A tale of a little girls mystic night voyage with an angel and the lesson of Divine Love she learns.
A sick girl named Helena is taken by an angel on an ancient sailing boat far over the waves. Their destination: three cities that glow as if blessed of God - one Jewish, one Christian, one Muslim. Helena comes to realize that all these people believe the same divine law - to love God and their fellow man. Saying goodbye to the angel, and returning to her bedroom, she looks at the three gifts from the three cities; they have become a single gleaming gold disk. On one side are these words: ONE GOD, MANY VOICES, ONE PEOPLE. On the other side, a glimpse of heaven. Text is provided in English, Arabic and Hebrew. Paul Harbridge is a speech-language pathologist who works with adults with developmental disabilities in Toronto. He has had several short stories published. A Roman Catholic, Paul feels that the death of his daughter Helena has set him on a spiritual journey. Helenas Voyage is a loving tribute to her. . . and to all the children of the world. A beautiful little book, utterly charming in its simplicity. Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
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"Helena's Voyage" is a sensitively written children's book that deals with a very relevant theme: the oneness of three major religious faiths, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. ..... It is enriched by gold and gray illustrations and and completed by Hebrew translation by Yoav Shafir and Arabic translation by Hanaa El-Kashef. It is a profound gift for all children and adults. ~ James A Cox, Children's Bookwatch, Midwest Book Review
Younger readers might recognise the signs and symbols, holy buildings, holy books and some teachings of Judaism, Chirstianity and Islam. Older pupils may use this book as a springboard for interfaith discussion and enquiry into questions of life and death. Helena's Voyage is a simple yet profound story which focuses on some key concepts, practices, lifestyles, beliefs and teaching of the three Abrahamic faiths. ~ Lisa Kassapian, RE Today
Helena's Voyage is very well done. I would like to see it placed in as many primary school libraries as possible, for it is indeed an olive branch to peace. ~ Huston Smith, Author THE RELIGIONS OF MAN
A beautiful little book, utterly charming in its simplicity. ~ Rabbi Harold Kushner, Author WHO NEEDS GOD?
This is a little simple story which can help children to be more loving and open to those who are different. ~ Jean Vanier, Founder of L'Arche, bestselling author
HELENA'S VOYAGE can only help to bring Jews, Muslims and Christians together in a spirit of love and peace. ~ Sidney L. Shipton, THREE FAITHS FORUM
This charming story is disarming in its simple but powerful message: to see our world through the eyes of both an angel and a child. I recommend its perusal by everyone. The llustrations have a charm and innocence to captivate our hearts. ~ Fr Thomas Francis, Author ANGELS, OUR GUIDES TO CONTEMPLATION
Will be effective in educating the young to love God and their neighbors not only in the context of their own religion but of all the religions which God has revealed to humanity. ~ Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr, author THE HEART OF ISLAM
'I thoroughly enjoyed the story and your subtle way of conveying a very powerful message. Truly, it's the children and the view of the world we give them that will guide the future. I hope this becomes an elementary school reading requirement!' ~ Lynn Johnston, Creator, FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE comic strip.
Your story gives us the hope and vision we desperately need. This story of the power of love accomplishes with grace and ease what thousands of hours of lectures on fear and logic cannot. ~ Brenda Naomi Rosenberg, Imam Abdullah El Amin, Rev. Barbara Clevenger, RE-UNITING THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM
In the great tradition of those mystical narratives that tell us about mysterious and enlightening night-journeys, HELENA'S VOYAGE is a luminous work that will delight every child to whom it is read â€“and move to tears every adult who does the reading. The lovely but sickly Helena is granted an angelic guide for her nocturnal and clairvoyant voyage, and what she sees and understands of the Children of Abraham will resonate with all in our universe, from the youngest to the most hardened. Love is clearly the guiding hand â€“the astrolable â€“in this touching story at once about one childâ€™s search for answers, and at the same time about our own despairs, and hopes, in a universe of searing conflicts among Abrahamâ€™s offspring. ~ Maria Rosa Menocal, Author, Director of the Whitney Humanities Centre and R. Selden Rose Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Yale University
Helena's Voyage is powerful because it reveals that we are not alone, or exclusive, in our quest to know God. By realising that adherents of the major faiths share more in common than they think, we find the wisdom to guide us, one act at a time, to tolerant choices on the personal, local and international levels. ~ Sharon J. Doyle, counsellor and lecturer of an interfaith spirituality course at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia
This book tells us that the destination is often the voyage itself; that wisdom is to be found from recapturing innocence; that there is meaning in everything, even loss. I heartily recommend HELENA'S VOYAGE to every child, and to every parent, who has ever asked: Why is there so much fighting? Why can there be no peace? Why do we make war in the name of God? The reasons can take a lifetime to understand. The answer can be found in this simple, beautiful book. Well done, Paul. ~ John Ibbitson, Prominent Canadian author, TV commentator, and journalist