Sunday, July 24, 2016

Celebrate St. Anne with Breakfast Al Fresco This Week

In 2012, I recommitted our family to celebrating our name days and baptism anniversaries.

Shortly thereafter, I kicked off our family tradition with our first celebration of St. Anne, a plant-strong, gluten-free, casein-free "Saint Tea".  ("Saint Tea in quotes, because, as much a I love tea, my children do not.  Thus, our "teas" have developed more into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners through the years.)

Since our first St. Anne "tea", we've enjoyed celebrating St. Anne every year on July 26, the feast day of Saints Joachim and Anne, grandparents to Jesus.  Some years our celebratory meals have been more elaborate and some they have been super simple.  However they have turned out, we have enjoyed sharing faith through food.

Last year was no exception.  On St. Anne's feast day, our family enjoyed a beautiful breakfast al fresco. 

The children helped me to prepare and lay out a simple meal, and, then, we all gathered to pray, chat, and celebrate.

After we all prayed grace, Daddy led us in a prayer.

Then, I focused the children's attention on an image of St. Anne that I had printed out, and we chatted about what we already knew about St. Anne.

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We also read two brief readings about Saint Anne, one from the sweet little book Prayers to the Saints (which sells used for as little as 53 cents) and the other from the classic Picture Book of Saints (which sells used for just a penny).

Credit: Amazon

After that we were more than ready to dig in and enjoy symbolic eats.

St. Anne is typically depicted in wearing green (for rebirth or immortality) and red (for love), so both our table decorations and our food reflected that symbolism.

Green beans, a gift from a friend, reminded us of the gift of grace we receive from Jesus.  The seeds within the beans reminded us of Mary in St. Anne's womb, and, in turn, Jesus in Mary's womb

Red raspberries reminded us of the heart of Jesus - so big and so loving for us.  They also reminded us of the Fruits of the Spirit. 

Coconut-fruit smoothies also reminded us of the Fruits of the Spirit as well as the sweetness of God's love.

Gluten-free pretzels reminded us of prayers St. Anne offered, asking for a child even in her late age.  They also reminded us of the Holy Trinity

The hummus the pretzels were dipped in (which added protein to our meal) was brown - an earthy color, and reminded us of the incarnate Jesus, St. Ann's son, coming from the havens to be with us on earth.

Watermelon and tomatoes reminded us, again, of the Fruits of the Spirit, as well as the seeds of faith within us

Herbs reminded us how something seemingly small - like prayer - can result in big changes - like Mary's birth, and, in turn, Jesus' birth.  For, just as a bit of herb can change the entire flavor of a dish, St. Anne's persistent prayers, when answered by God, changed the world.  Mary was born unto Saints Anne and Joachim, and Jesus to Mary.

The round shape of choc
olate chip cookies reminded us of God's eternal love.  The chips in them reminded us of many small prayers answered as well as of the sweetness of answered prayers.

It truly was a lovely breakfast - simple to prepare, delicious, and focused on faith.  I look forward to celebrating St. Anne al fresco again this year and encourage you to consider celebrating saints al fresco with whatever is in your garden, fridge, and pantry, too.  Doing so truly is a tradition that brings fond memories and time spent together celebrating faith.
May your Saints Joachim and Anne day be filled with faith and grace!


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