Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Getting Ready for All Saints Day

I honestly can't believe how fast October is flying by us, and how quickly November will be here.
With us preparing for another trip to Cincinnati with our youngest child we wanted to celebrate a little bit this week All Saints Day because we will not be here when our parish has their Saint's Day party.  We leave on October 31st and won't be back until November 6th. So we'll be gone for our annual Trick or Treating in our area ( which thankfully we are one of few areas that truly have fun with this time of the year before we get dumped on by an insane amount of snow) but we will be participating in the Trunk or Treat with a church that isn't to far from us before we leave.

This week I really wanted the girls to pick a Saint that they wanted to learn more about. More then what you just read in a book.
Katie was the first to chose the Saint she wanted to learn more about. This was Saint Maria Goretti.

 St.Maria Goretti was born in 1890 in extreme poverty. She was very young when she died at the age of 11 when her neighbor's son assaulted her for not giving in to his demands.  Young Maria was a very wise girl at the age of 11, as she had to take on the roll of being a parent to her brothers and sisters while her mother worked the fields. Maria's father had died when she was very young so she learned to keep the house and take care of her siblings. She also taught them at home, and she was taught at home by her mother and father too ( guess she was homeschooled , he , he ) and young Maria took the knowledge she had from their village priest and taught her brothers and sisters how to pray to our Heavenly Father.  Even though Maria was so young she was said to have a rich prayer life. More so than most adults have even to this day. The most beautiful part of Maria's life story was that even though she had been stabbed 14 times and managed to live long enough to get to the hospital to have surgery. Maria forgave her attacker and asked that he be in Paradise with her before she died.  Even those very words served well long after her death as her own mother was able to forgive the man who had killed her child and adopted him as a son of her own. Maria was made a Saint in 1950  after two miracles occurred after death. The day of her cannonization some 250,000 people attended and it was the first that a mother of a Saint attended their own child's ceremony.

Okay, now that I gave you a little recap of the story of Saint Maria Goretti and you may think to yourself. I want to learn more about this little Saint. I thought I would offer some ideas to help you along.

First, Katie read the story from the Stories of the Saints Vol. 1 from Catholic Heritage Curriculum.  We love these story books. They truly bring to life the stories of these Saints in a way that children can learn from and admire.  The stories are beautifully written and even my picky 14 yr old enjoys them as well.
Of course you can look up her story online, you can read it from another Saint book that you may have in your home.

Next, after Katie read the story, we decided to make a lapbook. This was a tricky undertaking since there really aren't very many Saint lapbooks out there at the moment to pull ideas off of , or to print out the little minibooks needed to create the lapbook that were free. So I jumped onto my trusty MsWord and created some of our own, and this is what we came up with:

We discussed about Maria's life, her death, where she lived. We talked about the corporal and spirtitual works of Mercy that Jesus had taught us when it comes to helping others who are less fortunate. We added a map of Italy and Katie labeled that , along with a prayer to Saint Maria and on the back was something I copied off of our A Year with God book ( which sadly is out of print but you can find on homeschool sale groups and sometimes ebay).  I hope that Katie learned a lot from making it. As I learned a lot myself putting this lapbook together for Katie.

I will also share the minibooks that I created as well of this lapbook. Just email me at so that I can send it to you. One day I will figure out how to get it up on the board here. Until then you'll have to email me for it.  Some of the minibooks  can be adapted for any Saint. So please feel free to use them ( not for profit) and if anyone comes up with any other great ideas to add to a Saint Lapbook. Please feel free to message me in the comments and I can add them .

Lastly, I had found a VERY good documentary on Youtube about Saint Maria Goretti. I HIGHLY recommend it. I watched it first to see the quality of the documentary, and its safe to say its safe for all ages to watch. It was very well put together and very well made that an entire family can watch it without the fear of words being used that parents aren't ready to explain to their young children about.
This is a 6 part documentary on the life of Saint Maria Goretti. The nice thing about this very one is that there are living people who knew her , interviews from her mother, and photos of people. I can honestly say when I watched it that it really help me to think of her as some one real and not so much of someone I heard about in a story.  I guess that's the beauty of video. It brings everything to life.  I definitely give this a 5 out of 5 stars for family watching.   Even if you are not Catholic I believe that you can absolutely take something away from this documentary. That there are youth in the world who want to live for God and not the things of this world, and there are youth out there who inspire to keep their purity until marriage, or to give it up to God.

With all of this said the other three are working on reading about a Saint of their choice , and to learn more about them, and I can't wait to share it here.
I would love to have others share : What are you doing for All Saints Day with your family?

Maybe next year I'll have time to actually make some Saint costumes, but for this year. I think learning about someone other than ourselves is definitely a good start.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This post touched my heart for many reasons! First of all, I graduated from St. Maria Goretti High School in Philadelphia, so she definitely holds a special place in my heart! :-) I have always wanted to find materials to help my children learn more about her, and now I have. I would love for you to email me with your materials. I will email you now. :-) How kind of you to share! The lapbook is beautiful. I am very impressed. I am going to bookmark your post so I can go back and watch the documentary. The movie that is shown on EWTN is beautiful, but the attempted assault is shown and I haven't been comfortable yet showing that to my children. Did you know that her murderer attended her canonization? Wow! God bless, Lisa