February 12-18: Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
St. Verdiana + Blessed Fra Angelico + St. Catherine Dei Ricci + St. Valentine’s Day
Paddy is here!
Get Paddy and the Wolves: A Story of St. Patrick as a Young Boy
TOP 3 CATHOLIC THINGS TO DO WITH YOUR KIDS
Put the “saint” back in St. Valentine’s Day. Even though the modern celebration of Valentine’s Day celebrates romantic love, it’s no stretch to remind kids where “true love” (even the romantic kind!) comes from: God! Check out our article 7 Simple Ways to Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day with Your Family for some super-simple ways to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever.
And St. Valentine’s Day might also be a good time to introduce your kids to DoSomething.org; Heidi Indahl has the scoop in Do Something Loving for Valentine’s Day.
Finally, the U.S. Catholic bishops are promoting February 12 as World Marriage Day. If nothing else, it’s a good time to remind kids that romantic love reaches its fulfillment in marriage and family life.
Lay down the law. This week’s Sunday readings are all about God’s laws. At first blush, “following the rules” seems like sort of a downer, because isn’t the rule-breakers who have all the fun? But if your kids listen closely to the readings, they might notice that God’s law is all about making sure we have life more abundantly. Preview the readings with Breaking Open the Word at Home, then, after Mass, spend some time talking about your family’s rules. Heidi Indahl’s suggestions for paring down and focusing family rules might help with that discussion.
By the way, we’re discussing the question, “What’s your best family rule?” over in our PB & Grace Parents Facebook discussion group. It’s closed to facilitate a better discussion; send a request to join, and you can come join the conversation. Coffee not included.
Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day on Friday, February 17. Check out randomactsofkindness.org for ideas.
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ALL THE COOL CATHOLICS ARE CHECKING OUT . . .
My Valentine for Jesus, a beautiful board book for kids ages 2-4 about a young boy who shares his love with his family on Valentine’s Day—but saves his most special valentine for Jesus.
Saint Valentine, a gorgeous picture book by acclaimed artist Robert Sabuda. The book, aimed at children ages 4-7, tells the legend of St. Valentine in words and beautiful illustrations that imitate ancient mosaics.
Jacob’s Toy Box and Books, an etsy store we found along with the delightful blog Playing with the Saints, both of which are the creation of Christine Henderson. Christine will be cross-posting her Playing with the Saints stories on Peanut Butter & Grace (her first features Our Lady of Lourdes). Her toy store features saint-based rag dolls and priest vestments, both of which get high marks by reviewers. Not surprisingly, Christine likes to dress up as saints in order to tell kids their stories “in character”!
FRIENDS YOUR KIDS SHOULD HANG OUT WITH THIS WEEK
Sr. Dorothy Stang (Sunday); no, she’s not on the canonization track yet, but if you haven’t read her remarkable story, the anniversary of her death on February 12 might be a good day to check it out, especially if your family has a special passion for environmentalism. A Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, Sr. Dorothy spent forty years working in the Amazon rain forest with landless peasants. She was martyred in 2005 when she was ambushed by gunmen hired by a local rancher; her last act was to read several verses from the Beatitudes to them (she carried a Bible with her everywhere) even as they aimed their guns at her.
St. Catherine dei Ricci (Monday), the Dominican nun known for her holiness and wisdom; she re-enacted the passion of Christ during visions every week for twelve years, and received the wounds of Christ. She found her greatest joy, however, serving the poor.
St. Verdiana (Thursday), the young housekeeper-turned-anchorite who entered a cell attached to an oratory at the age of 26; the doorway
was walled up behind her, and she lived there for the rest of her life, receiving food and visitors through a small window that opened onto the oratory. St. Francis was among her many admirers and visitors. Among those visitors were a pair of rude snakes, according to legend..
Blessed Fra Angelico (1395-1455), a Dominican brother whose name was
supposed to be Fra Giovanni, but his fellow brothers called him “Angelico” for his angelic holiness—and the beauty of his many paintings and frescoes, which are still admired in churches and museums today. You can read an extensive biography of Fra Angelico and view some of his work at The Met.
MARK YOUR (CATHOLIC) CALENDAR FOR . . .
- President’s Day (Feb 20)
- Ash Wednesday (Mar 1)
I light a candle and look at Jesus on the cross and ask for the strength to carry the suffering of the people. Don’t worry about my safety. The safety of the people is what’s important.
—Sr. Dorothy Stang
The books in The Illuminated Rosary series illuminate the mysteries of the rosary in sixty works of sacred art—one for each bead—to help readers pray the rosary more meditatively.
It’s perfect to give to kids to help them pray along with the family rosary; there’s even a string of “beads” at the bottom of each page to help them keep track, and the words of each prayer to help elementary readers lead the rosary. Adults love The Illuminated Rosary, too: it’s a great way to slow down your rosary, and imaginatively enter each mystery.