Children's Book Recommendations, Crafts & Creative Ideas, Liturgical Living

All Saints Day & Choosing Patron Saints (with Gift Guide)

The feast of All Saints Day is approaching (Nov 1), so I thought now was a great time to talk about saints and our family’s new(ish) tradition. We are blessed to be a part of the communion of saints – which include those holy men and women who have gone before us, who have truly “fought the good fight, finished the race, and kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7). The lives of the saints are so very different. They span the ages and countries and therefore have so much they can teach us in the ways of bravery, piety, humility, compassion, and virtue. 

For the past few years, each member of our family has chosen a saint to be our personal “patron saint” for the year. This means that we devote some time and energy to reading and learning what we can about this particular holy person and ask for their intercession throughout the year. On each saint’s feast day, that certain family member will share what he or she has learned with the rest of the family. We also come up with a special meal to prepare in their honor as a sort of celebration, thanking them for their example.  

We pick our “new” saints sometime in December. Typically, my kids pick saints they don’t already know much about. They might search patronage first; for example, my eldest picked the patron saint of athletes to be his patron saint his first year. Other times, the illustrations in a book will draw them to make a decision. Once they’ve made up their minds, I do a little shopping and I present the kiddos with a few gifts pertaining to their saint as we ring in the new year. This gets the kids excited to start their new adventure – learning all they can about this holy man or woman.

I thought now was a great time to showcase some of my favorite gifts and saints-related products. *I highly recommend these small businesses/products either because I have purchased from them myself or because I have successfully collaborated with them on Instagram (or both!). 😊  

GIFTS

(Some of these businesses sell more than what I’m noting them for, so be sure to check out their other great products! AND be sure to check out the discount codes listed with some of these descriptions!**) 

Charms/Keychains:
Tiny Saints sells the cuuuutest little charms that my kids put on their backpacks. I put mine on my wallet. 
Dolls:
Shining Light Dolls make both plush dolls and little hand-held dolls of the saints that are great for snuggles and imaginative play.
– If you are lucky enough to snag stunning hand-made dolls from MarekMade or Marzipantz, do a happy dance – these sell out in minutes when they’re made available. 😊 Their talented makers are a couple of my favorite follows on Instagram. 
MerytMade makes the most detailed and adorable wooden peg dolls and keychains of the saints as well. 
Prints:
Everyone’s artistic style is different and their interpretation varies as well, but here are some of my favorite accounts that create artwork of saints:
Jen Olson Illustrations (watercolor)
Saint Script (watercolor) **{currently items are 20%, but use code BELOVED for 10% off anything after 11/3}**
Kristyn Brown Photo (photography – The Saints Project)
Light Bearer Designs (watercolor)
Art by Ti Spark (stunningly realistic oil painting)
Glory Be Prints (digital prints with quotes) **{Use code CREATEDBELOVED20 for 20% off prints through 11/5}**
The Simple Saints (digital and color block) **{Use code BELOVED for $2 off of anything}**
Just Love Prints (digital) has created a series of “Sipping with the Saints” prints which is a perfect way to jumpstart your morning **{Use code HELLO10 for 10% off anything}**
Mugs:
The Little Rose Shop sells sturdy glass mugs that can be personalized with your patron saint’s name – a perfect way to enjoy your caffeinated beverage. **{Use code createdbeloved5 for $5 off when you spend $35}**.
Candles:
Ambience can be so important during our prayer time, and these candlemakers have nailed it in that department.
– Inspired by the saints and the desire to spread the gospel, Corda Candles created a collection a handcrafted scented candles (and even an unscented one, perfect for sensitive noses like mine) **{Use code CB10 for 10% off anything through 11/12}**.
Sword and Crown Candle Company also share the words and encouragement of the saints in their uniquely crafted candles. 
Holy Cards:
Portraits of Saints creates beautiful holy cards. This is where I purchase them each year for our family.
Accessories:
Be Still by Caroline creates beautiful one-of-a-kind beaded charm bracelets. **{Use code BELOVED10 for 10% off anything}**
Stella & Tide is where I personally get my patron saint medal (along with other delicate jewelry that I adore).
Hair Bows for Life creates beautiful bows with saint medals affixed to them and gives back 10% of each sale to the pro-life community.
Socks:
Are “crazy socks” your thing? Then rock your faith on your feet with Sock Religious’ colorful collection of saint-inspired footwear. They have kids’ sizes too!
Coloring Pages:
If your kiddos like coloring pages, Catholic Paper Goods is the place to go to download digital copies of saints for them to color. They also offer instant-download full-color Trading Cards (and are 25% through Nov 3rd**)! 

MONTHLY ACTIVITES

Catholic Family Crate is a monthly subscription box that believes we are “becoming saints, raising saints”. They take all the heavy lifting, thinking, and prepwork off your shoulders and package it all up in a nice little box that gets delivered to your door. In addition to other valuable faith-filled information and activities, they specifically include two feast day cards for saints that are celebrated that month. The cards have an image of the saint on one side and information and a story on the other. They also include TWO activities that coincide with those feast days that your family is sure to love.  

BOOKS

Here are some of our family’s favorite books on saints… 

Saints, Lives and Illuminations – This newer edition is a combination of the author’s two previous works, Saints and More Saints. It tells the stories of over 70 remarkable men and women who provide spiritual examples of our Christian faith from the very beginning of the church to present day. Each story is contained to one page, accompanied by a beautiful illustration which is also done by the author.  

Stories of the Saints – This new book is unlike any other I’ve owned. The stories of the saints inside focus on the bold and inspiring tales and the illustrations are more modern and edgy. If you have really small children, there may even be some that seem frightening, but overall, my kids love reading and hearing of these individuals’ adventure and courage.  

My Little Book of Patrons – This cute little book details 4 saints, Anthony, Cecelia, Elizabeth, and Joseph, and how they can help us in our daily lives. 

Sitting Like a Saint – This book’s purpose is twofold: to teach our children mindfulness while also teaching them about some important people of our faith. Learning about our feelings and growing in peace are lessons learned alongside the stories of virtue and love.  

Lives of the Saints, An Illustrated History for Children – This is one of the main books my kiddos use when trying to choose a new patron saint for the following year. There are detailed but concise histories with illustrations that give children just the right amount of information, but also can whet their appetite to leave them hungry for more. 😊  

Sleepytime Saints – This is a brand new book published by the same talented doll-maker (and her husband). Each letter of the alphabet showcases a particular saint and their story in poetry. It’s a sweet way to introduce young kiddos to the lives of these fascinating people while reinforcing the letters of the alphabet.  

(This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the recommended books from these links, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, so thank you.)

DINNERS

I mentioned that we prepare a special dinner in honor of our patron saints on their feast days. These can be as simple as traditional food from the country they are from, or sometimes they are tongue-in-cheek references. Let the kids come up with the fun ideas, if they can… be creative!  

For example, in the past we’ve had… 

  • Boneless fish on the feast of St. Blaise (he helped heal a child choking on a fish bone) 
  • Skewered kebobs for the feast of St. Sebastian (he was martyred, shot with arrows while tied to a tree) 
  • Simple soup supper (with no seconds or dessert) for the feast of St. Benedict Joseph Labre (he was known as “the beggar saint” though he never begged) 
  • Peruvian Pesto for the feast of St. Rose of Lima (she was from Peru), and we decorated with roses 
  • Deviled eggs and Angel food cake for the feast of St. Michael the Archangel (he battled the dragon/devil and cast him out of heaven). We also had a dragon pinata for the kiddos to whack in remembrance of this epic battle – good will always be victorious! 
  • Salted Caramel Bars for the feast of St. Teresa of Avila (she reformed the Carmelite Order) 
  • Greek stuffed zucchini boats for the feast of St. Christopher (he helped transport people across a river in the east Mediterranean) 
  • Swedish meatballs and Swedish fish candy for the feast of St. Bridget of Sweden  

Well, my friends… I hope this can be a resource for you in some way, and I hope that I’ve inspired you to choose a patron saint for yourself for the year 2021. I would love to hear how you celebrate All Saints Day or if you choose patron saints and what you do to honor them throughout the year.  

(It’s probably too late to order for this year’s celebration (sorry), but bookmark this site to order your dinner plates, napkins, and cups for next year’s celebration of All Saints’ Day from Be a Heart!)  

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV) 


1 thought on “All Saints Day & Choosing Patron Saints (with Gift Guide)”

  1. As a non-Catholic, I also enjoy this practice because it teaches me about my loved ones’ faith as well as inspiring saints throughout history. I also enjoy visiting churches named after my saint and appreciating new towns, interesting architecture, and the occasional mass.

    Like

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