Contrary to popular belief, Hallmark (nor the local pub) did not canonize St. Patrick. There is so much to love about this Irish man. He was imprisoned but escaped to tell people about Jesus – an evangelizer in the truest sense. Perhaps he’s most famous for using the shamrock to illustrate the Holy Trinity. The word is still out if he’s actually responsible for banishing all snakes from Ireland!
As we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Patrick, I pray these activities bring both you, and your children, closer to Christ.
1. Use a kid-friendly rendering of St. Patrick. I found this gem at Happy Saints. Victor has created fantastic, and affordable, saint ebooks full of prayer cards (big and small), note cards, coloring sheets, flyers and stickers. I printed up prayer cards, laminated them and attached to my children’s backpacks. They also make great bookmarks, or, put together on a ring, as a quiet activity for small children during Mass.
2. Craft an inexpensive, fun-filled treat. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, surely the same is true for children. My children love a fun treat and this can be a great segue way into teaching them about the real saint behind the legend of St. Patrick. Here, I used marshmallows (clouds), colored twizzlers (rainbow) and rolos (pot of gold) all put together in Ball jars I had in my garage.
3. Bust out the crayons. I did a quick Google search and found lots of coloring pages, but many of them were secular. Happy Saints had one that I loved and there are certainly more online, you just have to be willing to dig a little. As your children color, read them a short bio on St. Patrick or share a St. Patrick prayer.
4, Attend Mass. Yes, St. Patrick was a priest and what better way to honor his generous and loving heart than by attending Daily Mass? If that proves to be too much of a challenge with little people in tow, perhaps a decade of the rosary or a family recitation of the St. Patrick prayer is an opportunity to pay homage to such a holy man.
5. Boldly, and lovingly, share your faith with others. Encourage your children to write a note of gratitude to someone, invite a friend to a parish event, gift away a religious book you love. St. Patrick was an evangelizer and as we prepare our hearts for the Easter celebration, it seems fitting to honor his example by bringing others closer to Christ.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Kathryn is the mother of five and in another life wishes she was Irish. She’s working hard to show her children that folks like St. Patrick, St. Valentine and St. Nicholas were real live people – all canonized by the Catholic church and not by Hallmark. You can read more about her family’s shenanigans at Team Whitaker or find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram.