Friday, April 29, 2011

Celebrating the Feast of Divine Mercy

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday!

Jesus said to St. Faustina "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."

Here are several ideas that I have gathered for celebrating the feast...

Listen to/Read Stories of St. Faustina and Divine Mercy

For the Littles:

Holy Heroes has a series of CDs on the lives of the saints called Glory Stories. They are perfect for listening to in the car, and have lessons for adults too! For this feast listen to the story of St. Faustina.

To purchase Holy Heros Glory Stories click here
I absolutely LOVE this children's book about St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy Image by David Previtali. Unfortunately, it is no longer in print so most copies are QUITE expensive. If you happen to find one for a reasonable price, don't hesitate, just buy it!

EWTN has a wonderful DVD series of saint stories called My Catholic Family. In this particular DVD the parents teach their children about Divine Mercy.
To preview this DVD visit EWTN Kids

EWTN also has this DVD in which St. Fautina teaches children about Divine Mercy and how to pray the chaplet.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet for Kids - DVD

Father Lovasik has written a fabulous book called The Works of Mercy. This would be a perfect book to read and teach children about God's Mercy and about BEING merciful. It is also quite IN-expensive

For adults

Read The Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul (my favorite section of this book is the one on Faustina's Eucharistic reflections. It is at the very end of the book)

Read about the life of St. Faustina and the History/Message of Divine Mercy

Color Pictures and Make Crafts

Here are a couple of links to my FAVORITE coloring pages pertaining to the Feast of Divine Mercy

I just LOVE this Divine Mercy Icon coloring page by Charlotte over at Waltzing Matilda. It is the perfect outline for making your own mosaic (just cut up several pieces of paper, in a variety of colors, and glue all the little pieces to the picture).

(I equally love this stained glass window coloring page of the Divine Mercy Image from the coloring book: Fenestrae Fidei: A Coloring Companion for Catholic Mosaic. However, it is not a free print out...but it is only $9.99 and worth every penny! It includes 48 stained glass style pictures of the saints and major Feasts of the Church)

This picture was found at Shower of Roses, my new favorite Catholic blog.

You can also find a coloring page for St. Faustina, the Mercy Image, and JPII, as well as a couple of word searches at Divine Mercy Kids.

St. Faustina

I think that this is a perfect craft for little ones.

Visit Make Music Praying Twice for FREE print outs and the full tutorial here
Eat!(after all it is a FEAST-DAY)

Serve foods that are red and blue to represent the rays of light (which in turn represent the blood and water that flowed from the pierced side of Christ).

I think these two ideas are so beautifully clever!

Mercy Pancakes!

Doesn't this cheesecake look just DIVINE?!

*For these and more amazing food ideas visit Catholic Cuisine


Set up a sacred space with the Divine Mercy Image as your centerpiece.

Decorate with a vase filled with roses/flowers (half red and half white/blue).

Pray the Mercy Chaplet as a family (you may wish to pray this during the 3:00 Mercy hour...the hour that Jesus died on the Cross).

*To burn a free CD of the Mercy Chaplet (Chanted) click here.

Practice one or more of the spiritual or corporal works of mercy as a family ("The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy...I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me." Diary, 742).

Works of Mercy, by the Master of Alkmaar

Have a lovely Feast day!!!

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

A Royal Wedding

I'm not sure if it is the horse drawn carriage, the beautiful dress, prince charming, the crown, the bells, or the thought of happily ever after...but there is something about the wedding of a royal Prince and Princess that speaks to the heart of every woman (c'mon ladies...admit it!).

I have to say that I loved the sermon given by the Bishop of London...especially this part...

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves. ~ Royal Wedding sermon of the Bishop of London

A final thought: I think that if my little princess was several years older, we just may have woken up in the wee hours to watch the entire ceremony...while eating scones and drinking English tea...out of REAL porcelain tea cups...and wearing big beautiful hats...or perhaps even tiaras.

