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5 Sweet and special ways to celebrate your child’s saint’s day

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Taras Grebinets | Shutterstock

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 04/28/24

How to celebrate your child’s saint’s day? As someone whose family has kept this tradition going for generations, I’ll tell you what I do.

When I was a freshman in college, one day a cookie cake showed up at my dorm for me to share with friends.

“Ooh, is it your birthday?!” my roommates asked. 

“No… it’s the feast of St. Teresa of Avila,” I explained. “My family celebrates our patron saints’ feast days like a mini birthday.”

The concept was brand-new to my college pals, but I had never known anything different. 

Every year growing up, my six siblings and I got to celebrate not only our birthday but also our saint’s day, or as we called it, our “feast day.”

We would go to Mass, Mom would make our favorite dinner, and Dad would ask us to share something about our saint with the rest of the family. 

A tradition continues

Now that I’m a mother of four myself, I’ve continued this tradition with my kids. 

Because my family is Cuban, we sing Las Mañanitas, part of which says “Because today is your saint’s day…” I think it’s so cool that there is a song written especially for saints’ day celebrations! 

I love this tradition of honoring a child’s patron saint, but at the same time, I don’t want to overcomplicate things. Life is busy enough, right? I try to keep the celebration very reasonable so I can keep up with it year after year.

Interested in knowing how to celebrate your child’s saint’s day? As someone whose family has kept this tradition going for generations, I’ll tell you what I do. Hopefully it’s helpful to you!

1
We go to Mass together

I tell my kids, “When we go to Mass, we are getting as close to your special saint as we can get on this earth!”

2
We ask the priest to bless the child

After Mass, if I have an opportunity, I flag down the priest, explain that it’s my child’s saint’s day, and ask for a blessing. The priest has always seemed delighted to give one! 

Getting blessed makes the day feel extra special for my kids, and I’m sure they could use the extra prayers!

3
We ask the saint to pray for us

Even if all we say is a quick “St. Josephine, pray for us!” I want to ask for the saint’s intercession together, so my kids understand that the saints are our big brothers and sisters in faith who are showing us the way to go and cheering on our efforts.

4
We learn about the saint

I got this part of the tradition from my dad, who would always ask my siblings and me to share something about our saint with the rest of the family. We’ve changed it a bit since my kids are still pretty young and don’t know a whole lot about their patron saints yet. Instead, we look for a way to learn about their special saint together.

Some years that might mean getting a book about their saint from the library to read together. Other years, I look up a video online; we like the “My Catholic Family” saint stories series from EWTN:

Or I might even tell my kids a story about their saint from memory (if it’s a saint whose story I know well).

5
We celebrate!

The most exciting part for the kids, of course, is celebrating! The child whose saint’s day it is gets to decide on dinner and choose a favorite dessert.

Some years we have invited friends to join us at Mass and walk down the street to get donuts afterward, or distributed cupcakes outside after Mass. A few years I’ve hosted my child’s friends for a play date to honor the day, or we’ve gathered with family. Some years we do a cake with candles, singing Las Mañanitas instead of the birthday song.

Another fun twist would be to theme your celebration on the saint, such as visiting the animals at the zoo for St. Francis of Assisi or watching a documentary about Siena for St. Catherine of Siena.

However you celebrate, I hope your family loves the saint’s day tradition as much as mine does! Enjoy celebrating!

Tags:
Catholic LifestyleChildrenDevotions and FeastsParentingSaints
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