4/27/2016 0 Comments
Happy Saint Zita’s Feast Day on April 27! To celebrate her, I’m sharing a “Saint Sorter” activity I’ve created with Google Drawings.
Kids can learn about four different saints, including humble Saint Zita, who always found time to pray. As they hear the saints’ stories, they can sort through fun symbols of each saint’s life.
If they have access to computers, they can easily drag and drop (or if the class has one computer, the class as a whole can work together). Detailed instructions follow:
Prepare the Activity:
Go to this link to get the “saint sorter” featuring St. Patrick, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Juan Diego, and St. Zita: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1gd1-jwWfwx8Mujgui0Yb2g2Czl3WIBVeMvaokFr5LKU/edit?usp=sharing
Make a copy: Go to the File menu and make a copy.
Are you using a computer, either as a whole class or individually? If so, then you can move the symbols with a mouse. If not, print out copies. The print button is at the top.
Get information about the four saints. I’ve prepared quick stories you can read below after the "Read More" click. Or feel free to bring in your own resources.
Do the Activity: Four Saints and Symbols from Their Stories:
Read only one story at a time. Pause.
Ask students to pick the three symbols that go with the saint. Drag and drop if on the computer. If you have one computer projected on a screen, you can work as a class.
If using paper, students can simply re-draw the pictures, copying those on the left.
The last story will be the easiest since only three symbols will be left. Maybe students can raise their hands or jump up when they first hear the symbol.
Read all four stories. See if they can then match the symbols. This could be challenging!
St. Therese of Lisieux: The Little Flower
Setting: France, Late 1800s
St. Therese of Lisieux found a way for us to discover Jesus wonderful love. When she was a girl, she loved to walk in meadows full of flowers. She liked small wildflowers, especially blue cornflowers. But even though she loved to explore, she wanted to become a special type of nun who would pray in one place. At age 15, her prayers were answered and she became a nun and lived the rest of her live inside one convent in France. There through prayer, she found out that the way to follow is Jesus is simply to do very small things in a loving way. God’s love is so great and powerful that like an elevator he can lift us all the rest of the way to heaven. Since St. Therese calls this the Little Way, she is known as the Little Flower.
St. Zita: The Maid Who Prayed
Setting: Italy, 1200s
St. Zita worked hard as a maid all of her life, and often people were mean to her, but she always tried to be humble and kind. At first, the people she worked for beat her and yelled at her. Still, she got up very early in the morning to pray and go to Mass. Then she worked hard sweeping, cleaning, and baking. Once a poor family came to the door. She decided to help them instead of doing the baking. Other servants in the house said they saw angels baking loaves of bread for her. Finally, the angry family she worked for began to pray too when they saw how kind she was. When she died at the age of 60 in the attic of the house, a star shined. Everywhere people heard of her story and she became a saint, showing that being kind and humble is the true way to live a holy life.
St. Patrick: Priest of Ireland
Setting: Ireland, 400s
St. Patrick worked all of his life to tell the people of Ireland about Jesus. When Patrick was a young teenager, he was kidnapped from England and taken to Ireland. He had to take care of sheep all night in the cold rain. But he still prayed, and one day God told him to find a ship far away. He traveled many dangerous miles, got on the ship, and found his way back to his home. There, God had a new message, “Go back to Ireland and tell people about Jesus.” So even though he missed his family, he did. In Ireland, he used a shamrock’s three leaves to explain that Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are all three in one. He told people that if we follow Jesus, we never have to be afraid.
St. Juan Diego: Mary’s Messenger
Setting: Mexico, 1500s
St. Juan Diego (or San Juan Diego in Spanish) saw Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in a place no one would have expected, around a hill in Mexico. As Juan Diego was walking to Mass, he heard beautiful music and met a lady. The lady wanted everyone to build a church for her on Tepayac Hill. Juan Diego rushed to tell the kind bishop, but he seemed not to really believe this incredible story. Meanwhile, Juan Diego was also trying to care for his sick uncle. He saw the lady more times, but in between caring for his uncle and dealing with a bishop who didn’t really believe him, he wasn’t sure what to do. Finally, the lady did something more dramatic. She went to Juan Diego again. She told him to go to Tepayac Hill to find some special flowers for her. He really wasn’t sure. He trudged up expecting only to find a cactus plant. But he found beautiful roses which didn’t grow in Mexico then. He brought them back to the lady. She arranged them in his tilma, a jacket that looked like a poncho. He rushed back to the bishop, who opened the poncho and found not just flowers but a picture of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Also Juan Diego’s uncle had been healed. Then the bishop and everyone believed that Mary, the Mother of Jesus, had visited the Mexican people!
I'm Sherry Weaver Smith, author of The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick. I like to have adventures in getting outside in nature, crafting, and cooking as I explore our Catholic faith with my daughter. We want to be inspired by the saints!