Sunday, April 28, 2019

20 Simple Ways to Learn and Celebrate with St. Catherine of Siena

Saint Catherine of Siena's feast day is April 29 - tomorrow.

If, like me, you're in a busier-than-expected, with-a-few-curve-balls-thrown-in season of life, then perhaps one of the quick and easy ideas I've brainstormed for my own family to celebrate St. Catherine this year or in years to come will resonate with you.

Watch a Fast and Fun Biography

If you and your family are unfamiliar with St. Catherine of Siena's story, this snappy biography provides a fast, fun overview of her life that could lead you on plenty of bunny trails for research, conversation, etc.

Watch a St. Catherine of Siena Animation

Looking for some time to snuggle up with your kiddoes with some popcorn? Or, perhaps you need to employ a "video babysitter" while you get a few things done. In either case, this free animation could work on St. Catherine of Siena's feast day!

This one could be good, too:

Copy and Decorate a St. Catherine of Siena Quote

Many rich and meaningful quotes are attributed to St. Catherine of Siena - some of which are collected on GoodReads.  Choose one to copy beautifully and, then, decorate it, perhaps with symbols of St. Catherine, such as a heart, a cross, a ring, stigmata, or a lily.
Enjoy a Picture Study

Iconography and artworks related to St. Catherine of Siena abound. Choose one or two to study or look for common symbols among a handful.

Create Your Own Artwork or Color a Free St. Catherine of Siena Printable

After studying famous artworks related to St. Catherine of Siena, create your own. Or, if you prefer, simply paint or color a free coloring page:

Enjoy a Poet-Tea Inspired by St. Catherine of Siena

St. Catherine of Siena was the granddaughter of a poet, and her life has inspired poets since.

Enjoy a Poet-tea by setting some tea and treats on the table and reading poetry inspired by St. Catherine's life and works:

You might even try to write some of your own.

Balance Prayer and Service

St. Catherine's life was a balance between prayer and service.  It seems Jesus sent her on missions of mercy through her times of contemplative prayers.

Consider what the balance of prayer and works of mercy is like in your life. Are you taking time to pray? Are you doing the works that God wants you to do and not the ones that are your will alone?

Pause and pray for some moments today. Ask our Lord to let you know who and how He would like you to serve next and, then, act on it.

Write and Encouraging Letter

Although St. Catherine was neither wealthy nor well-educated, she wrote influential letters.

Think of someone you know who could use advice or encouragement and, then, write them a friendly letter.

Read about St. Catherine

There are many brief biographies about St. Catherine available for free online.  You could also read a selection from one of these books:

Have a Stigmata Snack

Prepare a stigmata snack, which can be almost any food with five sliced tomatoes or strawberries placed atop it in the shape of stigmata.

While eating it, recall what stigmata are and that St. Catherine was one of the saints that suffered stigmata. Perhaps, recall other saints that have suffered stigmata.

Pray for and Write to a Nurse or Firefighter

St. Catherine of Siena is patron of nurses and firefighters, among other people and things.

Pause and pray for any nurses or firefighters you might know, or, if you do not know any, for those that live within your community.

Write a letter of thanks of encouragement to them. Or, drop some healthy snacks off to you local fire department or nurse's station.

Perhaps begin making a habit of praying an Emergency Vehicles Prayer.

Bake Bread for the Poor

St. Catherine had a huge heart for the poor and was said to have baked bread daily for the poor of Siena. Take her lead and make some bread to share with the poor in your community.

Or bake some bread to give to someone who is poor in spirit and might just need a lift.

Make and Invisible Rings Dessert

Recalling St. Catherine's mystical marriage, make a dessert with "rings" in it.  Pineapple upside down cake like that on Catholic Cuisine could be a fun choice.

Pray the Collect

Pray the Collect:

O God, who set Saint Catherine of Siena on fire with divine love in her contemplation of the Lord's Passion and her service or your Church, grant, through her intercession, that your people, participating in the mystery of Christ, may ever exult in the revelation of his glory. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, on God, for ever and ever.

Enjoy and Italian Meal
St. Catherine of Siena was from Italy, so it's a perfect day for Italian cooking, particulary anything from the Tucany region.

Do a Heart Craft

St. Catherine was said to have had an exchange of hearts with Jesus. Recalling this, create a heart-shaped craft and talk about how we can turn our hearts toward Jesus.

Do Extra Cho

As a young child, Catherine had a vision of Jesus and decided she was called to serve Christ in a way besides marriage. So, she began isolating herself in her large room to pray. Her parents did not understand this and wanted her to marry and have children, but Catherine was adamant about her call. Thus, Catherine cut off her hair to prove that she didn’t want to get married. (All girls then had long hair.)

Catherine's actions made her parents angry, so Catherine was made to do all the chores in her home. Like Catherine, quietly do extra chores in your own home

Invite the Holy Spirit to Move You and Those Around You

One day after Catherine's parents had begun having her do all the chores in the household, Catherine’s father saw her with a dove resting on her shoulder. He took that as a sign of the Holy Spirit, and, henceforth, allowed Catherine to pursue her goals.

Pray that the Holy Spirit might move you and your loved ones closer to your calls.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. 

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Counsel Leaders for Peace 

St. Catherine of Siena was an advocate for peace, and, as such, wrote letters to royalty and popes.

Call, write, or otherwise contact a community or political leader with suggestions for peace. Alternately, think about one problem that you believe exists in the Church and suggestions for dealing with it.  Then, write to Pope Francis with your ideas.  You might do similarly with local priest and bishops, too.

Hop on an Historical Bunny Trail

Some of St. Catherine's siblings died due to the plague.

St. Catherine played a role during the Great Western Schism in Church History.

The Avignon Papacy is not something everyone recalls.

As you read about St. Catherine, hop down any bunny trail that strikes you to learn more about history.

Chat about the 

St. Catherine of Siena is one of the incorrupt saints, however, the story of her remains is macabre. For those who like this sort of thing, it can make an interesting bunny trail.

St. Catherine of Siena, pray for us.


Related Posts with Thumbnails