our little tiny St Lucia wrap

Benedetto di Bindo. St. Lucy. ca. 1410. Institute of Art, Minneapolis.

Today the Church celebrated the feast of St. Lucia. This day is an extremely popular day in Scandinavian countries, Sweden in particular. A full quarter of my heritage is Swedish so I have been enjoying getting to know some of the customs celebrated. Growing up we didn’t celebrate, but I’m wondering if my grandmother had any customs she celebrated. I meant to call and ask, but.. chaos here the last few days. She reads the blog though, so maybe you could share some thoughts if you have a minute?

Anyways, I found this bit over at CatholicCulture and especially enjoyed the following:

In the liturgy of the Church, Saint Lucy has held, and still holds today, the inspiring position of a saint whose very name reminds the faithful at the middle of Advent that her own “light” is only a reflection of the great “Light of the World” which is to start shining at Bethlehem on Christmas Day. It is as if she would say: “I am only a little flame in Advent showing you the way:

Behold, the Lord will come And all His saints with Him, And on that day There will be a great light. Alleluia.

I love that we get to celebrate things like this in the Church!

I had plans to be just a teensy bit more organized and pull off the whole St Lucia “parade” with our Lucia bread this morning, but…. it didn’t happen. So I made the bread this afternoon (and it almost didn’t rise… second time this week my dough has had a hard time rising, thoughts?). And we ended up inviting my parents over for dessert and coffee.

The kids had a great time though. They were jumping up and down, rushing through baths so they could “run downstairs and have Lucia bread”!

I did manage to get a little crafty a few days ago and attempt a crown. It needs a little lot of work but it turned out like this:

IMG_2827

I also realize that she isn’t wearing a white dress or a red sash, but that’s not something we own, and I didn’t think of it with enough time to even attempt making one. I’ve not ever attempted clothing either, so that sounded just a bit too daunting at this time. I’ll keep an eye out for something in the next year though, so maybe next year we’ll be “appropriately” dressed.

She wanted to wear the crown but she didn’t want to carry the bread (which incidentally turned out great!) :

IMG_2826

She did pass out the plates with slices of bread to everyone.

The kids had fun passing the crown around:

IMG_2825

We also have a few favorite stories we like to read:
Hanna’s Christmas by Melissa Peterson
Kirsten’s Surprise (American Girl (Quality)) by Janet Shaw
These books are pretty much “mommy, can you read this to me” over and over once they’re brought out or borrowed from the library. They love them so much.

And that’s going to be it for us from this Lucia Day.

I’m linking with Audrey Eclectic for her St Lucia Day Blog Procession

Advertisements

Feast of St. Andrew

Saint Andrew
Today was/still is the feast of St. Andrew.
Quick Facts:

  • Fisherman
  • Brother of Simon Peter
  • First a disciple of John the Baptist
  • After the Ascension of Jesus, he preached the Gospel in Greece, and in the areas around the Black Sea and beyond.
  •  Said to have been martyred on an X-shaped cross (that cross now known as  the “Saint Andrews Cross”)
  • Patron of: Scotland, Russia, unmarried women and fishermen.

In honor of fishermen, I decided to do a quick fish craft with the little ones this afternoon. Coffee Filter Fish Craft. It was very simple, and they turned out cute.

20131130-201028.jpg

For our meal tonight we had Swai Fish something. It started out using the recipe in Feast! by Daniel and Haley Stewart, but since I didn’t have any tahini on hand, I improvised sightly and added garlic. Still turned out delicious!

We didn’t get to reading about him in our books of Saints, the day got a little bit away from us. Tomorrow, maybe if I can find a few minutes I’ll read a little to the kids. I’ve found that trying to celebrate feast days on the weekends is much harder than doing it during the week. However, I was completely excited to be able to celebrate this feast with them by doing a little craft and having a special meal, doing special prayers and reading the gospel at dinner.

Collect:

We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Beginning today we start saying the Saint Andrew’s Christmas Novena (15 times a day until Christmas):

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

{Photo of the fish in the Advent Wreath is #30/365}

Little Holy Days {Blessed Teresa of Calcutta}

Little Holy Days (Green)

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta’s death. It’s currently acknowledged to be her feast day, so we will be remembering it.

Some quick facts

  • Born on August 26, 1910 in Albania
  • In September 1928 she joined the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, known as Sisters of Loreto in Ireland
  • She received the name Sister Mary Teresa after St. Therese of Liseux
  • She arrived in Calcutta in January 1929
  • In 1931 she was assigned to the Loreto Entally Community and taught at the St. Mary’s school for girls.
  • She made her final profession of vows in 1937 and from then on was known as Mother Teresa.
  • In 1946 she received her inspiration from Jesus to establish the Missionaries of Charity.
  • She died September 5, 1997
  • For more bio info see the mention on Catholic Culture

Food Ideas

  • I’m planning on using the Crock Pot Pineapple Curry Chicken Recipe from Catholic Cuisine
  • And attempting to make Naan (which I LOVE, but haven’t ever tried to make because it sounded too scary, but this recipe didn’t look too bad… we’ll see)

To Do/Read:

A Prayer of Mother Teresa

Dear Jesus, help me to spread Thy fragrance everywhere I go. Flood my soul with Thy spirit and love. Penetrate and possess my whole Return to being so utterly that all my life may only be a radiance of Thine. Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel Thy presence in my soul. Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus. Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as you shine, so to shine as to be a light to others.

There are so many quotes that I could put into this post, but I wanted to share this one which appeared in our parish bulletin a few weeks back which I cut out and put above my sink, because it really speaks to things that I’ve been thinking about/trying to improve recently:

People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;
FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
BE KIND ANYWAY.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
SUCCEED ANYWAY.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
BUILD ANYWAY.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
BE HAPPY ANYWAY.
The good you do today people will often forget tomorrow;
DO GOOD ANYWAY.
Give the world the best you have. It may never be enough;
GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU”VE GOT ANYWAY.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and GOD;
IT WAS NEVER BETWEEN YOU AND THEM ANYWAY.

Little Holy Days {Feast of St. Gregory the Great}

Little Holy Days (Green)

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Gregory the Great.

Some quick facts about him:

  • Born in Rome in 540
  • Before becoming a Benedictine monk he was a senator and prefect
  • Elected Pope at age 50
  • When he saw English children being sold as slaves in Rome he sent 40 monks to convert England
  • He kept close watch over the holiness of the clergy and maintained Church discipline
  • He did much work to develop the Church’s music
  • Gregorian Chant is named for him
  • He died in 609 and his body lies in St. Peter’s in Rome
  • He is the patron of: choir boys; educators; gout; masons; music; musicians; choirs; singers; stonecutters; teachers; popes; students; scholars; against plague; against gout; against fever; England; West Indies

To Do:

  • Coloring page with the kids
  • Listen to some Gregorian Chant (note, I haven’t, as of the writing of this post, listened to any of the recordings on this site. I found the link through Catholic Culture.) I did find a few CDs of Gregorian Chants at my parents house which I’ve borrowed indefinitely, and I’ll be playing those tomorrow.
  • Since he is the patron of masons, and that happens to be something that Jared does for work, I’m going to see if we can do a very simple project tomorrow. (That will all depend on if Jared feels better, as I have no skill whatsoever in masonry)

Collect

O God, who care for your people with gentleness and rule them in love, through the intercession of Pope Saint Gregory, endow, we pray, with a spirit of wisdom those to whom you have given authority to govern, that the flourishing of a holy flock may become the eternal joy of the shepherds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Little Holy Days {St. Monica and St. Augustine}

Little Holy Days (Green)

Coming  up on August 27th (tomorrow) and August 28th (Wednesday) are the feasts of St. Monica and St. Augustine respectively. (I think I should try to do these things…. um…. sooner than the day before).

St. Monica was born in Tagaste in North Africa, she was the mother of St. Augustine and two others. She is known for unceasing praying for her husband and son to convert which both did. More on her from Catholic Culture.

St. Augustine also born in Tagaste, died in Hippo, thus known as St. Augustine of Hippo. He was a Bishop and is one of the doctors of the church. (More on him from Catholic Culture)

I am combining them, or the meal portion at least, because it’s just a teensy bit easier. I don’t have a specific recipe I’m going to follow, but I’m thinking something with chicken and chick peas.

To Do with the kiddos:

Coloring pages, St. Monica’s and St. Augustine’s

Collect for St. Monica’s Memorial

O God, who console the sorrowful and who mercifully accepted the motherly tears of Saint Monica for the conversion of her son Augustine, grant us, through the intercession of them both, that we may bitterly regret our sins and find the grace of your pardon. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Collect for St. Augustine’s Memorial

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord, that spirit with which you endowed your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for you, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek you, the author of heavenly love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

A Prayer to St. Monica:

Exemplary Mother of the great Augustine, you perseveringly pursued your wayward son not with wild threats but with prayerful cries to heaven. Intercede for all mothers in our day so that they may learn to draw their children to God. Teach them how to remain close to their children, even the prodigal sons and daughters who have sadly gone astray

(For more ideas of things “TO DO” Sarah @ Two O’s Plus More has put together a much more hands on post for these two feasts! Go check it out!!)