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 March!
We’ve also bundled together the biographies and activities featured in this article into a FREE printable Catholic Saints with March Feast Days Resource Kit! Kit includes biographies and activities for:
On March 3, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Katharine Drexel.
Download an activity for kids to celebrate the feast day of Katharine Drexel on March 3. The activity invites kids to consider ways they can help others as Saint Katharine Drexel did.
Katharine Drexel was born on November 26, 1858 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Though her birth mother died when she was an infant, she had a close relationship with her stepmother, whom her father married in 1860.
Katharine’s parents instilled a strong faith in their three daughters. The family prayed together and served the poor. Katharine was taught to be kind and generous to those who were in need. The Drexel family believed wealth must be shared. Several times during the week, her parents would invite poor people into their home or quietly seek out local people short of resources. During the summers, Katharine helped teach Sunday school to local children.
Katherine’s father was a successful investment banker, and the family was very wealthy. Katharine was well educated. She received a private education from tutors and traveled extensively in the United States and Europe.
When Katharine's stepmother became ill, Katharine cared for her. She died of cancer in 1883. This experience taught Katharine that all the money in the world could not buy health or happiness. This thought changed her life.
When her father died in 1886, Katharine and her sisters inherited a large sum of money. She became more involved in helping those in need. She traveled to the northwest and visited Native American missions. In 1887, Katharine appealed to Pope Leo XIII during a private audience with him. She requested missionaries for the missions she was financing. He suggested to Katherine that she become a missionary herself. This suggestion was life changing.
"The patient and humble endurance of the cross whatever nature it may be is the highest work we have to do."
Though she had been attracted to the religious life for many years, in 1889 Katharine decided to enter the convent, becoming a postulant with the Sisters of Mercy in Pittsburg. She decided to devote her life to God and to spend her time and money helping both Native Americans and African Americans. At this time, Native Americans and African Americans were not given the same rights as other Americans. There, she founded a congregation to serve people oppressed by discrimination and poverty. With thirteen other women, Katharine started the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament whose dedication was to share the message of the Gospel and the Eucharist among American Indians and African Americans.
Katharine started schools and churches for Native Americans and African Americans all over the United States. During her lifetime, she opened, staffed and directly supported nearly 60 schools and missions, especially in the West and Southwest United States. She began Xavier University in New Orleans, the first Catholic university in the United States for African Americans. Katharine believed that everyone had a right to a free education and that education is the only way to improve lives.
In addition to education, Katharine worked for justice during her life. She took a public stance against racism and discrimination. The Vatican cited courage and initiative in addressing social inequality among minorities as one of the elements of mother Katharine’s legacy.
Katherine Drexel died on March 3rd, 1955. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II on November 20, 1980. She was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II. Katharine was the second American to be canonized a saint.
The order of nuns founded by Katharine Drexel still exists today. This order continues to practice her beliefs and not only serves Native American and African American people, but also helps the people of Haiti. Xavier University in New Orleans continues to offer and provide a quality education to all people regardless of race and religion.
On March 9, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Dominic Savio.
Download an activity that invites children to compose a song of praise, inspired by Saint Dominic Savio who often praised God through song.
Dominic Savio was one of ten children. His father was a blacksmith and his mother was a seamstress. They lived in Italy, near Turin. At the age of four, Dominic could recite all of his prayers and one year later, he became an altar boy. Dominic received his first Holy Communion at the age of seven. On that day, he wrote, "I will go to confession very often and go to communion as often as my confessor gives me permission. I will celebrate Sundays and feast days as holy days. Jesus and Mary will be my friends."
When Dominic was twelve years old, he entered a school that was run by John Bosco. This school trained boys for the priesthood and helped take care of neglected and unwanted boys.
Dominic was always cheerful, studied hard, and helped his friends. He taught them about religion, took care of them when they were sick, and broke up many fights. Dominic was well liked and known for praying frequently, often praising God through song.
Shortly before his fifteenth birthday, Dominic became ill. He was sent home to get better, but he died one month before his fifteenth birthday.
Dominic lived his life doing ordinary things with a smile and a cheerful heart. He did everything to the best of his ability. He used Jesus as a role model and tried to imitate him in all situations. As a student, as a friend, as a son, as a brother, and as a teenager, Dominic lived his life focused on God. As students, as friends, as sons or daughters, as brothers or sisters, we can live our lives focused on God in everything we do. Dominic is the patron saint of children's choirs.
On March 15, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Louise of Marillac, who loved and served those in need.
Download an activity in which children plan a project with their family members to help people in need.
On March 15, the Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Louise de Marillac. Louise was born in 1591, the daughter of Louis de Marillac, an important member of high society in Paris. Members of Louis’s family belonged to the French royal court, so Louise was raised among the French royalty. She was educated at a monastery outside of Paris where her aunt was a nun. As a teenager, she desired to become a nun, but the community did not accept her. Although she was deeply disappointed, her family advised her to get married.
