This afternoon we continued our Saintly Summer Fun with a story, coloring pages, a craft, snacks and games for today's feast of Saint Maria Goretti! We invited a few families to join us, and when everyone arrived I realized we had twenty children kids ages 12 and down at our home! I am pretty sure that everyone had a great time and will sleep well tonight, especially me! ;)
It didn't occur to me until I started planning the afternoon, how challenging it might be to teach children about this saint, who was a Martyr for Purity. Thankfully there is a great story, appropriate for young children, written by Mary Fabyan Windeatt. I also decided to focus on forgiveness, teaching the children about how St. Maria forgave the young man that killed her, and later appeared to him in prison, which led to his conversion. I also shared that St. Maria died in 1902, and her mother was present at her canonization in 1950, the first time a parent was present for a child's canonization!
~ Saint Story & Coloring Pages ~
Originally I planned on reading the story out of the St. Maria Goretti Coloring Book. However, due to it's length, at the last minute I opted for the short story from A Holy Card Prayer Book.
It was a little difficult to find coloring pages for St. Maria Goretti. Even though I do have the St. Maria Goretti Coloring Book, I haven't asked the company for permission to copy any of the pages so I went on a search to see what I could find elsewhere. I was also able to find this illustration (though not technically a coloring page) at The Catholic Illustrator's Guild, as well as an option on my Faith Keepers Holy Card Maker Collection from Catholic Artworks.
~ Craft Time ~
As a craft, all the children made Handprint Lilies! I just love handprint crafts, and all the lilies turned out so pretty. They are simple enough to make, though most of the children needed a little bit of help at some point. Here are the directions:
- White Card Stock
- Green Card Stock
- Hole Punch
- Green Plastic Straw
- Yellow Pipe Cleaner
Have the children trace their hand onto a piece of white card stock and cut out the shape. Cut two double leaves from green card stock and punch holes in the centers where the leaves meet.
Curl the paper fingers and leaves by wrapping them around a pencil.
Wrap the hand around the top of a green plastic straw and secure it with tape. Slide the leaves onto the straw and tape them in place. For the flower's stamen, fold half of a yellow pipe cleaner in half and curl down the ends. Insert the folded end in the straw.
~ Games ~
.: Forgiveness Tag :.
.: Forgiveness Tag :.
I had a hard time deciding on a game for this saint. I ended up modifying the traditional game of "Freeze Tag" - with the person that freezes you symbolizing sin, which freezes/cripples us and the person that un-freezes you symbolizing the priest in confession, forgiving us and giving us the grace to fight sin.
When we were done they all begged to play Blind Man's Bluff again from last week, they enjoyed it that much! :) I also wanted to make up a Crossword Puzzle, but just didn't have the time. Perhaps next year!
~ Snack Time ~
St. Maria Goretti's Flames of Forgiveness Cupcakes
As I was trying to come up with a snack for the children I decided to focus on tying in the lily, the symbol for St. Maria, and the vision Alessandro had of Maria, leading to his conversion:
"While in prison for his crime, Alessandro had a vision of Maria. He saw a garden where a young girl, dressed in white, gathered lilies. She smiled, came near him, and encouraged him to accept an armful of the lilies. As he took them, each lily transformed into a still white flame. Maria then disappeared. This vision of Maria led to Alessandro’s conversion, and he later testified at her cause for beatification." ~ SQPN
I posted the details over at Catholic Cuisine.
~ Group Photo ~
I tried to get a picture of all the kids, but 14 of 20 was the best I could do! ;)
Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth,with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.
Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us!