINT COSMO AND SAINT DAMIAN, 102
SAINT MARTIN, 110
SAINT GEORGE, 119
SAINT FRANCIS OF ASSISI, 128
LIST OF PICTURES
She slept calmly and peacefully until she dreamed a dream, _Frontispiece_
Ursula stood on the landing-place, the first to greet the Prince, 8
By Vittore Carpaccio at the Accademia, Venice.
A little demon seized the robe of the young monk, 22
A terrible storm began to rage, 28
By Lorenzo Monaco, Uffizi, Florence.
The child upon his shoulder seemed to grow heavier, 38
By Titian, Doge's Palace, Venice.
SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA,
The Holy Child placed a ring upon her finger, 46
By Benozzo Gozzali, Uffizi, Florence.
SAINT AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO,
The child had digged a hole in the sand, 60
By Sandro Botticelli, Accademia, Florence.
A crown of lilies and roses in each hand, 74
She taught them about the Lord of Heaven, 78
By Spinello Aretino, S. Maria del Carmine, Florence