How To Celebrate Saint Feast Days With Kids

Years ago I set out on a journey to start living the Catholic faith at home and make it fun for my kids. I would later learn that this concept is called living the liturgical year at home. All this means is that we are celebrating holidays and holy days with our kids, but days from the church calendar rather than the secular calendar. I have a post all about how to get started living liturgically with your kids, but today we are going to talk specifically about how to celebrate Saint feast days with kids

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What Is A Saint?

A saint is simply anyone who is in heaven with Jesus. That’s it. When the Catholic church “canonizes” an official Saint, they are just saying that after thoroughly researching this individual and noting miracles, etc, that they are sure this person is indeed in heaven with Jesus.

What Are Saint Feast Days?

A Saint feast day is simply a day that is designated to celebrating the life of that Saint. It is very often on the day that they died, but not always. Some Saints have more than one feast day. For instance Mary, who is queen of the Saints, has many feast days year round under multiple names and devotions. St. Joseph also has several. You can also celebrate a Saint on the day of an important event of their life or on their canonization anniversary. 

Which Saint Feast Days Should We Celebrate?

A really great place to start is with your family’s own patron Saints. You can even create a “Litany Of Saints” just for your family, and I have a printable page to help you with that here.

My original concept behind Catholic Icing was that if I was randomly in the mood to make cookies, I could look for an upcoming feast day and make them for that rather than just making something random and cute. This would basically be killing 2 birds with 1 stone. If I can make it “Catholic”, why not? I call this concept “Weaving The Faith”. So under this concept, celebrate any Saint feast day that you randomly have the energy for! 

What Saint Books Should I Start With?

When you’re starting to teach your kids about the lives of the Saints, I suggest starting with a Saint picture book treasury that includes a lot of short stories you can read together. This will give you a good starting place and then you can add to your library of Saint books over the years. I think this Picture Book Of Saints is a good beginning Saint book for Catholic families. I will mark the Saints below that have stories from this book.

I also recommend having a good children’s Bible available to read from, as it will also include many stories of the Saints. Although I have many children’s Bibles, The Jesus Storybook Bible is my favorite (you can read my post about my favorite Catholic children’s bibles here.)

Who Is My Patron Saint?

Really, you can choose who your patron Saint is! It can be any Saint that you have a special connection or devotion to. If you already have a favorite, you can run with that! And you can encourage your children to build some special Saint devotions as well. Here are some places you might start to figure out who the special Saints are to your family:

  • Confirmation Saint- If you are a confirmed Catholic, you would have taken on a Saint name at the time of your confirmation. Mine was St. Cecilia, so she is my patron saint! 
  • Birthday Saint- Look up a list of Saints who’s feast day is on your birthday. There will be several. Pick the Saint that is the most well known or that jumps out at you.
  • Name Saint- if you are lucky enough to have a Saint that you share a name with, this is definitely a patron for you! If not, you can choose a Saint that has a name that is close to your name. So my name is Lacy, which there is unfortunately not a Saint Lacy, so I grew up with a special devotion to St. Lucy. Close enough. 😉
  • Choose Based On Patronage- If you have a certain talent or struggle in life, or a specific career etc, the patron Saint that is the patron of that thing is also one of your patron Saints. So for instance, if you’re an artist, you may have a special devotion to St. Luke. Musician- St. Cecilia. If you’re a cancer survivor, you may consider St. Jude a patron of yours. 

There are no “rules” for this and there is no limit to the number of patron Saints your family can have. Our family likes to choose a patron Saint for each year at our home in January. This is usually based on a current stage of life or family event of that year. 

Celebrating Your “Name Day”

This is a tradition that many Catholic families love! On the feast day of the Saint that is your child’s “name” Saint (so the Saint that shares their name or close to their name) celebrate the day with your child! A fun and simple way to do this is to bake a cake (or dessert of your choice), and sing to them! You can even light candles. Here is the song that I know many Catholic families to use. You will laugh at the simplicity haha.

Tune Of “Happy Birthay” Song

Happy feast day to you,

Happy feast day to you,

Happy feast day, dear (your name here)

Happy feast day to you!

It’s as simple as that, and kids will never forget this tradition! We like to decorate the top of the cake with the shared name. 

You can even decorate!!! Check out this idea for “Liturgical Scrabble” where the letters can easily turn into a beautiful feast day celebration.

Planning A Feast Day Celebration

So how does one go about planning a Saint feast day celebration? Well you want to incorporate learning about the Saint. Sometimes we have a video, sometimes we have a picture book about that Saint (or a page of a Saint treasury book that is devoted to them at least.) If not, definitely tell your kids about the Saint or do some internet research. 

Plan activities based on the Saint’s patronage or aspect of their life:

For instance, St. Anthony is the patron Saint of lost objects, so you might plan a scavenger hunt. St. Cecilia is the patron Saint of musicians, so you might make some musical instruments or some kind of feast day food that looks like musical notes. Be creative in making connections and have fun with this part of planning your feast day celebrations! 

Plan activities based on worldwide traditions:

The Catholic faith is far spread, and there are different traditions for feast days all over the world! Sweden has a lot of St. Lucia traditions, France has some interesting ways they celebrate St. Nicholas day, different foods and traditions take place all over the world! Find some that appeal to your family. 

Plan activities based on Saint artwork imagery:

St. Agnes is depicted holding a sheep, so you can celebrate with sheep crafts or activities. St. Catherine is often pictured with a wagon wheel, so you could make wagon wheel shaped pasta to go with dinner. Your creativity is your only limit! 

Make a craft of the actual Saint:

I have a printable Saint Puppet Ebook that has templates to help you make any Saint into a paper bag puppet with your kids. I don’t know why kids love paper bag puppets so much, but they sure do!

Look up the specific Saint

There are a lot of resources now available online for celebrating Saint feast days, so search for ideas of others! Why re-invent the wheel? I would encourage you to start right here and type the name of the Saint into the Catholic Icing search bar at the top of this site. I have tons of great resources for Catholic kids here!

There are a lot of Generic Saint craft resources for kids, and I have several here. Check out these ideas to get your started:

Saint Feast Days Month By Month

 

Be sure to check out other posts in my series How To Pass On The Catholic Faith To Your Kids! 🙂

Comments

  1. I would LOVE to see a July and August page like your “Saint Feast Days in June” page…it’s great!

    • Hi Allison!

      The June saints post is brand new and the first one so far. Lacy is working on more for the future. We’re so glad to hear that you love it! 🙂

      Angie, Catholic Icing Project Manager

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