A Tale of Hope

Theological Insights


Some Useful Rumination

on the Picture Book for all Ages,


-This original fable treats of various Sacraments:

Baptism: in its use of water as metaphors for it.

Reconciliation: the tale’s very theme concerns penance,

and explores "purpose of amendment."

Holy Communion: presented through several allusions.

Confirmation: the villagers seek and find the Holy Spirit.

Holy Orders: the council ministers learn "royal wisdom."

Matrimony: in its royal wedding, allegory for Divine espousal.

-Our story takes place in eternity, when all acts "happen" at once, and all "time" is present. It spans the three salvific eras:

Old Testament: God, The Father ; Creation:

"Fiat Lux." ("Let there be light!")

New Testament: God, The Son; Redemption: "Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum!"

("Be it done unto me according to thy word!")

Coming Era of Peace: God, The Holy Spirit; Sanctification:

"Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in Coelo et in Terra."

("Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.")

-The cover: one angel is of stone, another of spirit, with Mary, of flesh, between:

Our Lady both human and all of Divine Will bridges the material world and heaven.

Jesus, the Lamb of God, in the midst of it all: He is All in All.

-The linen title banner suggests Jesus’ swaddling cloth,

His "seamless garment," The Holy Shroud, and The Sudarium.

-In the end papers, Our Lady is urging us to pray The Rosary.

-Dependent on the scene, the "village" variously suggests Earth,

Eden, Nazareth, Fallen Nature, The Divine Will Kingdom.

-"Royal Wisdom": God’s law written on the heart, the Ten Commandments,

Holy Scripture, the Catechism, all that God consigns to His Church through

Tradition and the Magisterium and approved private revelations that help make

the other means explicit.

-The fountain-top angel: The Holy Eucharist, source and summit.

-The Latin words, "Ecce Ancilla Domini" mean "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord."

-Mary’s being amid grapes and lilies recalls her paradoxically sweet titles,

"Fruitful Virgin," and "Virgin and Mother."

-Doves’ cooing: The Holy Spirit’s presence; the mutual love of

The Trinity, Mary, and God’s people.

-The clockface without hands: our story’s spanning several eras.

-Difficult waiting periods: people grew impatient for the Messiah;

we await His Second Coming.

-Theatrical masks: while fallen man yearns for God and tends toward happiness,

he is subject to sin and misery.

-The villagers’ indifference to the royal birth signifies minds veiled by worldliness,

heresy, and sin.

-The Prince is refused his seat: people refute Jesus’ Kingship.

-The beating and ransacking treat of the misuse of God’s gifts,

even to defrauding The Creator.

-The mob’s attack and the mayor’s kick of collusion:

Jesus died at the hands of all races, creeds, and classes.

-The coach scene: a Pietá.

-The rebellion, accusative talk: sin brings blindness, even to not recognizing guilt.

A conscience cannot be cultivated except through moral care and intellectual honesty.

-The deformed apple: an allusion to original and actual sin.

-The Wedding Feast of Cana stained glass transom signals a moment

in the tale when Mary is about to act as advocate.

-The Queen enters chambers: sinless Mary, fully human, but all of Divine Will,

acts as Intercessor, Advocate, and Mediatrix.

-Mayor going into the castle symbolizes entering into prayer.

-The Queen offers the apple to her Son: the new Eve, Mary gives all,

and leads everyone to Jesus, the new Adam.

-The Prince regards the deformed fruit: Jesus freely assumed the material, and took on sin.

-The Son passes the offering to the Father:

the Persons of the Trinity are of one inseparable essence, their Divine Will.

-The King dresses the fruit: while we creatures experience Earthly dramas,

the Father’s Will and plan are operating.

-Carving away the decayed flesh: God alone has the power to forgive sins

and to delegate the power to absolve.

-The peels appear in five crimson pieces: Christ’s major wounds.

-The worm: God vanquishes the demon. Satan, a creature,

has no power to compare to the Creator’s good.

-The Son slices wafer-thin wedges: Jesus in The Holy Eucharist.

-The Queen herself arranges the fruit: The Blessed Mother supplied the flesh for Jesus’ Incarnation. She wrapped Him in swaddling, prefiguring His True Presence in the host.

-She places the transformed fruit on a golden platter, signifying The Eucharistic Feast,

just as she placed the fruit of her womb in a manger, from which creatures eat, foreshadowing It.

-The Son’s urging his father : Anamnesis during the Mass.

Despite the repugnance of sin, and the knowledge that many would remain

"travelers," Jesus desired to accomplish Redemption.

-The bridge’s being rebuilt suggests our need for confession

and penance, and it invites entrance into The Kingdom.

-The Queen’s accompaniment: God gave Himself through Mary.

Lesser graces also pass through her, highest honor of our race.

-The Queen Mother serves kneeling: in perfect imitation of  Her Son, Mary is a servant.

-The Queen entrusts the gold to the mayor : the choice of doing good rests in our hands, subject to our free will.

-The mayor brings the gold to the people: a good governor does good for the common good.

-The villagers return the gold to The King: good constituents desire of the greater good, that is, the good that is in conformity to the ultimate Good.

-Confidence allows The King to restore the gold: all depends upon our disposition.

Trust is the key to God’s mercy.

-The King refits the gold faucets: God will restore the fallen world.

He affords us golden means, such as Baptism.

-The King awaited villagers’ assent: conformity of human will to the Divine

makes up for what is "lacking" in Redemption.

-Travelers refresh themselves without price: without exception,

all are offered grace for initial and continuous conversion.

-Art derived from da Vinci reclaims this Catholic artist.

-Back Cover : the moon during daylight stands for Mary,

reflecting the light of her Son’s sun.

-The Latin words "Fiat Voluntas Tua" mean "Thy will be done."

-The flowers three roses: Mary as flower of The Trinity.

In the vase: lilies for her purity, roses for modesty and for martyrs, violets for the Kingdom of Heaven and Mary’s humility, marigolds for glory, and evergreens to symbolize eternity.



Author: Josephine Nobisso

Illustrator: Katalin Szegedi

Publisher: Gingerbread House

Trim Size: w 8" × h 11½" w/ Dust Jacket (hardcover only)

Pages: 32, Full Color Illustrations

Ages: All (A "Cross-over" Picture Book for Both Children and Adults)

Hardcover ISBN: 0-940112-19-1

Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-940112-19-3

Hardcover Price: US $17.95 / CAN $26.95

Paperback ISBN: 0-940112-21-3

Paperback ISBN-13: 978-0-940112-21-6

Paperback Price: US $9.95 / CAN $14.95  

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