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August 4, 2020 REL Asset - Activity, REL Catechetical - K–6, REL Catechetical - Jr High, REL Topic - Catechesis, REL Topic- Saints

August Feast Days– Catholic Saints to Celebrate with Children

Inspire Catholic kids and their families with the stories of saints and holy people! In this article, you’ll discover short biographies and free printable activities that can be used to celebrate popular saint feast days in August! Whether in the classroom or at home, these resources will help children celebrate the August feast days of Saint Dominic de Guzman, Saint Edith Stein, Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, Saint Monica and Saint Augustine.

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Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in August

Learning about the saints helps build Catholic identity and provides an example of holiness to today’s Catholic kids. Studying the lives of saints and celebrating their feast days are a great family-faith building activity. Read and share these fascinating saint biographies to prepare to celebrate August feast days. Each includes a printable activity for kids and families to complete together.

Download a free Catholic Saints with August Feast Days Resource Kit! This kit bundles all the resources featured below for you to print and use at home or in the classroom.

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Saint Dominic de Guzman

On August 8, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Dominic de Guzman, who was born around the year 1170.

Download an activity to celebrate the feast day of Saint Dominic on August 8. The activity challenges kids to consider ways technology has made it possible for modern followers of Jesus Christ to reach people throughout the world and invites them to design a brief online newsletter recounting a recent experience of faith.

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in August - Saint Dominic Guzman

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The Life of St Dominic de Guzman

During the life of Saint Dominic, Europe was in a state of constant warfare. If the kingdoms of Europe were not at war with one another, they were fighting wars against other powers. Muslim kingdoms in North Africa had conquered parts of Spain, and so Spanish kings were preoccupied with regaining their lost territory. Other European kings raised armies to fight in the Crusades, wars that were aimed at reconquering the Holy Land from non-Christian control. 

Dominic was the son of the nobleman Felix de Guzman and his wife, Jane of Aza. Dominic's mother was a holy woman. She had the responsibility of caring for her children and running the household. But she always made time to help others. Her faith in God affected every aspect of her life. Her example made a lasting impression on Dominic. 

Dominic's parents made sure that he was well educated in all subjects, especially his faith. He was taught by his uncle for seven years. He then attended university. Dominic enjoyed learning about all subjects, especially music. He was a good singer! However, he understood that his faith was not just another subject to study, but also a way of life. When a famine struck the country, he sold his valuable collection of books and gave the money to those who were suffering. 

Dominic lived during a time when the teachings of the Catholic Church were often misunderstood. The Catholic beliefs were not always clearly and carefully taught. This was such a problem that the pope called upon priests and monks to take a more active role in teaching the people about their faith. Pope Innocent III called a Lateran Council in Rome to make clear the teaching of the Catholic Church. Many religious orders of priests and nuns were founded to help carry out the pronouncements of the council.

Dominic was asked by his bishop to help explain some of these misunderstandings. Once, Dominic stayed up all night with an innkeeper to discuss different issues of the faith with him. By morning, the innkeeper was convinced by the truth of Dominic's arguments and asked to be reconciled with the Church.

 

Dominic lived an austere life. He slept very little, usually on the bare ground, and ate simple meals. He spent many hours praying and studying. He wanted to be prepared to tell others about the teachings of Jesus. When someone asked Dominic why he lived this way, he explained that more people were won over by example than by words.

 

Saint Dominic showed the world what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. He recognized that a disciple is called to spread the teachings of Jesus through his or her actions and words.

Dominic observed the importance of women in this work of spreading the faith. His own mother had been very influential in his own life and in their town. During prayer, he was inspired to found a community of nuns. Their convent became a center for education and instruction for people in the area. It was the first of many communities that Dominic founded.

Saint Dominic also started a religious order of priests called the Order of Preachers, now known as the Dominicans. When Dominic began preaching and instructing people about the teachings of Jesus, he was not yet a priest himself. Once he was ordained, he made preaching his most important work. He walked from town to town, often barefoot to make his shoes last longer! Many young men were inspired by his example of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Along with Dominic, they dedicated their lives to the work of preaching the Gospel. Dominic sent them out to many different parts of Europe to continue this work of preaching.

Dominic lived at the same time as another famous saint, Saint Francis of Assisi. It is believed that they met each other. The two men were both witnesses to the faith at a difficult time. They took different paths in achieving their goal, but they saw this as proof that there are many ways to live out the teachings of Christ. 

Many important people asked Dominic to help them—kings, bishops, and popes. He was well known for his interesting style of preaching, his generosity, and his knowledge. Dominic did not want to be famous. When he was near the end of his life, he asked to be taken back to be among his community of brothers. Before he died, he encouraged his brothers and promised to pray for them.

Saint Dominic showed the world what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. He recognized that a disciple is called to spread the teachings of Jesus through his or her actions and words.

 

Saint Edith Stein

The Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Edith Stein on August 9.

Download and share a printable activity for Catholic kids to celebrate the feast day of Saint Edith Stein on August 9 by cultivating empathy.

Celebrate Saint Feast Days in August - Saint Edith Stein Activity for Kids

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The Life of St Edith Stein

Edith was born in Breslau, Germany, on October 12, 1891, the youngest of eleven children in a practicing Jewish family. When Edith was two years old, her father died, leaving her mother to care for the family alone. As a teenager, Edith gave up practicing her faith and praying to God. This was very disappointing to her mother.

Edith was an excellent student who loved to read and learn. In her studies, she searched for truth and meaning in life. She wrote a paper on empathy—understanding and sharing in what others are feeling. She received a university degree in philosophy, the study of wisdom, knowledge, and meaning in life. When World War I began, Edith became a nurse. She cared for wounded soldiers in a hospital in Austria. After the war ended and the hospital closed, she went back to her studies.

In 1921, when she was thirty years old, Edith read the life story of Saint Teresa of Ávila. She finished the book in one night. She believed she had found the truth. She decided to turn back to God and become a Catholic. She was baptized in 1922. She later became a Carmelite sister and took the name Sister Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She continued to study, teach, and write.

Edith is an example of courage in times of great difficulty and dedication to the truth found in Christ.

Meanwhile, the Nazis were coming into power in Germany. They were persecuting Jews. When it was no longer safe for Edith to stay in Germany, the Carmelite community moved her to Holland. The Nazis’ power continued to grow, and Edith was captured with her sister, Rosa. They were taken to a prison camp and killed a week later. Before Edith died, she tried to comfort the people with her, especially the children. The Church named Edith a saint in 1998.

Edith is an example of courage in times of great difficulty and dedication to the truth found in Christ. She helped and cared for those around her. She was willing to die for and with the Jewish people. At the time of her arrest, she told her sister, Rosa, “Come, let us go for our people.”

 

Saint Alberto Hurtao Cruchaga

The Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga on August 18.

Download a printable activity in which children compose a prayer of petition about social justice issues, the center of Saint Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga’s work.

Catholic Saint Feast Days August - Saint Alberto Hurtao Cruchaga Activity for Kids

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The Life of St Alberto Hurtao Cruchaga

Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, on January 22, 1901. When he was only four years old, his father died. His mother was forced to sell their farm. Because they were so poor, Alberto and his brother were sent to live with different relatives, often moving from one family to another.

Alberto was given a scholarship to a Catholic college in Santiago, the capital city of Chile. He wanted to become a priest but put off this dream so that he could support his mother and younger brother. He worked several jobs to provide for them, while also studying law and helping the poor.

Eventually, Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga was able follow his dream of becoming a Jesuit priest. After studying in Italy, Spain, and Belgium, he was ordained and returned to Chile. He taught religion, led retreats, and encouraged others in their works of charity. In 1944, while directing a retreat for women, he asked those in attendance to consider how to help the many poor and homeless people in the city. This was the start of a charity that would spread throughout South America. He named it Hogar de Cristo, which means “home of Christ.” Men, women, and children who had no homes were offered a welcoming place to live as well as assistance with other needs.

Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga knew first-hand what it meant to be poor. He turned that knowledge into a ministry that served those who were without homes or other resources.

Alberto also wrote books and started a magazine that explained the teachings of the Church and raised awareness about social justice issues. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died on August 18, 1952 at the age of 51. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.

Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga knew first-hand what it meant to be poor. He turned that knowledge into a ministry that served those who were without homes or other resources. Alberto centered his work in his love for Jesus Christ. He worked tirelessly to remind people of their responsibility to help those in need. His charity, Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ), is still serving the poor today.

 

Saint Monica and Saint Augustine

The Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Monica on August 27 and her son, Saint Augustine of Hippo, on August 28.

Download a printable activity in which children make and share a thank you card for their mothers or other caregivers.

August Saint Feast Days - Saint Monica and Saint Augustine Activity for Kids

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The Lives of St Monica and St Augustine

Saint Monica was born in A.D. 333, into a middle-class Christian family. She was born in Thagaste, North Africa, in what is now Algeria. As a young woman, she was given in marriage to an older pagan man named Patricius. He had an uncontrolled temper and mistreated Monica. Monica depended on her faith to keep her strong and calm. In time, both Monica's husband and her mother-in-law were converted to the Christian faith. She had at least three children (two sons and one daughter). Her most well-known child is her son, Augustine.

As a young man, Augustine was a talented scholar. He resisted the Sacrament of Baptism and chose to follow Manichaeanism, a quasi-Christian philosophy that believed the world was the creation of the powers of evil, not of God. Monica, however, never stopped praying for his conversion to the truth of Catholicism. After years of his mother's prayers, Saint Augustine responded to the grace of God and was baptized as a Christian at the age of 33 by his friend and mentor, Saint Ambrose, the Bishop of Milan, Italy. Soon after her son's Baptism, Monica died. Her greatest hope was fulfilled. 

Saint Augustine came to know and believe in Christ after years of living a life of sin. He recognized that only God could make his life meaningful.

Not long after his baptism, Augustine returned to Tagaste. He gathered a group of friends together who supported one another in living out their faith. In 391, he was ordained a priest and four years later was named the bishop of Hippo, a city in Northern Africa that was under the rule of the Romans. Augustine devoted himself to the spiritual care of his people as well as to writing. We still have a vast collection of his work today—113 books, 207 letters, and more than 500 sermons. He died in 430 and, along with his teacher, Saint Ambrose, was named a doctor of the church in 1298.

Saint Augustine came to know and believe in Christ after years of living a life of sin. He recognized that only God could make his life meaningful. Saint Augustine was always grateful for his mother, Monica, especially for her prayers.

 

In Summary

Teaching children about saints provides inspiring examples of discipleship and models for living out their faith. Children in Catholic religious education programs can use the activities in this article at home or in the classroom to celebrate saint feast days in August!

 

 

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Popular Saints for Kids

Looking for more resources about popular saints for kids? Let Catholic kids and their families be inspired by these and other Catholic saints any time of year!