Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday And Saint John Paul II With Kids

Blessed Pope John Paul II is being canonized this Sunday, April 27, 2014! They are canonizing him on Divine Mercy Sunday because he is the one who established Divine Mercy Sunday. Here is a round-up of my ideas for celebrating the Divine Mercy, along with some ideas for celebrating (almost) St. John Paul II! :-)

Over the past couple of years, I’ve posted a lot of ideas for teaching your kids about Divine Mercy. Divine Mercy Sunday falls the Sunday after Easter each year.  Here are some ideas for celebrating this feast with your family!

My personal favorite- Make and eat Divine Mercy “Sundaes”

Make a Divine Mercy Jesus Craft (Free to Download!)

Craft your own Divine Mercy medals with kids.

Make a tie dye Divine Mercy t-shirt

Make this Divine Mercy Novena Counter to use with kids!

Craft your own easy Divine Mercy Chaplets with kids.


Here’s a round up of Divine Mercy ideas I did a few years ago.  It includes more food ideas, a craft, and some printables. Here’s another round-up with St. Faustina ideas and printables along with Divine Mercy stuff. :-)

I also love this little Divine Mercy Ring Booklet download (which is free!) from The Diary of a Sower. It has directions on praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and 9 days of prayers for the Divine Mercy Novena.

Since Blessed John Paul II established Divine Mercy Sunday and is being canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, here are some things you can do with kids to celebrate him as well.

Crafts for Blessed John Paul II

saint john paul ii craft for kids

Make a Pope Hat Craft

pope craft for kids zucchetto

Teach your kids about the Pope.

teach your kids about the pope

You can find templates for making the JPII paper bag puppet above in my Saint Puppet Ebook.

Also, you can find a really cute round-up of JPII crafts, activities, and printables here.

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Mary Magdalene And The Red Egg

Eggs are a long symbol for Christians at Easter, and for good reason! The outside resembles the rock of a tomb, and then new life springs forth as a baby bird! But did you know why we decorate eggs at Easter time?


mary magdalene and the red egg


It is said that Mary Magdalene met with Tiberius Caesar after Jesus’ resurrection, and she was carrying an egg. She proclaimed to him “Christ has Risen!” He scoffed at her and told her that was as unlikely as the egg in her hand turning red. Then a miracle happened- the egg immediately turned red right there in her hand!

So as you’re dying eggs and having Easter egg hunts this year, remember where this great tradition started. Make Easter about the Lamb, not the bunny! :-)

Find all of my Christ-Centered Easter posts here.

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Story Of The Passion Lunch- Symbolic Lunch For Good Friday

I designed this Good Friday scripture lunch to tell the story of the Passion to kids. They receive one food at a time, and each is symbolic to a part of the Easter story. After receiving each item, there is scripture to read that goes with it.

easter story lunch for Good Friday

This is very simple to put together. The most complicated thing is making the crown of thorns, and actually boiling the eggs. Nothing too crazy for a busy mom to pull off. ;-)

Shopping List:

  • Olives
  • Peppermint Patties (These are for Judas’ “silver”, so if you want to wrap something else in silver foil, that would work as well.)
  • Hershey’s Kisses (for the “kiss” from Judas) I got the dark chocolate ones because they are purple, the color of Lent.
  • Cheese cubes (we sliced up cheese sticks)
  • Plastic Cocktail Swords (depending on how many boys you have, you might find enough plastic swords among your action figures that you don’t need the cocktail swords)
  • Eggs (and then hard-boil them)
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Regular Pretzels
  • Big Pretzel Rods
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips

The meal is also served with a glass of water.

Setting Up The Meal- Put each type of food on a different plate, and set them up in the middle of the table like serving dishes, including the glasses of water. Everyone will begin with an empty plate. When it’s time for a certain food, you pass that plate around and everyone takes one of the items. As the plate goes around, you read your kids the scripture that goes with that food. (You’ll be eating when everyone else is finished- lol.)