Louise married Antoine Le Gras, the secretary to the Queen of France. Together, they had a son, Michel. Louise was very content with her life as a wife and mother, but only a few years after their marriage, Antoine became very ill. For nine years, Louise devoted herself to nursing him.
"Be diligent in serving the poor. Love the poor, honor them, my children, as you would honor Christ himself."
After the death of her husband, Louise decided to devote her life completely to the Church. Louise became friends with Vincent de Paul. He invited her to work with him to serve those in need. Vincent had founded the Ladies of Charity. These wealthy women donated money to the poor, but they did not want to actually work among the poor people. Louise found women from the country who were willing to devote their time to such service. This group became known as the Daughters of Charity. The group expanded to care not only for poor people, but also for orphans, the elderly, and those who suffered from mental illness. Louise said, “Be diligent in serving the poor. Love the poor, honor them, my children, as you would honor Christ himself.”
Louise served others until her death in 1660. However, her good will still lives on in the Daughters of Charity. This community of sisters continues to serve those in need.
Although Louise came from a wealthy family, she was aware of the problems people who were poor and sick faced. She devoted herself to helping them in any way she could. From Saint Louise, we can learn the importance of loving and serving people in need.
On March 17, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Patrick, the popular patron saint of Ireland.
Download an activity that reminds children of the Blessed Trinity and the legend of the shamrock used by Saint Patrick in his teaching.
Patrick was born in Scotland in the year 347 When he was about fourteen years old, he was captured and brought to Ireland. At this time, the people of Ireland did not know about Jesus. Ireland was not ruled by one single king, but by several Celtic chieftains. Each chieftain ruled a small piece of land but was always trying to get more land through force. Because of this unrest, not many people came to Ireland from England.
As a slave, Patrick was forced to take care of sheep. Patrick prayed often during his captivity. The people of Ireland at this time were not Christian. Patrick learned about their beliefs and practices. When Patrick was twenty years old, he escaped from slavery and returned home. However, he never forgot the people of Ireland and wanted to return to teach them about Christianity.
Patrick began studying for the priesthood and was eventually ordained a bishop. The Pope then sent him to Ireland as a missionary. Patrick became friends with several community leaders in Ireland. Because the people trusted him, many converted to Christianity. Patrick built over three hundred churches throughout Ireland and baptized thousands of people.
Patrick invited other priests and church leaders to join him in Ireland. He remained in Ireland for forty years, preaching, writing, and ministering to the people of Ireland.
There are many legends about Saint Patrick. One such legend has it that he used a shamrock, a plant growing in Ireland, to explain the Blessed Trinity. Just as there are three separate leaves on one plant, there are three distinct Persons in one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because of this, the shamrock is the traditional symbol of Ireland.
On March 19, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Joseph. In addition to remembering Saint Joseph in a special way on his feast day, Pope Francis declared a “Year of Saint Joseph” from December 8, 2020 to December 8, 2021. Pope Francis’ apostolic letter Patris corde (“With a Father’s Heart”) marks the 150th anniversary of the declaration of Saint Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church.
By trade, Joseph was a carpenter in the town of Nazareth. Joseph built things using wood. Download an activity that invites children to help build collaboratively using blocks that they have designed.
Joseph was the husband of Mary and the foster father of Jesus. Joseph worked as a carpenter in the town of Nazareth. He was not wealthy even though Joseph's ancestor was King David, the greatest king of Israel.
Joseph was a man of great compassion. He was also a man of faith. Joseph strived to do the will of God, no matter what God asked of him. In a dream, an angel told Joseph the truth about Mary and the child she was carrying. Without questioning the angel, Joseph married Mary. The angel returned after Jesus had been born to warn him that he and his family were in danger. Again, Joseph did not question what the angel told him, but took Mary and Jesus to a new country. He stayed with his family in Egypt until the angel let him know it was all right to return to Nazareth. Each year, Joseph took Mary and Jesus to celebrate Passover in Jerusalem. This was difficult for Joseph because of his work.
Joseph loved Jesus very much. He did his best to make sure that Jesus was safe and well cared for. Joseph was very worried when one day Jesus stayed behind in the temple and could not be found.
There is no mention of Joseph during Jesus' three years of public ministry. There is also no mention of Joseph during Jesus' suffering, death, and Resurrection. It is believed that Joseph died before Jesus began his public ministry.
Joseph obeyed God throughout his whole life, even when he did not understand what was being asked of him. He remained strong in faith, believing that God would protect him; Joseph, in turn, protected and cared for Mary and Jesus. Joseph exemplifies, according to Patris corde “creative courage” and is a timely example of fatherly love and the value and dignity of work.
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 March!
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!