For all of you that are the rule following Catholic but you CAN NOT seem to be on top of all of these Feast days and celebrating them with your kids. Well, I’m here for ya!
Pray: A Peace Prayer (of Saint Francis)
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Remind your children of the story of creation. When God was creating all the wonderful things of the earth, He made sure to make all of the animals too, because God loves every bit of his creation.
“Then God said: Let the earth bring forth every kind of living creature: tame animals, crawling things, and every kind of wild animal. And so it happened: God made every kind of wild animal, every kind of tame animal, and every kind of thing that crawls on the ground. God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:24-25 (NABRE Edition)
A little story about St Francis.
Saint Francis was a friar, a “brother” belonging to a religious order but he didn’t live in a monestary. He lived among the people, helping and feeding the poor and relying on the charity of others for anything he needed.
Saint Francis was born in Italy in 1182 – that’s more than 800 years ago! He grew up with a lot of money and his father wanted him to become a business man and continue living a wealthy, abundant life.
When he was 19 he went to battle against another nearby country and was held prisoner for a year. His dad paid his captors a lot of money and they released him.
When he got home, he began to have visions of God telling him to help the sick and to heal some issues in the Church.
Saint Francis gave all of his money to the Church which made his father really, really mad. He left his fathers home, took a vow of poverty, began preaching and eventually created a religions order with the same vow of poverty, known as the Franciscan Friars.
There are many stories about Saint Francis and his love of animals. He would aparently speak to them about Jesus and even showed the ability to calm wild animals. This is why he has become our most well known Patron Saint of Animals.
Bless: Gather all your pets, stuffed animals, some Holy Water and go outside into God’s beautiful nature. Say the blessing over your pets and sprinkle each one with Holy Water.
[Make the sign of the cross]
“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired Saint Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”
[Make the sign of the cross]
Eat: Animal Crackers!!! And spaghetti (or any other Italian dish for dinner!)
- Take a walk around the neighborhood and point out all the awesome animals, plants and flowers you see in nature.
- Go to a local zoo
- Visit a local animal shelter! Snuggle and bless the pets there!
- Make peanut butter, pine cone bird feeders!