Patron Saints for Kids, pt. 1

Catholics have a thing for saints. If you didn’t already know that, now you do. We loooooove the great big ol’ Communion of Saints, of which, we are all a part by baptism! Woot! And we really love the saints who have paved the way and finished the race as St. Paul says, who have made it to Heaven. Why do we love these dead folks so much? For so many reasons! Shall we take a quick tour of saints before I talk about my kids’ patrons? Ok.

Numero uno: They’re not dead. They have experienced physical death, but we believe in an immortal soul (CCC 366). The holy men and women and children who have gone before us are already in Heaven, living in perfect love and joy with God.

Numero dos: The saints have lived and loved in all walks of life, during all kinds of crazy periods of history, experiencing just about everything under the sun. Mothers? Check. Innocent children? Check. Soldiers? Check. Queens? Check. Atheists? Check. Sinners of all kinds? Check. Fathers? Check. Athletes? Check. Healthy? Yes. Sick? You bet. Any kind of person you can imagine, can be a saint. All that is required is a deep faith and trusting in God, turning one’s life over to Him, and loving Him as best as each can. That means that for every single one of us, there is likely to be a saint we can relate to in some way. The stories of the saints are also incredibly inspirational, showing us how simple it can be to follow Jesus, and how it is possible for anyone to experience the amazing love and mercy of God, and have their life completely transformed. The saints’ stories can help us on our own journeys.

Numero tres: Since they’re not dead, that means they can still intercede for us, just as our family and friends do here on earth. The bonus is that they are *right there* with God, and they are already made perfect (hence their residence in Heaven), so their prayers added to our prayers basically make super-charged prayers. If you ever wanted to have some prayer warriors on your side, the saints are the warriors to call.

Numero cuatro: Did I already mention their stories? (see #2) The saints’ stories can be inspirational even to children! As parents, sometimes we feel at a loss as to how to best show or explain or model Christ-like living to our children. Our culture is certainly not filled with heroes, when the headlines are plastered with young stars’ mug shots, stories of the latest school shooting, and when the people who *do* show us the best of humanity aren’t given much notice. Reading through the saint’s lives can not only bring our Church’s rich history alive for our young ones, but also show them people who (often as children themselves) grew in their relationship with Jesus. The saints can show us how to live. Sharing those stories with our kids gives us more (and better) examples than we find in the media of how to live as loving, faithful people.

In short, the saints are awesome because they’re able to add to our prayers and their stories can inspire us and give us courage to do great things.

pope-francis-to-young-people

This year, my kids have patron saints. My plan is to read stories of their lives with them, listen to “Glory Stories” about them (if there is one for their chosen saint), and invoke their patron’s intercessions.

My oldest (9yo, Chickadee) has chosen St. Catherine of Sienna. Sweet Pea, age 7, chose St. Therese the Little Flower. There is a “Glory Story” audio story about her. Little Man, age 5, chose St. Michael the Archangel. The Comedian, age 4, chose St. Martin of Tours.

As we learn about each of them, I’ll post back with how and what we’re reading and doing. My hope is that through the year, these saints will become special friends, who pray for my children, and inspire them to a life of childlike faith and holiness, and that in turn, my little someday-saints will dream of great things and learn to use their gifts in great ways.

 

{joining the amazing bloggers with Jen for 7 Posts in 7 Days}

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