Sunday, 4 March 2018

A Catholic A-Z, Part 2

Week 2 of our Lenten Thematic Unit (F-I)

F - St. Francis and Fortitude

We read the lovely story of St. Francis of Assisi. He is my patron Saint and I absolutely love him.

The kiddies drew Italy and located Assisi. It ties in nicely with our study of St. Clare of Assisi.

"The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord."

"While counsel is the perfection of a cardinal virtue, fortitude is both a gift of the Holy Spirit and a cardinal virtue. Fortitude is ranked as the fourth gift of the Holy Spirit because it gives us the strength to follow through on the actions suggested by the gift of counsel. While fortitude is sometimes called courage, it goes beyond what we normally think of as courage. Fortitude is the virtue of the martyrs that allows them to suffer death rather than to renounce the Christian Faith."

I hired my beautiful eldest to 'tattoo' the word fortitude on the littlies' arms.

G - God, Gospel, Gregorian chant and the Genealogy of Jesus 

A morning of writing to God. Using green card to symbolise us all on Earth and silver envelopes for Heaven, the children wrote one word to God on each card. Each word represents a way we can talk to Him each day, whenever we can.:

Thank you: for my day, my family, my friends, fun times, safety, security, food etc.
Sorry: for mucking up, being unkind, getting angry, being hurtful, inconsiderate etc.
Wow: I had the most amazing idea, I had a great day, I learnt something new just now etc.
Help: me to be wiser, kinder, find the courage for that appointment, slow down when I shouldn't rush. etc.

We 'sent' them via our heart card holder to symbolise God in our heart.

We learnt that the word Gospel originates form the Anglo-Saxon word God-spell which means Good News

We listened to Gregorian chant from the Franciscan monastery in Assisi.

And Panda Girl drew the Genealogy of Jesus - right back to Abraham. Historically fascinating.

H- Holy Spirit, St. Helen, Hope and Host

The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Holy Trinity is the breath and vitality of God. The children represented this with a red flame and blue breaths, quoting Holy Spirit references from the Bible.

We also read about St. Helen of the True Cross, mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine, we talked about Hope (my favourite virtue) and the Host.

I - The Israelites and IHS

We spent a fun half hour watching the story of Moses and consolidating our knowledge of how he freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt and took them to their homeland, parting the Red Sea and receiving the Ten Commandments.

Making the Ten Commandments.

IHS and XP are symbols we often see on the Host, vestments, missals etc. We learnt how IHS are the first three letters of Ihsous which is Jesus in Greek. XP is the Greek Ch and r from the word Christ. Both symbols were used by the early Christians during the Catacombs. 

The children made a simple information sheet to help them explain the symbolism to their other siblings.