In Frozen 2, Elsa, her sister, and her friends find a way to live in peace and balance with four "spirits" of nature: water, earth, fire, and wind. While at first, the theme of the story did not seem to relate to the Catholic faith, I began reflecting on the beauty of God's creation in these four forces. As I remembered the imagery from the film of simple symbols that reflect water, earth, fire, and wind, I began to think about Catholic saints who also represent these aspects of creation.
So, while enjoying the movie and creating a remembrance of water, earth, fire, and wind symbols, think about these four saints.
Earth: St. Francis
Lived in Italy in the early 1200s
St. Francis turned away from a life of wealth to pray with the poor and in abandoned places, in nature, and near animals. He found that he could have conversations with God in nature. One of his prayers is, "praised be you my Lord with all my creatures." He saw God's creation in all of nature around him, and he even considered the earth to be his sister. Pope St. John Paul made him the saint of ecology: the study of the ways that living things relate to each other and their environment. This wonderful website, Praying Nature with St. Francis of Assisi, is a guide to following St. Francis outside into contemplation.
Fire: St Brigid
Lived in Ireland, 500s
St. Brigid convinced a king to give her land for a monastery in the 500s in Ireland—even after he had told her "no" many times before. She and the sisters who followed her began burning a fire at the monastery to show the light of the Christian faith. St. Brigid wanted to connect to a tradition that had gone on before when priestesses had lit bonfires on the hillsides to honor a goddess. For hundreds of years, the sisters kept their fire burning until monasteries were attacked. But more importantly, they kept the fire of faith alive in their hearts.
Inspired to create a symbol of peace, Brigidine Sisters in modern times have started the tradition again, and it has become so important in Ireland that even the Irish President helped light the flame! President Mary McAleese said that the modern St. Brigid's fire connects the history of pre-Christian, Catholic, and Protestant Irish people since the light once glowed before divisions into these different groups.
Wind: Pope St. John Paul II
Lived from 1920-2005, born in Poland
"The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." --John 3:8
Pope St. John Paul II was born of the spirit. Like the wind sounding from place to place, he traveled the globe, spreading a message of hope to people in over 130 countries (https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2018/03/22/legacy-john-paul-ii). He kept journeying even as he became older and suffered from Parkinson's disease. With the Holy Spirit guiding him even in times when he felt in pain, he inspired the faith of millions. Because I am a tiny part in this story, Pope John Paul II is one my favorite saints. Before I was Catholic at the age of 25, I was fortunate to attend an outdoor Mass where he presided in Manila, the Philippines, one of the turning points in my decision to become Catholic as an adult.
Water: St. Veronica
Lived in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus
St. Veronica overcame fear to help Jesus at a time when he most needed compassion, when he walked carrying a heavy cross. She saw sweat and blood on the face of Jesus and wished to hand him her veil to wipe it away—a simple comfort. But Veronica must have felt frightened that if she offered help, the soldiers guarding Jesus might punish her. And she wouldn't have been used to taking off her veil in front of others.
Alone in the crowd, she did reach out and give Jesus her veil to take away the water dripping on his face. And this simple act made her a saint.
Make a Frozen 2 Symbols Banner
If you and your children have enjoyed Frozen 2, the elements in the movie can remind you of Catholic heroes, too. Here is a craft you can make to remember the movie and the saints (and there are others whose stories touch earth, fire, wind, or water!).
You will need:
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!