Liturgical Wheel for the Littles

Another change we made in our home this past Sunday, was turning our liturgical wheel from Lent/purple to Easter/white. You may remember this idea from my earlier post on Lenten ideas for the littles (you can find info on how to use the wheel, and the significance of the liturgical colors there). Well here is our version of the liturgical wheel for the littles.

Note: We didn't have any Catholic catalogs to cut pictures out of, so I just drew the pictures.

Note: We couldn't find brad(?) clips, so we used velcro on our wheel. And, as a finishing touch, my wonderful Mr laminated it for us.

Back Piece

Back Side of Front Piece


Our "2" and "3" have really enjoyed talking about the colors as the liturgical seasons change. They especially love to talk about the colors before going to mass and then seeing the same colors on the altar and the vestments of the priest (boy did Palm Sunday throw them for a loop!...I may make another wheel that includes even more colors. For now, this works just fine.).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Trading Spaces... (Our Easter Sacred Space)

 Alleluia! He is risen!!!   

I thought I'd share a couple of changes we have made around our home to celebrate this joyous season. The first is our sacred space. On Easter Sunday, we traded out purple for...


These are a couple pictures of our Easter sacred space...

Happy Easter!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead ... 1 Peter 1:3

* More to come tomorrow!

Monday, April 25, 2011

First Comes LOVE...

Then Comes Marriage...

Then Comes the Baby in the Baby Carriage.

We will be happy to hold baby number FOUR in our arms this September!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our 2011 Paschal Candle + Tutorial

I wasn't sure if I would actually get around to making an Easter candle this year since we will be moving in a few weeks. But, this morning, I woke up bright and early to make this year's Paschal Candle for our home. It will be placed on our sacred space and we will light it each day/evening during our family prayer times this Easter season.

So, what exactly IS a Paschal Candle? To learn about the origin and usage of the Paschal Candle click here or here

To make this candle

You Will Need:

Tall Candle
Paint (Oil or Acrylic)
 Paint Brushes (Fine Tipped)
Strait (sewing) Pins

Step 1 - Draw an alpha, omega, a cross, 2, 0, and two 1's on your paper.

Step 2 - Cut out each symbol. One by one, hold each symbol down on the face of the candle while you trace the outline of the symbol with the pencil (press down hard with the pencil). This will make an indentation of each symbol on the candle which you will be able to paint.

(Look very closely...the Alpha indention is there. I promise!)

Step 3 - Paint each symbol with gold paint (you may choose to skip this step but it gives the colors over it a nice shine).

Step 4 - Paint each symbol (using colors of your choice).

"Christ yesterday and today (vertical bar of the cross)
the beginning and the end (horizontal bar of the cross)
Alpha (A, above the cross)
and Omega; (Ω, below the cross)
all time belongs to him (2, upper left quadrant)
and all the ages: (0, upper right quadrant)
to him be glory and power (1, lower left quadrant)
through every age for ever. Amen." (1, lower right quadrant)

Step 5 - Add five pins and five beads to the cross (these represent the 5 grains of incense that a priest will insert into the candle at Mass - held in place by the 5 "nails").

"By his holy and glorious wounds may Christ our Lord guard us and keep us." 

Step 6 - Add ribbons (I used pins and beads to secure these).

We are so happy to have our Paschal Candle ready for Easter! Remember that according to the liturgical calendar, Easter is celebrated for 50 days! So if you don't have time to make a Pascal Candle before tomorrow don't sweat it! You still have time to make one just like ours for your home... 

-OR- you could make this SUPER EASY one from Homeschool Goodies...

paschal candle
Just print, glue/tape, Viola!

-OR- you could order this bees wax candle kit ( get to ROLL your own candle! How cool is THAT?!) which includes easy peasy water decals ( =  no painting or intricate details).  You can order it directly from Illuminated Ink OR on Amazon.

Check out Jessica's finished candle (the inspiration for ours - she used this kit with her littles) over at  Shower of Roses.

"May the light of Christ, rising in glory, dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds."