Studying the lives of the saints and holy people helps build family faith and inspires Catholic kids. Feast days are an opportunity to remember and be inspired by the lives of the saints, who are examples of holiness for us today. Children and families in your Catholic religious education program can use the short biographies and printable activities below to celebrate popular saint feast days in February!
We’ve also bundled together the biographies and activities featured in this article into a FREE printable Catholic Saints with February Feast Days Resource Kit! Kit includes biographies and activities for:
On February 1, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Brigid, the patroness of Ireland.
Download an activity that invites children to make a cross to place in their homes, like those Saint Brigid made from tall grasses and used to teach others about Jesus.
Brigid's father Dubtach was the Irish Leinster King. Her mother was a Christian slave who had been baptized by Saint Patrick. When Brigid was old enough, she went to serve her father as one of his slaves.
Brigid was very beautiful. She loved all of God's creatures and enjoyed taking walks in the forests and spending time with animals. She was very generous and kind. To help the poor and hungry, she often gave away her father's possessions. This did not please Dubtach. He finally gave Brigid her freedom. He tried to arrange a marriage for Brigid, but she wanted to become a nun. Legend has it that she prayed that God would take her beauty away so that no one would ever want to marry her. Her prayer was answered. After she became a nun, as legend has it, her beauty came back.
Brigid built a convent. Other women wanted to join her way of life and soon her first convent had seven nuns. This was Ireland's first Christian religious community of women. Young girls came to the convent to be taught. Sick people traveled to Brigid's convent for care. Bishops asked her to start convents all over Ireland. She traveled throughout Ireland building convent schools and hospitals.
Brigid made a small cross made from tall grasses to teach others about Jesus. These crosses became identified with Saint Brigid. On Brigid’s feast day in Ireland, people weave crosses from tall grasses and put them in their homes to keep them safe.
On February 3, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Blaise.
Download an activity that invites children to share ways being a Christian has positively impacted their lives, inspired by the ways Saint Blaise demonstrated the positive impact that Christians can have on society.
Saint Blaise was a bishop in the city of Sebaste, part of modern-day Armenia. Though the year of his birth is unknown, we know that he lived in the fourth century. He died in the year 316. An account of his life was written 400 years after his death. Many miracles are attributed to Saint Blaise.
During his life, Saint Blaise lived on the edge of the mighty Roman empire. The Roman empire was the most powerful force in the world during the time of Saint Blaise. Its territories included most of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
During Blaise’s life, it took a lot of courage to be a Christian. There were periods in which Christians were persecuted by the Roman government. Some of the Romans were suspicious of the Christian faith. Because they did not understand the beliefs and practices of Christians, they viewed them as a threat to the empire. Many Christians were arrested and killed if they refused to give up the faith.
Blaise always cared about the physical and spiritual well-being of others. Even as he faced terrible suffering, he offered to God the prayers and concerns of the people who came to him.
When Licinius, the Roman emperor, ordered a new persecution of Christians, Blaise escaped from the city. He lived quietly in a cave until Roman soldiers found and arrested him. Blaise was thrown into prison. He was given the opportunity to give up his faith and worship the Roman gods, but he refused. As a result, he was tortured and beheaded.
While Blaise was in prison, he is said to have performed a miraculous healing. A woman had a son who was choking on a fish bone. She brought the boy to Blaise and asked him to help her son. Blaise prayed that God would heal the child, and suddenly, the bone became dislodged and the boy could breathe again! Blaise reminded the people who had witnessed the miracle to thank God for this sign of his love.
As a result of this story, people pray to Saint Blaise for healing of all illnesses of the throat. On the Feast Day of Saint Blaise, a special blessing of the throat is offered in many parishes in the United States and the world: "Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil."
The feast of this popular medieval saint is celebrated in many ways around the world. Blaise always cared about the physical and spiritual well-being of others. Even as he faced terrible suffering, he offered to God the prayers and concerns of the people who came to him. Since we were all created by God, we too should care for and respect ourselves and each other. And like Saint Blaise, we can share the Good News by being kind to others by what we say and do.
On February 7, the Church celebrates the feast day of Pope Pius IX, who was a great leader in spiritual matters.
Download an activity in which students reflect on things that they can do to impact the world, inspired by the achievements of Blessed Pope Pius IX.
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti was born in Italy into a noble family on May 3, 1792. He was kind-hearted, friendly, and generous. He attended the Piarist College in Rome. Giovanni wanted to be a member of the Noble Guard whose job it was to escort the Pope when he traveled. He was not allowed to be a member of this group because he suffered from epileptic attacks. He then decided to study theology and became a priest.
As a priest, Giovanni went to Chile and Peru to assist in missionary work. Because of this trip, he is remembered as the first pope to visit South America. When he returned, he became an archbishop and later, a cardinal. As a leader in the church, he tried to persuade people to live in peace with their enemies and show mercy towards one another.
In 1846, Giovanni was elected Pope. As pope, Giovanni denounced secret societies and communism. He proved to be a great leader in spiritual matters. The first Vatican Council took place while he was pope. This council proclaimed the infallibility of the pope. This means that when making decisions about faith and morals for the Church, the pope cannot be wrong. As Pope Pius IX, Giovanni declared that Mary was born without sin. The Church celebrates this today as the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Pope Pius IX was pope longer than any other pope—thirty-two years.
On February 8, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Josephine Bakhita, a modern African saint, and a denouncement of slavery.
Download an activity that invites children to reflect on the power of a smile, for which Saint Josephine Bakhita was known despite enduring terrible hardship during her life.
Josephine was born in Darfur, Africa around the year 1869. She described her childhood as carefree, comfortable and happy, and was surrounded by loving family. However, when she was seven years old she was kidnapped and sold into slavery. During her youth, she endured many terrible experiences as a slave and was resold many times. She was finally sold to the Italian Consul who treated her with kindness and ultimately gave her to a friend in Italy.
Josephine became the nanny to this friend's daughter, Mimmina. When Mimmina's parents had to travel on business to another land, they left Mimmina and Josephine in the care of the Canossian Sisters. While living with these nuns, Josephine learned about God. She was baptized and confirmed in 1890. She chose to remain with the Canossian Sisters and was no longer considered a slave. She became a Canossian Sister in 1896.
"The Lord will take care of me. The best thing for us is not what we consider best, but what the Lord wants of us."
Josephine Bakhita lived a very simple and humble life. One of her greatest gifts was her smile. Even when she was suffering, Josephine continued to share the gift of her smile with others. Josephine considered each stage of her life as part of God's special plan for her and she accepted each willingly. Josephine Bakhita is the patron saint of the Sudan and holds a special meaning to those who suffer and are oppressed in any way. She has been adopted as the patron saint of Sudan and human trafficking survivors.
On February 21, the Church celebrates the feast day of Blessed Noel Pinot.
Despite grave danger, Blessed Noel Pinot continued to celebrate Mass when it was forbidden. Download an activity that invites students to consider ways that they actively participate at Mass.
Blessed Noel Pinot was born and grew up in France. He dedicated his life to God. He was ordained a priest and served as a pastor for many years. This was during the time of the French Revolution, a time of great struggle and change in France.
The people leading this revolt wanted to separate the Church of France from the pope. Noel had been a pastor for two years when this law was passed. Noel believed that breaking off from the pope was wrong. He refused to take the oath supporting the new law and was exiled from his church. He was not even allowed to come within eight miles of it.
During his exile, Noel continued to help his parishioners in secret. He knew he was putting his life in danger, but he continued to celebrate Mass for his parishioners anyway. He also encouraged other priests to stay true to the pope and not take the oath. Unfortunately, one of Noel’s parishioners betrayed him. The person told the police how Noel was disobeying the government. When Noel was about to say Mass one Sunday, the police came and arrested him. They held him in prison for a week and tortured him, trying to get him to take the oath. When the police realized that Noel would not give in to their wishes, he was sentenced to death. However, his faith remained strong. Even while he was led to his death, he repeated the beginning lines of Mass: "I will go in to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth." The life of Blessed Noel Pinot is a reminder of the importance of staying true to our beliefs even when it is hard to do so.
On February 25, the Church celebrates the feast day of Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio.
Download an activity that invites children to “build” a road by coloring paving stones each time they help others, inspired by the career and the virtues of Blessed Sebastian of Aparicio.
Sebastian was born in Spain in 1502. His parents were very poor. Sebastian worked as a shepherd until he was fifteen years old to help support his family. He continued to help his family by working at many different types of jobs; he worked as a servant to a wealthy woman and as a farm helper.
Eventually, Sebastian moved to Mexico. He began to make plows and wagons to help the farmers. He trained bulls and oxen. He built roads to connect towns and to make trading easier for farmers and others. Sebastian became very rich, but he lived very simply and gave most of his money to the poor. He spent his time providing transportation to those who needed it, feeding the hungry, and teaching Mexicans various skills.
Sebastian married when he was sixty years old. His wife died after only one year of marriage. He then remarried and the same thing happened. Then he gave away all his money and possessions and became a Franciscan. He spent his time as a Franciscan begging for food for his brothers and for the poor that they cared for. He was very humble, sweet and kind. Like Saint Francis of Assisi, he had a special way with animals; they seemed to understand what he said when he talked to them.
Sebastian spent his life thinking about others before himself. He gave away all his possessions to those in need. He worked very hard all of his life helping others. This example, along with his living a prayerful and simple life, drew others closer to God. Whether as a single person, a married man, or a Franciscan, Sebastian always worked for the good of others, helping to make their lives better.
One of the roads Sebastian built to connect towns in Mexico is still in use today. He is the patron saint of road builders and travelers.
The saints’ love and prayers for the Church are constant. 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 February!
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!