Since this coming Saturday, June 13th, is the feast of St. Anthony, he was the featured saint for this week!
St. Anthony was born at Lisbon, Portugal. He became a canon regular and then a Franciscan preaching the Gospel everywhere in Portugal and Italy. Both as a theologian and as a popular preacher he fought vigorously against heresy. His preaching was inspired by the love of God and of souls and had an extraordinary power of conviction; it was filled with the penetrating power of the Bible. Pope Gregory IX, who heard him preach, called him during his lifetime the Arca Testamenti, meaning “the living repository of the Holy Scriptures” and Pope Pius XII, when he proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church, declared that he based all that he said on the texts of the Gospels, and could justly be called the Evangelical Doctor. St. Anthony lived for a time in France, but chiefly in Italy, and died at Padua in 1231 at age 36, with the reputation of great sanctity. From the day of his death innumerable miracles caused the faithful to invoke him as a wonder worker of untiring benevolence. ~ Catholic Culture
The children began with making, and decorating, Holy Cards of St. Anthony. In the meantime, they listened to a story about his life.
Next it was craft time… One of the customs for the feast of St. Anthony is “to decorate with pots of sweet basil and to give some away to friends along with prayers invoking our Saint.” (St. Anthony Website) There is a great post on Catholic Cuisine with suggestions for making Saint Anthony of Padua Basil Pots. My children really enjoyed planting their basil seeds, as well as smelling and tasting some fresh basil.
I was even sent home with my own “craft project” — a lovely basil plant of my very own!! I sure hope I can keep it alive! 😉 Doesn’t basil smell amazing?!?
Just like last year, Captain made sure to do a little Sidewalk Art of the Saint of the Week!
Brownies were served for snack time, and I had brought along some goldfish crackers. There is one legend which indicates that even the fish rose from the water to hear St. Anthony’s sermon, so I thought the goldfish would be fitting. (My children are especially fond of that particular story of St. Anthony!)
Before we left, I was able to take group photo. It was a small group this week, but we had a wonderful time. We are already looking forward to next Thursday!