• "Everything is a grace, everything is the direct effect of our Father's love—difficulties, contradictions, humiliations, all the soul's miseries, her burdens, her needs - everything, because through them, she learns humility, realizes her weakness - Everything is a grace because everything is God's gift. Whatever be the character of life or its unexpected events—to the heart that loves, all is well."
  • - St. Therese of Lisieux

Monday, June 6, 2022

Celebrating The Feast Of St Anthony Of Padua As A Family

 

St. Anthony is one of our (many) favorite saints. Because it was the temporary last name the social worker gave our son while his adoption was being processed. You see, he was left by his birth mom at the Church of St Anthony of Padua. This is why St. Anthony is very special to us; and we celebrate his feast every year! 

I would like to share with you the activities we have done through out these past 6 years. I have another post here and I shared one activity we did when our son was still 2 years old. Of course more activities may be added as our son grows or our family for that matter. I will definitely share them in this blog with you. 

Read About St. Anthony

There are many books about St. Anthony for children of all ages. Here are some of the ones we found online.

From Internet Archive:

32 pages

Beahn, John Edward, 1910-1990
264 pages

by O'Brien, Isidore
52 pages

by Farnum, Mabel
182 pages

by Regnier, Celestine
36 pages

There are some books here that we have not read yet, so we're very excited to
read some this year.

And here are some of the books we have read through the years.


Make sure you are reading age appropriate books for your children. If you have older and younger children, I suggest that you read a loud the ones for younger children and then encourage your older children who are already readers to do some quiet time reading on their own.

After the read a loud, you can ask your older children to narrate back or share their favorite part of the story. If the little ones want to narrate back, let them. 

Arts and Crafts

Drawing or making a painting of St. Anthony would also be a good extension activity after a read a loud. My son would prefer drawing comic strips or a favorite scene in the story. I guess boys' drawings are more action based.

I have made a coloring page for children who prefer to color or paint. You can find it in the My Friends, The Saints page.

Games at Home

For the very young, you can try the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua Activity on my previous blog post about St. Anthony.

Hide and seek with the whole family (inside the house- yep we did it during the lockdown) is always a good idea. Let the littlest ones hide where they want, you will surely laugh and giggle when you ‘find’ them.

Do you have something you need to find for the longest time? Pray this short prayer to St, Anthony and get the whole family finding that item. 

Dear St. Anthony, please come around: something is lost, and it cannot be found.

You can even offer a prize for the one who can find it. Why not do a little tidying up and cleaning as you play? I’m sure the older kids will be game about it, especially when there is a prize.

Try this scavenger hunt games I found on Pinterest.




Outdoor Games

Of course outdoor hide and seek! Just make sure the little ones don’t get left out.

Nature scavenger hunt

Here are our favorites:




Food

If its the feast day of a Franciscan/ Capuchin saint, I make myself a hot mug of sugar free cappuccino. One - not sugar free for the husband and a warm mug of hot chocolate for our son. We usually drink these in the morning.

This year we will try making St Anthony's Bread. Because St. Anthony loved the poor and shared bread with them. We will use the recipe from Rosella's Cooking With Nonna. We will make more than the usual and share with friends, family and the people who work in the car wash in our building.

There are more bread recipes on the internet, and you may chose the best one you can make with your family. 


More bread recipes for the feast of St. Anthony here and here

If you wish to prepare a main course, there are more recipes here


Further Readings




I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to celebrate this feast with the family. If you have more activities or ideas on how to celebrate this beloved saint's feast day, please share them in the comments. Also, do share how you celebrated. 

God bless you!






Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Celebrating The Feast Of The Visitation

 


We always make an effort, as a family to celebrate Liturgical feasts. Most of the time, the activities can be very simple and its okay. The main goal is to remember the solemnity, memorial or feast with love and devotion so our children will continue the tradition when they have grown and have a family of their own. Of course by doing this we become one with the vibrant life of our Holy Catholic Church.

So here are a few ways to celebrate the Feast of The Visitation of The Blessed Virgin Mary.

Read A Louds

Read Lk. 1: 39-47 with your children. For the very young, you may read from your favorite children’s bible. You can also ask your older children to narrate back the story so the younger children can hear it in a simpler way. Don’t forget to ask the littleest ones if they too, want to narrate back. We usually read together as a family in the evening before prayer so Tatay (Daddy in Tagalog) can join us. And even if my son and I have already read and narrated earlier during Morning Basket/ breakfast, we will read and narrate again - maybe even better, for the sakr of Tatay.

A few years back when we celebrated the feast of the Visitation, I showed our son some pictures of his Tatay and I at Ein Karem - a Catholic Church in Jerusalem where, tradition says, Mary recited her Magnificat. I told him about the long uphill climb and how his lolo (grandfather) braved every step even though his knees were hurting. He then asked if Mama Mary’s tummy was already big that time. I told him probably not yet. Then he said, “Good. She did not have a hard time like lolo.”





Reading a loud many stories with your children helps them process their thoughts and emotions. Telling stories and experiences of people whom they know makes it personal. 

So read and tell stories surrounding this event in the life of our Mother. Share your own personal experience with visiting a pregnant woman or a mom who just gave birth. This will bring the bible passage to life for your children.

You may want to listen to some more:

The Visitation of Mary

Music and Movement

What better way to express the joy of this event with songs and dance!

Magnificat - Mary ‘s Canticle by Bukas Palad

Learn any one of these versions

Magnificat by Hangad, Ryza Martizez

Magnificat - Holy is His Name by Robert Kochis

A song for winding down, sitting on the floor with the littlest and rocking or cuddling.

All That I Am by Arnel Aquino, SK

I have also made a printable of the Magnigicat to post for a few week on the wall of our homeschool room. We will sing or recite it probably for a week after the feast before we begin our prayer to start our homeschool.

I am sharing the printable with you, and you can download it here:

Magnificat Printable

Celebrate with Food

I am not good at baking cakes, especially from scrap. But this recipe from catholicculture.org seems easy to do, so I might try it this year. 

Heart cake

Or we might make heart shaped cookies with blue icing, Mama Mary’s color. Then decorate the cookies as an afternoon activity.

Arts and Crafts

 For children who love to paint and color, they can work on this coloring page while you continue to talk about the story. 

Other Activities

If Covid restrictions in your area allow it, you can visit a pregnant woman or prepare a meal for her family. If not, maybe a Zoom call  ould lift the spirits up of the expectant mother. Modelling love for neighbor, denying ones self or charity towards others will greatly impact your children and the way they respond to the needs of others. 

Go to mass if you can or attend an online mass. This day is not a Holy day of obligation but if you can attend mass as a family as many times in a week as possible, it will always be a good idea.

I pray that some of these activities will help you celebrate the feast of the Visitation.
If you know of a homeschool parent who might need this, please share this post. 

God bless you.


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