December 11-17: Third Week of Advent
Gaudete Sunday + Our Lady of Guadalupe + St. Lucy + St. John of the Cross + Christmas Novenas + O Antiphons
TUESDAY, DEC. 6 . . .
. . . is the Feast of St. Nicholas, (leave some treats and notes in your kids’ shoes!) and the ordering deadline for all hardcover Peanut Butter & Grace books not in stock, including the hardcover Illuminated Rosary set. It is also the last day to support our IndieGoGo campaign for Paddy and the Wolves, the new children’s book about St. Patrick as a young boy. Some of the perks won’t be available after the campaign!
Christmas shipping deadlines for our other books: free shipping, Dec. 14; priority mail shipping, Dec. 19.
DO ADVENT FOR REAL WITH KIDS’ ADVENT JOURNALS
Get daily missions and live web links to each day’s saint and Scripture when you download MISSION:CHRISTIAN Advent + Christmastide. At the download page, you can purchase the PDF for $6 or download it for free.
Download The Children’s Little Advent Book for daily reflections and coloring pages specifically for children ages 4-7.
TOP 7 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
Celebrate some joy. This Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, which opens one of the most action-packed weeks of the year as far as Catholic celebrations are concerned. We go over all of them and provide links to resources in The Third Week of Advent: Seven Traditional Practices.
Celebrate Our Lady of Guadalupe. Monday is the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas. You knew we’d give you ideas for how to celebrate plus links to stories and resources, right? Of course you did. We’re predictable that way.
Read your kids a book about the real “reason for the season.” Mary and Laura Kizior recommend five great kids’ books with an Advent/Christmas theme that bring out the real reason for the season in Pro-life at Home.
Count down the days before Christmas with a Christmas novena or Los Posadas beginning December 16. Or sing the ancient O Antiphons on each of the seven days leading up to Christmas: here’s a short history, the text of the antiphons, and a video to help you out.
Send the pope a birthday card. It’s the pope’s 80th birthday on Saturday, Dec, 17; celebrate with some birthday cake, and by sending him a birthday card that your kids make. Here’s where to send it.
Proclaim the good news to the poor. That’s one of the joyful hallmarks of the coming of the messiah celebrated in this week’s Sunday readings, which you can break open at home with Jen Schlameuss-Perry.
Make a Jesse tree with your kids. We’re halfway through Advent, and a Jesse tree is a great hands-on way to connect Advent with the history of Israel’s anticipation of the Messiah. Jennifer Gregory Miller has a thorough backgrounder on the Jesse tree and how to use it as a catechetical tool over at Catholic Culture.
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ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS ARE CHECKING OUT . . .
FRIENDS YOUR KIDS SHOULD HANG OUT WITH THIS WEEK
Our Lady of Guadalupe (Monday), the name given to the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to an Indian convert in 1531. You’ll find plenty of resources to share with your kids in Celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
St. Lucia of Syracuse (Tuesday), a young Christian martyr (d. 304) about whom little is known. Later accounts of her martyrdom included a story about her eyes getting gouged out; that, along with the date of her feast, led to the celebration of her feast as a festival of light, especially In Scandinavian cultures: “There, a young girl dressed in a white dress and a red sash (as the symbol of martyrdom) carries palms and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head,” according to Wikipedia. “In both Norway and Sweden, girls dressed as Lucy carry rolls and cookies in procession as songs are sung. It is said that to vividly celebrate St. Lucy’s Day will help one live the long winter days with enough light.”
John of the Cross (Wednesday), together with St. Teresa of Avila, reformed the Carmelite order in the sixteenth century. He is also well-known for his spiritual writings, which had an enormous impact on the development of the Catholic contemplative tradition as well as other outstanding religious figures who came after him, including St. Therese of Lisieux and St. John Paul II. Among his most famous works are Ascent of Mount Carmel, Dark Night of the Soul, Living Flame of Love, and Spiritual Canticle, the latter written during nine months of cruel imprisonment by his own order. His writings will be accessible only to precocious teens, but younger kids may be fascinated to hear the story of his imprisonment and daring nighttime escape.
St. Adelaide of Italy (Friday), who was married to the King of Italy at the age of fifteen; when he was poisoned, his enemy had Adelaide locked up in prison. With the help of friends, she escaped through a tunnel and hid in nearby marshes. She sent for help to Otto I, the Holy Roman Emperor; they married, and she became empress, and one of the most powerful women in tenth-century Europe. She worked to build up the Church and establish peace between warring kingdoms.
Contrary to what you might read in certain books (ahem, MISSION:CHRISTIAN Volume 2, cough, cough), Saturday is not the feast day of St. Hildegard of Bingen; that was back in September.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- Guadate Sunday (Dec 11)
- Start of Los Posadas and Christmas Novena (Fri Dec 16)
- Start of O Antiphons (Sat Dec 17)
- Pope Francis’s 80th birthday (Dec 17)
“It is best to learn silence so that God may speak.”
—St. John of the Cross (Dec 14)
STUFF SOME CATHOLIC STUFF INTO THOSE STOCKINGS
Molly McBride and the Purple Habit (softcover, $10.99)
Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus.
You wanted the Illuminated Rosary in an affordable hardcover, and we listened . . . now you can purchase a hardcover set for just $80. That’s $20 per book, each of which runs about 130 pages and includes more than 60 works of sacred art. Get it exclusively from Gracewatch Media.
Flowers for Jesus: A Story of Thérèse of Lisieux as a Young Girl (softcover, $10.99)
Little Thérèse Martin could be a very stubborn young girl. All too often, if someone wanted her to say “yes,” she wanted to say “no”! But then, as she is preparing for her First Communion, Thérèse discovers a way to turn her everyday trials and tribulations into something beautiful for Jesus. Join Thérèse (and her family) as she learns to “gather roses from amid thorns.” With vibrant watercolors and storytelling, Flowers for Jesus introduces kids to St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s spirituality of “the Little Way.”
The Little Flower: A Parable of St. Thérèse of Liseux (softcover, hardcover, or Spanish)
Becky Arganbright has adapted St. Thérèse’s lesson of the little flowers into a delightful parable for children. The young Thérèse learns that even though she might be little, with God’s help, her littleness can be a way of doing great things for the Kingdom of God.
Little Lessons from St. Francis of Assisi: A Prayer for Peace (softcover, $10.99)
“Make me an instrument of your peace.” The Peace Prayer of St. Francis, beloved by people of all faiths around the world, beautifully captures the spirit of “the poor little man” from Assisi, as well as the aspirations of our time: for hope, for reconciliation, for peace. Join award-winning artist Jeanine Crowe as she meditates on this powerful prayer in words and watercolors.