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THE WEIGHT OF A MASS by Josephine Nobisso


A Tale of Faith

by Josephine Nobisso & illustrated by Katalin Szegedi

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-940112-09-4
Publisher: Gingerbread House

A lovely Catholic parable with a message of faith that can be read with pleasure and understanding by those of any religious background—or none. In a faraway land, a king and queen are about to marry in the city’s cathedral, even though most of the populace no longer attends mass. A poor old woman begs for bread at the bakery that has prepared the royal wedding cake. In return, since she has no money, she offers to hear the evening’s mass for the baker. He rejects her offer, writes the words “one mass” on a tiny piece of tissue paper, and places it on his scale to show her how worthless it is. He discovers that not all the sweetmeats in his shop can balance those words. He and the town find their hearts turned, and all go to attend the nuptial mass in the cathedral, having learned the weight of a mass. The watercolor illustrations depict a city part medieval, part Victorian, and wholly beautiful. In a postscript, the author tells of the scrap of historical story that led her to write this original folktale. (Picture book. 4-8)