Joëlle d’Abbadie, Etienne Lelièvre, Odile Haumonté Magnificat • Ignatius

Illustrations by Joëlle d’Abbadie Storyline by Etienne Lelièvre Text by Odile Haumonté Original French edition: Ismaël, le Berger de Bethléem © 2010 by Editions du Triomphe, Paris Under the direction of Romain Lizé, Vice President, Magnificat Editor, Magnificat: Isabelle Galmiche Editor, Ignatius: Vivian Dudro Assistant of the Editor: Pascale van de Walle Layout Designer: Elena Germain Production: Thierry Dubus, Sabine Marioni © 2014 by Magnificat USA LLC, New York • Ignatius Press, San Francisco All rights reserved. ISBN Ignatius Press 978-1-58617-987-8 • ISBN Magnificat 978-1-936260-95-9 The trademark Magnificat depicted in this publication is used under license from and is the exclusive property of Magnificat Central Service Team, Inc., A Ministry to Catholic Women, and may not be used without its written consent. Scripture quotations have been taken from the Revised Standard Version of the Holy Bible, Second Catholic Edition, © 2006 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved. Printed by Tien Wah Press, Singapore Printed on July 2014 Job Number MGN 14013 Printed in compliance with the Consumer Protection Safety Act of 2008.

Magnificat • Ignatius Translated by Janet Chevrier Joëlle d’Abbadie, Etienne Lelièvre, Odile Haumonté ISHMAEL The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem

2 It had not stopped raining since they left Jerusalem. Ishmael shivered and pulled his cloak tighter. This shepherd boy was used to long days of peace and solitude with only his family and his animals for company. It was hard for him to bear the chatter and laughter of all these strangers traveling to their native villages for the census because Emperor Augustus had decided to count the whole population—every man in Israel had been ordered to go with his wife and children to be enrolled in the town of his ancestors. Ishmael felt grumpy. Even the frolicking of his dog, Kalil, so cute with his wet whiskers and boundless energy, could not make him smile. He did not want to go to Bethlehem. He had liked staying in Jerusalem in spite of the crowded, narrow streets of the Holy City. He had marveled at the beauty of the Temple, with its gold-studded façade of white marble that sparkled even in the chilly gloom of winter. Ishmael was not Jewish, but he was a son of Abraham. And, like everyone else, he too was awaiting the coming of the new Elijah, the Messiah, who would free them from the Romans.

4 “ Look, Ishmael! There’s Bethlehem!” Hearing his big brother shout, the boy looked up. On the horizon, he could make out the first houses of Bethlehem, perched upon the hillsides. He could just see the twisted black trunks of the olive trees, their silvery leaves fading into the background of the gray sky. The town’s population seemed to have doubled in size: everyone who had come for the census in this city of David had searched among relatives for a place to stay—at a cousin’s, or an uncle’s, whom they may never even have met before. Others found refuge in the village hall that hadbeen transformed into a makeshift dormitory. There, women were cooking, children were playing. The last to arrive took shelter in the many nearby grottos—caves built into the cliffs—that normally housed humble families or their animals. Ishmael and his family passed the village and found a pasture, which the heavy rains had blanketed with thick green grass. There they pitched their tents. They were so used to their canvas houses, they could make themselves at home anywhere!

6 As evening fell, Isaac stood at his door. Unlike Ishmael, Isaac was a Jew. He was born in Bethlehem, like his father and his father’s father before him. Usually, his days followed the same routine: in the morning, after ritual prayers, he would go to the synagogue for lessons with the rabbi. There he studied the Word of God and the tradition of the elders. Then he would go back home to help his father, who worked as a stone mason. If he had free time after work, Isaac would lead the other boys his age out to play on the hillsides. Energetic, fair, and loyal by nature, he would make a fine leader, if only he did not enjoy lording it over everyone quite so much. The only person who could restrain his pride and make him see sense was his sister, Jemina. Two years younger than he, she was pretty, with long brown hair and hazel eyes, and was always cheerful. Her big-hearted nature had a soothing influence on her big brother. Isaac’s routine had been turned upside down by the arrival of all these people for the census. It was bitterly cold, but the rain had stopped. Isaac could hear bleating in the night and spotted campfires in the distance. “More shepherds!” he thought. “Thieves and bandits, no doubt, just like the rest of them.”

Ishmael , the Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem Ishmael is a shepherd, a handsome boy of thirteen who knows how to be gentle and kind, but is not afraid of putting up a fight to protect his sheep. Along with the other shepherds in his family and their flocks, he arrives in Bethlehem. Crowds are pouring into the town to obey the command of EmperorAugustus: he has ordered a census to count all the people of his empire. Ishmael is worried. Wandering shepherds are not always welcome in villages. What might lie in store for him in Bethlehem? A beautiful Christmas story of peace and reconciliation, brilliantly illustrated by Joëlle d ’Abbadie, with text by Odile Haumonté, based on a storyline by Etienne Lelièvre. Ishmael, the Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem