Before I get into the saint theme business, I wanted to mention my winter Ordinary Time goals in general, since the novenas are a part of that. I have a weekly Adoration goal, and so far things are going great, but I tell you, the perpetual Adoration chapel I go to isn't making it easy for me. :0 I mentioned that it was closed over the holidays, which is totally understandable. I stopped last week, no problems whatsoever, so I was lulled into a sense of confidence.
*ominous music plays*
Tuesday I hustled out to my car early so that I would have time for a holy 15 minutes prior to heading home. I zoom to the chapel. I park. I walk briskly to the back door of the church near the Adoration chapel. It is locked. I peek inside the window kind of creepily. Right! There is another door along the side. I've been outside for a whole 30 seconds by this point and am getting cold, so I start to hightail it to the side door. As this was ongoing, another car had zipped into the parking lot and made a big sweeping motion to back into the parking spot that I was currently transversing. I was already in the middle of the spot, so it's not like I could go anywhere except to hurry to the other side. Which is what I did, making a "sorry!" face as I did so, but they still nearly mowed me down. :0 But I made it to the side door unscathed, and...it too was locked.
This time I wasn't at all subtle about peering in the windows, and I saw a large sign hung on the chapel door saying that it was closed "for construction in the church hallway," whatever that means. So that was a huge bummer, but it did open back up yesterday, so I stopped then. No zoomy cars in the parking lot, so all was well. I love Adoration. It's not like I ever see visions or hear voices when I'm in there or anything, but I feel like the rest of the week following that is just smoother and it's more clear to me what decisions I should make along the way. So, that's going well. :)
For the kids, I mentioned this "saint theme" idea I had. Henry mentioned that he'd like a St. Stephen wooden peg doll to add to his collection, so I've made St. Stephen his theme for the year. :) What I plan to do is read his story with Henry throughout the year in all of the various saint books that he has, and then gift him with some St. Stephen sacramentals as a way of remembering his example. I'm going to ask my favorite Etsy saint doll artist, Gary of St. Luke's Brush, to paint him a St. Stephen doll. He doesn't have a current listing for St. Stephen, but he'll custom make whatever saint you ask, and it would be similar in style to this handsome St. Francis de Sales:
I also have a St. Stephen rosary for him, created by Allison of Rosaries by Allison:
Anne's theme is Our Lady of Lourdes. She's a huge fan of Our Lady (Our Lady Star of the Sea is a real favorite of hers), so I thought this would be a nice one for her. We'll read her story, and she'll receive a felt Our Lady of Lourdes in her Easter basket (shop is Saintly Silver on Etsy):
And an Our Lady of Lourdes rosary:
I'm planning to emphasize these feast days this year, so December 26th for St. Stephen, and upcoming February 11th for Our Lady of Lourdes. In fact, I'm planning on praying the Our Lady of Lourdes novena and trying to include Anne in that as much as I can, I will report in on how that goes. :)
I have some other saint ideas for the kids this year, the first of which involves the feast of St. Blaise, February 3rd. I will devote a whole post to St. Blaise in about two weeks, just after his novena starts on January 25th!
What are your saint traditions with your kids, or that you grew up with? Do report in the comments. :)