Silent as a Stone

Jim Forest
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Silent as a Stone memorializes the life of Mother Maria Skobtsova, an unconventional nun who aided Jewish people in occupied France during WWII. Confronting the horror of Nazi brutality, Mother Maria devised an ingenious plan to save Jewish children destined for extermination camps: upon her urging, Paris garbage collectors hid children in trash cans and whisked them to safe havens outside the city.

For her courageous rescue activities, Mother Maria perished in a gas chamber in Ravensbrock concentration camp in Germany in 1945. Today, she is among the "righteous gentiles" honored in Israel and a canonized saint in the Orthodox Church.


About the Author: Jim Forest is secretary of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and editor of its journal, In Communion. He is a recipient of the Peacemaker Award from Notre Dame University's Institute for International Peace Studies. He is a prolific writer of inspirational, historical, and biographical books, most recently of The Wormwood File: E-Mail from HellSilent as a Stone is his third children's book.


About the Illustrator: Dasha Pancheshnaya was born in Moscow, Russia and holds a BFA in Illustration from the Fashion Institute of Technology. Influenced by Russian artists of the nineteenth century, masters of the Italian Renaissance, and Art Nouveau, she currently is a student of the Prosopon School of Iconology.

3 Reviews

  • 5
    Silent as a Stone

    Posted by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom on 10th Jun 2020

    Mother Maria is a saint of our day and for our day; a woman of flesh and blood possessed by the love of God, who stood face to face with the problems of this century.

  • 5
    Silent as a Stone

    Posted by Rachel Kamin, Director, Temple Israel Libraries & Media Center on 10th Jun 2020

    Silent as a Stone is an incredible resource for the Orthodox Christian community to learn about the heroic and courageous deeds of Mother Maria. Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press should be commended for bringing this story to light and honoring Mother Maria with such a beautifully illustrated and inspiring book.

  • 5
    Silent as a Stone

    Posted by Jenny Schroedel, author of The Blackbird's Nest: Saint Kevin of Ireland and The Everything Saints Bo on 10th Jun 2020

    In the spirit of Allen Say's Grandfather's Journey and Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt, Silent as a Stone conveys the hope and heartbreak of life in a bite-size form that children can manage. Stunningly illustrated and tenderly told, Silent as a Stone tells the story of three unforgettable lives and the countless lives they touched. Mother Maria, Yuri, and Fr Dimitri serve as examples to us all--and especially to our children--who must find the path of love through our broken world.