SAINT CORBINIAN'S BEAR
Lenten Companion for Bearish Humans
by Tim and Kathryn Capps
Illustrated by Ragan Black
for download at Amazon
Ash Wednesday Eve
The Bear breaks out of the four corners of your screen tomorrow (if you are reading his today, February 12th) and rampages into Amazon in ebook format just in time for Lent. The price will be $9.99.
The paperback version will be available a few days later. If you would prefer an autographed paperback copy let the Bear know. We're working out a way to get paperback buyers in on the fun (Lent, fun?) starting Ash Wednesday.
Maybe you’re not learned. Maybe you’re not holy. Maybe you’re not even entirely human. That’s okay. A 1300-year-old talking bear is here to be your daily companion during Lent.
In the early 8th Century a Frankish hermit named Corbinian traveled to Rome be near the relics of Saint Peter. A pious tale relates that a bear killed his pack horse as he crossed an Alpine pass. God had plans for him, because the bear was miraculously tamed and served as a replacement beast of burden all the way to Rome. There Corbinian freed him and the bear was never seen again. Corbinian was sent to bring true Christianity to the Germans. He founded a Benedictine Monastery in Freising, Bavaria, and became known as Saint Corbinian.
Saint Corbinian’s Bear survives to this day on the papal coat of arms of Pope Benedict XVI, who was ordained in Freising and, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, served as Archbishop of Munich and Freising.
This Lenten Companion imagines that the story missed one detail: the Bear was granted the ability to talk. The Bear was so intrigued by Saint Corbinian that he followed him all the way to Bavaria where the two became fast friends. Many years later, Saint Corbinian was moved to share Lent with the Bear- perhaps to protect the local pony population. In 40 stories that follow the authors’ own Lenten experiences and rhythms, the sincere, but simple Bear learns one lesson after another. Sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, but always memorable, together they form a grand adventure.
A Bear begins Lent, but what kind of creature shall see its end?
The authors draw in part upon their experience as Benedictine oblates to transmit timeless truths for all Christians in this charming story. The tales are told with deceptive simplicity. After each chapter, the authors ask questions designed to help you think about the lessons the Bear has learned. They are not always the right ones. Bears sometimes serve best as bad examples.
You may be surprised to find much of yourself in the Bear. But that’s okay. If a Bear can make it through Lent and learn a thing or two, you can, too.
This is a Lenten Companion unlike any other, designed for even the most Bearish Humans.