Patrick and the Fire
Patrick and the Fire

Item code 



Bilinsky, Cornelia Mary 

Pauline Books & Media 



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Join Bevan as he meets St. Patrick and learns about the Holy Trinity, shamrocks, and the unquenchable fire!

About this Book:

How Bevan longs for the festival of the fire-a night of celebration honoring Balor, the god of light! Bevan knows when the huge bonfire is lit, he will forget all about his boring life as a goatherd and dance and jump with his friends.

Bevan's daydreams about the party are interrupted by an oddly dressed stranger named Patrick. Patrick begs Bevan to take him to the king so that Patrick can tell him about the God he worships-one God in three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). When Patrick learns the fire and the festival are to take place that night, he boldly decides to light a fire to rival the king's.

Bevan is afraid of what will happen, but Patrick says, "Christ with me. Christ before me. Christ behind me. Christ on my right and on my left." Bevan runs away in fright but soon returns when he sees that Patrick has indeed followed through with his plan. Bevan races to outrun the soldiers sent to capture Patrick and put out the fire. Patrick's faith keeps the fire burning-even when the soldiers try to douse it! The king is intrigued by Patrick and his fire. He grants Patrick permission to preach about God to the people after Patrick uses a shamrock to show the king how God is one God in three persons.

Features & Benefits:

  • Includes a prayer to St. Patrick
  • Historical biography of St. Patrick
  • Part of the Tales and Legends series
  • Colorful illustrations
  • For children ages 4 to 7

About the Author:

Cornelia Mary Bilinsky was born and raised in Manitoba, Canada. She received her BA in English and theology from St. Paul's College at the University of Manitoba. Cornelia's husband is a Ukrainian Catholic priest and they reside in Oshawa, Ontario.

About the Illustrator:

Maggie Coburn loves drawing and storytelling. She has a BA in anthropology from UC Santa Cruz (where she discovered scientific illustration) and an MFA in traditional illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Product Details:

Binding: Hardcover
Trim size: 6 ¼ x 7 ½ inches
Pages: 40 pages

Keywords: Tales and Legends, St. Patrick of Ireland, Irish saints, the Trinity, St. Patrick?s Breastplate

Iryna Galadza says...
"Patrick and the Fire" is a beautiful story told from the perspective of a shepherd boy. It is refreshing to read a legend about St. Patrick that is not about the "snakes". Though recommended for children ages 4 through 7, an elementary teacher or parish catechist could effectively use this story with older children as a springboard to teaching and discussing theological themes such as conversion, Trinity and faith. Questions such as "How might Bevans encounter with Patrick have changed him?" could lead to a discussion on vocation. Cornelia Bilinskys inclusion of a prayer and hagiography in the book makes it even more usable in a catechetical lesson. The delightful illustrations complement the engaging text in "Patrick and the Fire" . As a teacher, catechist, and grandmother of children who have enjoyed this book, I believe it is well worth having on bookshelves at home, church and school.

Jennifer, Noah, Silas & Ephraim Luciani says...
Patrick and the Fire is a beautiful and inspiring story! Cornelia Bilinsky eloquently tells the life story of St. Patrick in a language that is kid friendly without comprising the details of his life. My boys (ages 7, 6 and 4) were captivated by the events of St. Patrick’s life – from his kidnapping by pirates to his missionary work in Ireland. They especially enjoyed reading about when St. Patrick’s fire kept burning despite the efforts of the king’s men to put it out. Together we were able to appreciate that all things are possible when we have faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Finally, we all agreed that St. Patrick’s use of the shamrock to explain the Trinity was simple and creative because he was in Ireland! The illustrations by Maggie Coburn beautifully assist and compliment the story of St. Patrick, helping to make Patrick and the Fire a must have addition for your family library.

Maria Borysiak says...
The Trinity- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, three persons in one God. A truth that so many of the saints and faithful have tried to understand. In "Patrick and the Fire" the author Cornelia Bilinsky entices the young reader by using a bored young goatherds conversation with St. Patrick to draw him and others to learn that there is a "God who is one and the same time three" and his use of a shamrock to illustrate the great mystery. Cornelia also uses the "great fire" to illustrate that faith is that fire that keeps burning and never consumes, but gives one the light and courage needed to teach others about the one true God. I like that Cornelia also uses facts from the life of St. Patrick to make a connection to his life as a young shepherd slave who began his relationship with God in the same way. Like all legends this simple story with simple beautiful illustrations becomes a stepping stone that can entice the young and the old to delve deeper and explore the life of St. Patrick, his conversion and his impact on the conversion of the Irish people and all the faithful who have come to know God through him.

Peter and Lesia Hummenyj says...
“Patrick and the Fire” by author Cornelia Mary Bilinsky is a beautifully composed story about the courageous missionary work of St.Patrick, Christ’s Apostle to Ireland, creatively designed to delight the imagination of young children, and to animate their faith in the one true God. Drawing on her exceptional creative ability and experience in catechizing children for some thirty years, the author effectively presents a story imbued with Biblical depth and symbolism in a very vivid and colourful way, evoking interest and zeal for the Christian faith in young readers. The simple illustrations by Maggie Coburn , which appropriately emphasize the traditional Irish colours of green and orange, serve as an effective visual backdrop to the unfolding story, without unduly detracting attention from the written text. The use of fire as a central focus on the front cover, in the initial prayer, and throughout the plot dramatically accentuates the “holy fire” of faith in Christ, the “true light of the world” that cannot be extinguished, and which sources the courage and zeal of the uncompromising witness of St.Patrick in an adverse and dangerous environment. One cannot help but see a clear parallel with the Old Testament account of the great Prophet Elias, who stages a competition with the pagan priests of Baal on Mount Carmel (3 Kings 18), to prove who is the true God. God’s fire from heaven instantly consumes Elias’ gifts of sacrifice, unquestionably demonstrating the authenticity of his faith in the prevailing darkness of deception and false deities. In today’s post-Christian world of confusion and spiritual darkness, which propagates both secularism and the syncretism of all religions as merely differing paths to the same God, this book delivers a powerful and timely message not only to children but to adults as well, who like Bevan in the story, are often “bored” amidst false or superficial religious practices and ideologies, unaware of the real dynamism of truly living the true faith in Christ Jesus, the only way to God the Father(John 10:7,14:6). St. Patrick is clearly on fire with this faith, and is willing even to die so as to teach others about the Most Holy Trinity. In conclusion, we would very highly recommend this book to any parent who desires to enrich the faith of their child in a very entertaining and resourceful way. Like a refreshing dip into the ocean of God’s grace, one can simply remain on the surface, or dive more deeply to search out the spiritual treasures of this beautiful work. Congratulations to Connie Bilinsky for the use of her God-given talents for His glory, and Pauline Books and Media for the publication of this little gem.

