Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Pilgrim by David Bunn

This is a work of historical fiction based on Helena, mother of Constantine, finding the true Cross. There is a sense of realism that is engaging. I was previously fascinated with this story of Helena. Now I feel like I have lived it. Helena appears courageous to the point of abandonment. She doesn’t give up and has total trust in God to protect her and continue to lead her on her quest. She is inspiring to those who join her on their journey, in The Pilgrim and equally inspiring to the readers. David Bunn helps the reader become invested in the characters such as Anthony, Cratus, and Favian. I liked Macarius, an old priest who often offers mass to the pilgrims, who has seen a lot and offers wisdom on the journey. I like the encounter with the leper, Aquilina. Helena and Aquilina have a tremendous effect on one another and Aquilina is important to the conclusion of the story. I had chill bumps as they discovered the true path of Christ to Calvary. Although I have never been to Jerusalem, I think we take for granted that we know where events from Jesus’ life take place. To have been there early on in the first centuries after Christ and not know where these historic sites were located adds to the realism and awe of this story. Also, to have been there when the tides were turning for Christians in the legalization of Christianity and release from tyrannical violence and slavery was momentous. You could feel God there every step of the way. I would recommend this book to you to help you get closer to this heroic story of Helena and closer to God. This is an amazing story that changes everything for Christianity. St. Helena is attributed with helping to rebuild the churches at the nativity and the Ascension. I’d like to think I would have done the same thing as Helena. It is said she brought back a piece of the true cross to her son, Constantine. You can imagine what impact this would have made on him and the local church. This story takes place before a time of unprecedented growth of Catholicism throughout the world.

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