Every celebration is usually accompanied by food; take advantage of this day to cook with your family and prepare desserts alluding to the trade or activity the saint is the patron of, or with characteristic elements of your favorite saint. As you enjoy the meal, share with your family the story or anecdotes of the chosen saint or saints.
For example, for St. Juan Gualberto, the patron saint of parks and forest workers, you could make chocolate cupcakes decorated with white frosting and small trees made with chocolate or stretchy dough. In the case of St. Rose of Lima, you could make cupcakes with frosting in the shape of red roses.
For St. Anthony the Abbot, the patron saint of domestic animals, or St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and environmentalists, you could make or buy cookies in the shape of animals or leaves or trees.
3. Come up with playful activities about the saints.
In addition to the prepared desserts, you could fill large containers or cups with candy with each one wrapped in a piece of paper that has some of the most famous quotes from the saints of your devotion written on them. You could also fill cups with candy and place a lollipop stick or a short stick inside with the image of a saint glued to it.
If you have pumpkins, you could draw a star or a cross on them and fill them with candy that has quotes from your favorite saints wrapped around them. In this way the scary faces that are typically carved on pumpkins will be avoided and a more Christian meaning will be given to this activity.
Later, you could tell the story of some saints or watch movies of saints as a family — perhaps animated ones for children — and then ask questions to see how much family members understood. With those who already know various stories of the saints, you could even play charades. Those who answer correctly can be rewarded with the candy.
You could also have the smallest children in your family make a dramatization or performance of the story, episode, or anecdote of one of their favorite saints. This activity could be more fun if they have a costume or something associated with the saint.
In addition, each member of the family could be encouraged to draw his or her favorite saint or make origami or crafts representing his or her patron saint or some characteristic element of the saint. Afterward, each member could explain why he or she chose that saint and share a favorite quote of the saint with the others.
4. Decorate your home altar and pray as a family.
First, set up a family altar in your home if you don’t have one. This is an excellent place to pray the rosary as a family, and this devotional practice is better done in community than individually.
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Images of saints are often placed on altars for veneration and can also be very educational.
Remembering that this space in the home should be special and encourage recollection for prayer, take advantage of this special day and decorate it as a family with images of your favorite saints and flowers for the Virgin Mary, whether natural or made with paper using the origami technique.
Then, pray the rosary with your whole family, asking God for holiness for your family, and dedicate a prayer to the saint or saints of your devotion. Each family member could read a mystery of the rosary, and at the end everyone could sing a Marian hymn.
The concept of Holywins
For last year’s celebration of Holywins, the Diocese of Alcalá de Henares explained that “the phonetic similarity with the word ‘Halloween’ is not accidental, since Holywins seeks to help reinforce the Christian festival of All Saints in the face of [an] increasing” pagan influence on Halloween.
The diocese pointed out that although “Halloween means ‘All Hallows Eve’ in English, currently this celebration has no relation to the Christian faith. On the contrary, its way of approaching life and death, good and evil, is completely different from that of the Gospel of Christ and the tradition of his Church.”
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