Natalie Giorgi says...
Cornelia Mary Bilinsky delivers yet again in this beautifully written and easy to read legend about St. Patrick. It reminds us of the power of Gods faith in us all and our faith in him. Bevans explorations find him challenging faith and its presence, but his quest leads him to the realization that God is always with us. He quickly learns that we just need to recognize faith when God ignites and shines his light on us! Cornelias subtle written text exudes years of love and devotion. St. Patricks Fire is a perfect blend of teaching and preaching our connections to God, others and ourselves. A perfect gift for all ages to enjoy and a child-friendly approach to Character and Spiritual Education. Love. Love. Love it!

Steve says...
A very good read.

Rev. Fr. Raymond and Presbytera Joanne Palko says...
Kudos to author Cornelia Bilinsky for bringing to life the story of St. Patrick and his missionary work. This little book is indeed a gift to children and people of faith. "Patrick and the Fire - A Legend about Saint Patrick" introduces you to Brevan, a young goat herder. He meets St. Patrick and shows the Saint the way to Tara to meet the High King. Patrick met the King and explained that he was a Christian Missionary. He taught the great and profound mystery of the Trinity by using a simple shamrock. The King saw St. Patricks courage and allowed him to preach about God. The lad Brevan was the first to learn. In the beginning of the book we find a beautiful prayer to the Holy Patrick. At the end of the book, a summary of the life of St Patrick describing his life as a child in Britain, a slave in Ireland, and finally a missionary to the Irish people. Beautiful additions to the story! This delightful tale catches the readers attention immediately. Being able to learn about St. Patricks life from factual essay at the end of the book gives the reader a complete picture of the Saint. This story so impressed a young reader in our family, that she took a leaf from the shamrock plant, which we happened to be in the house, and marched over to her brother and sister and said, "Here is the Holy Trinity". The author paints a "put you in the story" picture with her gift of writing and that is further enhanced by the excellent illustrations of Maggie Cobrun. Excellent book! This will be an asset for all who read it and look at the pictures.

odarka matyczak says...
BOOK REVIEW TITLE – Patrick and the Fire AUTHOR – Cornelia Mary Bilinsky ILLUSTRATOR – Maggie Coburn I think that the prayer to Saint Patrick at the beginning of the story beautifully conveys the message that God is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD and that this light or ‘fire’ is within each and every one of us – LOVE, FAITH AND HOPE that shines in all of us. I read the story of Patrick and the Fire to my six-year-old grandson Jesse who was interested in what the “fire” was all about. Jesse listened to the story about Bevan and Patrick and then wanted to read it by himself. Jesse was able to read the story on his own using a lot of expression and animation in his voice. Having said this, I think that Cornelia Bilinsky uses the dialogue between Patrick who is a stranger and Bevan who is a bored goatherder to explain Christianity to young children. With clarity of imagery and with short simple sentences, she reveals to young children the Christian belief of worship of our living God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the Trinity. As a parent, grandparent and teacher, using the shamrock as a means of explaining the Holy Trinity, I appreciated the explanation about the often difficult and sometimes complicated topic of the Holy Trinity. I believe, that the dialogue between the characters in the story helps to create a better understanding of our faith for young children - Christ’s death and resurrection. Beautifully illustrated – the drawings vividly portray the very animated expressions of the main characters in the book – Bevan and Patrick – and thus convey their feelings clearly throughout the story. Cornelia Bilinsky is an exceptional author of children’s books. The wonderful illustrations on every page greatly enhance the content and encourage the children to browse and read the book independently. Boys and girls between the ages of 4-7 will both enjoy reading Patrick and the Fire.

Anna Iskat says...
I enjoyed reading this story about Patrick and the Fire. Starting with a prayer beautifully sets the mood for reflection and an opening up of oneself spiritually. I liked how the author incorporated the character Bevan, the goatherd, whose life is so boring, into the well known story of St. Patrick because that would appeal to younger children, which this book is geared towards. Which child hasnt announced at one time or another, "Im bored"!! There is opportunity to have discussions about the customs of that time, how people dressed and lived, and about how God was explained to be three persons. After the story there is a biography of St. Patricks life, which is informative. I can see teachers not only reading this story to students, but using it as a springboard for other activities in Language Arts, Drama, Religion, and Fine Arts. I thought the illustrators cover was enticing.....saw potential to ask children what might be happening in this story. However, as I continued to read this story, I was disappointed in the minimalistic approach and similarity from one page to the next. Also, I would have loved to see St. Patrick dressed more like a bishop, the way he is depicted in icons. I would definitely recommend this book to teachers in the Elementary Panel where I taught for 30 years.
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