In preparing for the arrival of November, on All Hallow’s Eve, after listening to The Tale of the Jack-O-Lantern, the children decided that instead of the usual jack-o-lantern carvings, that they would turn their pumpkins into Saint – O – Lanterns again this year.
They each choose a symbol of a special saint to adorn their pumpkins.
My son choose the symbol of a spider, for Saint Conrad of Constance who is often represented as a bishop holding a chalice with a spider over it. The symbolic spider is reference to a legend that states how once when he was celebrating mass, a spider fell into the chalice. At that time, spiders were believed to be deadly poisonous, but Conrad nevertheless drank the wine, with the spider in it, as a token of faith–and he survived!
My daughter, remembering St. Francis’ feast day from earlier in the month, and her favorite story, decided upon carving a wolf. As legend states in Saint Francis and the Wolf, Francis was able to stop a terrifying wolf from tormenting villagers by simply speaking of peace and forgiveness. The wolf turned from his wicked ways all because of this great Saint’s speech!
The next morning, in keeping with the tradition of celebrating All Saint’s Day in the church, our local homeschool group gathered together to share in the celebration of the liturgy with children adorned in their best saint costumes.
I was fortunate to attend Mass this year with courageous St. George and sweet St. Clare.
St. George has long been adored by my son, (with his favorite picture book being Saint George and the Dragon), so it was not a surprise when he decided to dress as the Red Cross Knight for this special feast. Surrounded by a black cape from the dress up box, a swiped belt from Dad’s closet at his waist, Mom’s brooch pendant at his neck, and the addition of a shield containing several Red Crosses– he was all set to play the part of St. George for the day!
With St. Francis being a favorited saint in our home, so too is his sister in Christ, St. Clare. My daughter choose to represent the founder of the Poor Clares this year by donning a brown habit with twine at the waist. She also carried a Monstrance and Rosary–symbols most often depicted in art along with Clare’s likeness.
Decked out in their finest saintly garb, the children looked forward to playing some saintly inspired games with friends after Mass, and of course loved to have the chance to take home candy prizes.
But instead of lugging around a plastic pumpkin or bag adorned with secular likenesses of Halloween to store their winnings, I wanted my children to have the opportunity to celebrate their faith and learn a little more about their chosen saints. So, we decided to create their very own personalized bags to collect their All Saint’s Day treats in.
With leftover packing boxes covered in brown craft paper, they set to work on creating their very own All Saint’s Day treat bags. A picture of their chosen saint, along with the saint’s symbol and a small prayer, were displayed on one side of the box, while the other displayed various depictions of saints in light and listed the name of the day’s feast.
Their boxes were completed with the attachment of a twine handle that allowed them to be toted about to gather up candy and prizes during the afternoon’s festivities.
All in all, they had a wonderful time and enjoyed spending the day in fellowship with friends, while remembering all of the humble saints that have come before them!