Before beginning, put 3 bookmaks in your Bible: On in Luke chapter 22, one in John chapter 19, and one in Matthew chapter 27. (I really tried not to skip around too much, but not all the Gospels have all the different parts represented, so this was the best I could do.)

scripture lunch for Good Friday- great for Lent

I think it’s best to read the scripture straight from the Bible to your kids so they see where it’s coming from. We read our scriptures from my giant wedding Bible as we went.

easter story lunch for kids- great for good Friday!

Begin by explaining to everyone that each part of the lunch stands for a piece of our Lord’s Passion, and we’ll receive each item while listening to the scripture. Tell them if they don’t like something, they may quietly (and politely) set it to the side, but not to disrupt the readings for everyone else by making a big deal out of it. Tell them they will receive their water at the appropriate time, and if they are thirsty that it is an extra Good Friday sacrifice to wait patiently for their water. If they receive any food that they have given up for Lent, they may also make the sacrifice of placing it to the side rather than eating it.

Olives- these are symbolic of Jesus’ agony in the garden (at the Mount of Olives). Scripture- Luke 22: 39-46

easter story lunch- agony in the garden

Hershey’s Kiss- this is symbolic of the kiss of Judas. Scripture- Luke 22: 47-48

easter story lunch- judas' kiss

Sword With Cheese- To stand for Jesus’ arrest. Scripture- Luke 22: 49-54

easter story lunch- arrest of Jesus

Hard-Boiled Egg- symbolic of Peter’s denial. (Yes, I know that cocks don’t lay eggs, but we can’t eat chicken on Good Friday, and this meal needed a little protein.) Scripture- Luke 22: 55-62

easter story lunch- peter's cock crowing

Silver Peppermint Patty- Judas’ 30 pieces of silver. Scripture- Matthew 27: 3-8

easter story lunch- judas' silver

Ritz cracker with peanut butter and broken pretzel bits around the edge- symbolic of the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head. Scripture- John 19: 1-3

easter story lunch- crown of thorns

Water- for when Pilate washes his hands. Scripture- Matthew 27: 22-25

passion symbols lunch- water for pilate washes his hands

Pretzel Rod Cross- symbolic of the crucifixion. Scripture- John 19: 17- 19

easter story lunch- crucifixion

Salt and Vinegar Chips- for when they offered Jesus vinegar to drink. Scripture- John 19: 28-30

easter story lunch- vinegar

Have a moment of silence after announcing the death of Jesus for everyone to reflect.

Find More Lent and Holy Week Resources for Catholic families here.

scripture lunch to teach the Easter story on Good Friday

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Crown Of Thorns Bread

Baking a crown of thorns out of bread is fun and easy. It’s great for serving with dinner on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday.

crown of thorns bread how to

You do not have to make homemade bread to do this! You can just get the Pillsbury breadsticks from a can and put them together the way I do the cinnamon rolls for St. Lucy bread.

Ingredients Needed:

  • Bread dough (your favorite recipe or Pillsbury breadsticks from a can)
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • 1 egg

Make your favorite bread dough recipe, separate into 3 equal pieces, and roll into 3 ropes.

how to braid bread

Braid the dough together, and shape into a circle. Pinch together at the end. Don’t worry- it seriously doesn’t have to be perfect.

braided wreath bread

Beat one egg, and brush across the top of the bread.

braided bread

Bake according to dough directions.

how to bake a crown of thorns bread

Once it’s all baked, stick pretzel stick in the bread all over to be the “thorns”, poking out at different angles. They will easily go into the bread while it is still warm.

crown of thorns bread

crown of thorns bread how to

This is great to serve with meatless soup on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. We served ours with pea soup.

good Friday or Ash Wednesday dinner

Just slice off pieces of the bread and serve.

eating crown of thorns bread

eating crown of thorn bread

 Find More Lent and Holy Week Resources for Catholic families here.

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