by S.L. Hansen
Learn about the saints and try activities to help you remember their stories or develop virtues. You can find a saint and activity each day of the month at www.TodayWithTheSaints.blogspot.com.
November 1: All Saints Day/November 2: All Souls Day
All Saints Day is one of the oldest feasts in the Church, starting in the fourth century. On Saturday, we remember all the saints in heaven, the ones whose names we know (canonized) and the ones known only to God. All Souls Day was added in the10th century to remember any Christian who has died.
Activity: Even though All Saints Day is not a holy day of obligation this year, it’s a good idea to go to Mass on Saturday. This weekend is also a time to visit the graves of loved ones, bringing flowers. Don’t forget to feast with a special meal or dessert.
November 7: Saint Willibrord
Saint Willibrord began studying for the priesthood when he was still a small child in 7th Century England. He became a missionary to the Netherlands. People threatened to kill him, but he bravely continued his work. Then a new ruler undid everything Willibrord had accomplished. When that ruler died, Willibrord started all over again.
Activity: After Willibrord was made a saint, his bones were moved to a place of honor. Thousands of people including bishops and priests danced with joy. Today, put on some lively music that praises God and dance!
November 14: Saint Lawrence O’Toole
Lawrence became the Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland in the 12th century. While celebrating Mass one day, he was struck unconscious by a mentally ill person. When he woke up, he blessed some water and washed his head wound with it. Immediately, he was healed and and completed the Mass.
Activity: To keep himself humble, Saint Lawrence O’Toole wore an itchy undershirt that would remind him to trust the Lord and pray. Try this by tying a piece of wool yarn around your wrist or ankle. Every time you feel the itch, say a prayer!
November 24: Vietnamese Martyrs
From the 1500s to 1866, Catholic missionaries taught the people of Vietnam about Jesus. Many believed in Him, even though Christians were treated badly and sometimes even killed. In 1988, Pope Saint John Paul II canonized 117 Catholic bishops, priests and lay people who were martyred in Vietnam. Their faithfulness enabled Christianity to grow in a country where the Lord was not welcome.
Activity: Sometimes, it is hard for us to realize just how many saints have died for Christ. Make a chain of paper dolls using as much paper as you need to make 117 figures for today’s martyrs.
November 30: Saint Andrew
Saint Andrew was Saint Peter’s brother. Andrew became a disciple of Saint John the Baptist, but when John announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God, Andrew chose to follow Jesus, the first of the 12 Apostles. Initially, Andrew and Peter kept their jobs as fishermen, but when Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men,” they left their boats and stayed with the Lord.
Activity: Enjoy a fisherman snack using fish-shaped crackers, small stick-shaped pretzels and peanut butter or cream cheese for bait. Dip one end of a “fishing rod” into the bait and “catch” a fish to eat.