Lean on one of the Church's greatest gifts to help your children embrace their faith for life.
While the Catholic Church has a number of ways to teach us about the faith, sometimes it can still be challenging for kids to really understand what the Gospel is all about, even if they’re taking catechism classes.
Children often learn best through imitation, however, and this is where the Church has another powerful tool: its thousands of saints. Here are just a few reasons why these brothers and sisters who have gone before us are vital in forming our children’s faith:
Saints are relatable
Reciting prayers and learning about the Gospels is, of course, important. Equally, the parables are a great way of reinforcing a message. However, if you look at the lives of today’s children, they are far removed from the times these ancient texts were written.
But modern saints can offer children something relatable. Take one of our most recent (almost) saints, Blessed Carlo Acutis, a 15-year-old Nike-wearing, Pokemon-loving boy who was devoted to God and the Eucharist. He didn’t die a grisly martyr’s death, but from a disease that lots of today’s youngsters may have witnessed in their families. He is someone young people can connect with.
However, it doesn’t have to be the most modern of saints. It can be a saint who shares the same passion as your child, or a saint from the same country. It can even be a saint with the same name. Just help your child to identify a saint or two that they feel connected to.
Saints provide a friend of faith for life
Although there is a myriad of saints to learn about, sometimes you just need one special saint to feel close to and to reach out to in times of incertitude and joy.
For a child, it’s wonderful to find a saint that they’are particularly drawn to. You can encourage them to learn more about that person; what they did in their life, and why they will always be by their side.
Interestingly, as your child grows, they’ll probably gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for their go-to saint. Their relationship can truly blossom with age, just like your child’s faith.
Saints are the perfect role models
One of the best things about the enormous number of saints that we know about is that they have led some truly interesting lives. Some were born devoted to God. Others found their faith later in life, and when they did, they led exemplary lives.
Whatever saints your children learn about, they’ll definitely have some fantastic role models to emulate.
Saints remind us to live in hope, always
By learning about different saints, children get a walk through history and the various injustices that have existed. What they’ll also appreciate is that none of these saints turned their back on God, despite the hardships many faced.
And that is a beautiful message that needs reinforcing permanently. When life fills us with fear and doubt, if you follow the path of these saintly men and women there will always be hope.