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July 1, 2020 REL Asset - Activity, REL Catechetical - K–6, REL Catechetical - Jr High, REL Topic - Catechesis, REL Topic- Saints

July Feast Days– Catholic Saints to Celebrate with Children

Feast Days are a great opportunity to introduce students to Catholic saints. In this article, you’ll discover short biographies and free printable activities that can be used to celebrate popular saint feast days in July! Whether at home or in the classroom, these resources will help children celebrate the July feast days of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Saints Anne and Joachim, and Saint Ignatius Loyola.

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in July

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in July

Catholic kids and families can be inspired by the lives of the saints all year long. Learning about the saints and celebrating their feast days are a great family-faith building activity. Feast days are an opportunity to remember and be inspired by saints, who are examples of holiness for us today. Read and share these short biographies of some saints whose feast days are celebrated during the month of July. Each saint profile is accompanied by a simple printable activity for Catholic kids to complete and share with their families.

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

Saint Feast Days in July Kit

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Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

On July 14, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

Download a printable activity to share with Catholic kids on the feast day of Kateri Tekakwitha. The activity offers a coloring craft and a reminder to turn to God in prayer, like Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.  

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in July - Saint Kateri Tekakwitha

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The Life of St Kateri Tekakwitha

Kateri Tekakwitha was born near the present-day town of Auriesville, New York, in the year 1656.  Her mother, an Algonquin, was a Christian. Her father, a leader among his people, the Mohawk, was not.

When Kateri was four years old, a disease called smallpox struck her village. Kateri's mother, father, and baby brother all died from the disease. Little Kateri survived, but the disease scarred her face and left her partially blind. She was adopted by her aunts and an uncle, a Mohawk chief.

When Kateri was a teenager, she asked permission from her uncle to receive religious instruction from a Jesuit missionary. Her uncle did not approve, but he allowed her to study the faith.

 

On Easter Sunday, 1676, at the age of twenty, Kateri was baptized. After her Baptism, members of her family and others in the village began to shun Kateri and treat her harshly. Because of this, Kateri decided to leave her village and travel to a Catholic mission near Montreal, in Canada. In August 1677, with the help of some Christian friends, Kateri set out on the two-hundred-mile journey. She arrived at the mission in October. There, on Christmas Day in 1677, she received her First Holy Communion.

When her life became hard, Kateri turned to God in prayer. She focused on helping others, sharing stories about Jesus, and doing everyday chores as acts of love.

At the mission Kateri taught prayers to children and told them stories about the life of Jesus. She nursed the sick, gathered offerings for those in need, and helped the elderly with their daily chores. She and another young woman asked permission to start an order of religious sisters, but their request was denied. Kateri's health was beginning to fail.

Kateri died during Holy Week in 1680, at the age of twenty-four. Her last words, spoken in Mohawk, were Jesos Konoronkwa: "Jesus, I love you." In 1943 the Church declared her Venerable. Pope John Paul II declared her Blessed in 1980. On October 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI canonized Kateri. She is the first Native American to be named a saint.

When her life became hard, Kateri turned to God in prayer. She focused on helping others, sharing stories about Jesus, and doing everyday chores as acts of love.

 

Saints Anne and Joachim

The Church celebrates the feast day of Saints Anne and Joachim on July 26.

Download and share a printable activity for Catholic kids to celebrate the feast day of Saints Anne and Joachim on July 26. This activity invites children to create a paper “chain of faith” with the many ways parents and grandparents pass on their faith to us.

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in July - Saints Anne and Joachim

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The Life of St Anne and St Joachim

Though the dates of their births and deaths are unknown, Anne and Joachim lived in Nazareth, a small village in Galilee.

During their lifetime, many of the people in this region made their living by growing grapes, olives, and grains on the hills surrounding the town. Grandparents, parents, and children lived and worked together. At harvest time, the entire village would pitch in to help pick the crops. They would also keep watch in one of the stone towers erected to guard against thieves. At night they might pass the time and entertain the children by playing musical instruments or telling stories.

Anne (whose name means “grace”) was born in Bethlehem but settled in Nazareth after she and Joachim were married. Joachim was a shepherd, and the two lived happily together for many years. Their one great sorrow was that they had no children.

Having no children was not only a hardship for Anne and Joachim, but it was a source of shame, since children were considered a blessing from God. One day, after Joachim heard the neighbors making fun of him and Anne for being childless, he went out into the desert to pray for a child. Anne remained at home, dressed in mourning clothes and weeping in sadness. A servant girl, seeing her distress, reminded Anne to put her trust in God. 

Saints Anne and Joachim remind us that we need to trust in God always.

Both Anne and Joachim were assured by angels that God would bless them with a child who would be known throughout the world. Anne and Joachim placed their faith in God. Anne gave birth to Mary, who was to become the Mother of Jesus!

Anne and Joachim were overjoyed with the birth of their daughter, Mary. Mary was raised to love and trust in God.

Although we do not know much about the lives of Anne and Joachim, we honor them as the parents of Mary. Anne and Joachim remind us that we need to trust in God always.

Joachim and Anne are considered patrons of those who want to have children. They are celebrated as the grandparents of Jesus, and so they are also the patrons of grandparents.

 

Saint Ignatius Loyola

On July 31, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Ignatius Loyola. 

Download and share an intermediate activity with children in your religious education program as you celebrate the feast day of Saint Ignatius Loyola. With this activity children in the intermediate grades will use their imaginations and senses as they read the Gospels.

Printable Activities to Celebrate Saint Feast Days in July  -Saint Ignatius Loyola

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The Life of St Ignatius Loyola

Ignatius Loyola was born in Guipúzcoa, in northern Spain. He was the youngest of thirteen children. His family was wealthy, and his father was a nobleman. As a boy, Ignatius, called Inigo, dreamed of becoming a famous soldier. At sixteen he became a page and eventually a soldier in the Spanish army. But he was badly wounded while fighting against the French.

During his long and painful recovery, Ignatius was given books. Two of the books he read were about the life of Jesus Christ and lives of the saints. These books inspired him to adjust the direction of his life and change his goals.

Instead of fighting in the army, Ignatius now wanted to dedicate his life to Jesus. He went to live as a hermit where he devoted long hours to prayer and to caring for the sick. He wrote a book called The Spiritual Exercises to help people become more like Christ.

Ignatius worked to strengthen the Kingdom of God on earth by trying to be like Christ in everything he did.

These men called themselves the Society of Jesus and received formal recognition as a religious order from Pope Paul III. The Society of Jesus soon came to be known as the Jesuits.

Ignatius was elected as the Jesuits' first general, or leader. He carried out this role until his death at the age of 65. He saw Jesuits start schools, lead retreats based on The Spiritual Exercises, and sail off to far away countries as missionaries.

Today the Jesuits form the largest male religious order in the Catholic Church and are present in almost every country in the world. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit to be elected pope.

Sometimes referred to as a "soldier for Christ," Saint Ignatius Loyola worked to strengthen the Kingdom of God on earth by trying to be like Christ in everything he did. He and the order he started were able to accomplish great things by focusing on this simple goal. The Spiritual Exercises that he wrote can help us to stay focused on this goal as well.

 

In Summary

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

 

 

 

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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!