Celebrating Your Patron Saint
Another great thing you can do as a family is to celebrate the Patron Saints of your family members. When you named your children, you probably chose names for them that were saint’s names. These saints are now the patron saints for your children. Look up these saints on the Internet to find out when their feast day is celebrated and what they accomplished in their lives. Then you can celebrate this as a family.
For example, my son’s name is Justin. When I Google “Saint Justin,” I find out that his feast day is on June 1st. I also learn that Saint Justin is considered to be the greatest Catholic Apologist of the first century. Saint Justin wrote several apologies to the Roman Emperor defending the Catholic Faith. We learn from his apologies that the Catholic Church believed that the bread and wine really and truly become the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus at every Mass even back in the year 150 AD. We also learn from Saint Justin that the Mass that was celebrated back in the year 150 AD was the same as it is today, as Saint Justin describes the Mass in one of his apologies. We learn that the Catholic Faith then is the same as the Catholic Faith today! What we believe and what we practice has not changed. What a great gift Saint Justin has given to us!
So on June 1st, we allow our son, Justin, to choose his favorite meal for dinner and we make a big deal about the fact that this day is Justin’s Feast Day. At dinner we discuss what Saint Justin did and why he is such a great saint. We encourage our son to have a special devotion to Saint Justin and explain that Saint Justin will especially watch over our son. It is good for Justin to ask Saint Justin to intercede for him.
This is a great way to teach your children about the lives of the saints. They are great role models for our children especially in a world where good role models are hard to find. Our children feel very special on the feast day of their Patron Saint. They look forward to that day almost like a birthday. As with the anniversary of their Baptism, you can give a religious gift to your child: a saint medal; a Rosary; a prayer book; a religious story book; a holy card; or a cross necklace.
There are great religious books available at www.loyolapress.com. Click on “catalogs” at the very bottom of the page and then “store”. Their children’s books are outstanding!
Keep in mind that sometimes you have to improvise. Our daughter’s name is Caitlin and there is no saint Caitlin. However, Caitlin is derived from Catherine. So we celebrate the feast day of Saint Catherine. You can also use your child’s middle name if it is the name of a saint.