Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Happy Saint Nicholas Day: Free Printables About Saint Nicholas


When I was a child, the feast day of Saint Nicholas had a hazy, almost mythical quality to it. My parents spoke of putting out their shoes at night and receiving gifts by morning on December 6, but they did not carry the tradition for us children. The feast day was something from the homeland, not something to be celebrated in the United States, and it bore little importance to real life.

December 6 came and went for many years of my life without much attention except for a vague thought in the back of my mind that "oh, it's the feast day of the guy who became Santa."

Then, I became a mother and learned about this patron saint of children. The hazy outline of Saint Nicholas became stronger, and his personality boldly marked. This was not a soft, cozy sort of apparition from the past. Saint Nicholas was a brave and fiery bishop during turbulent times.

After reading Elizabeth Foss's brilliant "Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home" book, my husband and I made a conscious decision to celebrate the liturgical cycle, to learn and grow and pray about the meanings of the different days the Church sets aside for us to celebrate.

Saint Nicholas came into our life then ... and we've never let go. This bishop, with his generosity and kindness and steadfast spirit, inspired his community so long ago and continues to inspire so many, many others today.

He's far more than this vague prototype of Santa Claus. He's not just an old-timey version of Santa. He was fiery in his faith and defender of the Church's teachings.

You can learn more about him through this brief video:

 

(And if you subscribe to Formed.org, don't forget to watch the short animated movie "Nicholas: The Boy Who Became Santa.")

As our family learned more about this saint, I found myself drawing him often. Here are a few printables of Saint Nicholas that I'd like to share with you:
Download this Saint Nick coloring page!

I also drew this small printable St. Nicholas notecard to color up and share with your friends and family:

https://app.box.com/s/g9m4rjhe9k1vze64nklu

May this saintly bishop bless you and your family today and always.

xo
Vee

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Free Catholic Feast Day Planning Page


Ah, December and all its wonderful Catholic feast days! You sit down to make some plans for your favorite days, but then you realize just HOW many feast days there are in December and how maybe keeping everything organized can be a bear.
  
Simple Catholic Feast Day Planning Sheet

To help stay focused on what to celebrate, we always choose a handful of feast days of our favorite saints. Saint Lucia always ranks high, as does Our Lady of Guadalupe ... and Saint Juan Diego and, oh, there's Saint Thomas Beckett ...

Oh, right. Yes, choosing just a few can be difficult. 

https://app.box.com/s/e2u78ud2mh4pa39ps9q9no2io7m3f7jw
Download!

Once we do, though, we make sure to highlight, underline, and bold that day on our calendar and also consider why we're celebrating. What about this saint or feast day speaks to us specifically? 

Because we're Catholic, we do love our food and drink! Find inspiration from the saint's own life or homeland.

To get to that point, we often read about a saint's life or watch a movie about the saint's life. (Formed.org in particular has a good selection of saint movies for families.) If we give ourselves more room in the planning, we can pick up books about the saint as well.

Download the free Catholic feast day planning page and start preppin' for all the upcoming feast days.




Thursday, November 16, 2017

Get Ready to Start Off a New Catholic Liturgical Year

Catholic Coloring Liturgical Calendar for 2017-2018
Catholic Liturgical Calendar to Color
A good friend of mine used to greet everyone on the first Sunday of Advent with a hearty, "Happy new year!"

Catholic friends always knew what he meant: The first Sunday of Advent also starts off the new liturgical season. (Everyone else just looked at him in bemusement.)

As Catholics, we begin our new year in the spirit of "preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas."

This year, December 3 launches us into a whole new year of Catholic feasts and fasts, celebrations that ask us to pray more and hope harder, to draw closer and deeper into our relationship with Jesus Christ ... and we Catholics unite in the prayers and feasts of the season, no matter where we are, all around the world.

When my husband was in RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) years ago, he was astonished that all Catholics followed the same calendar of celebration. "Everyone has the same Mass readings every day?" he asked in surprise. "And everyone in the whole world is listening to the same Gospel and prayers?"

That wonder he felt many years ago still resides in our home ... in me, in our children. It especially shines during Advent, when we excitedly put together our Advent wreath, fill up our little tabletop basket with the beautiful Magnificat Advent prayer books our parish gives our community, and place ourselves along the long journey of St. Joseph and Mary toward Bethlehem.

Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Easter, Ordinary Time again ... then a new year begins once more on the first Sunday of Advent.
"Holy Mother Church believes that she should celebrate the saving work of her divine Spouse in a sacred commemoration on certain days throughout the course of the year. Once each week, on the day which she has called the Lord's Day, she keeps the memory of the Lord's resurrection. She also celebrates it once every year, together with his blessed Passion, at Easter, that most solemn of all feasts. In the course of the year, moreover, she unfolds the whole mystery of Christ. . . . Thus recalling the mysteries of the redemption, she opens up to the faithful the riches of her Lord's powers and merits, so that these are in some way made present in every age; the faithful lay hold of them and are filled with saving grace." (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
In preparation of the new liturgical year, I put together a downloadable (and affordable) Catholic Liturgical Calendar to Color 2018.

You may also want to grab this free Catholic feast day planning printable.

And remember to wish your Catholic friends a happy new year on December 3, 2017!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Saint Francis of Assisi Free Coloring Page

Happy Saint Francis of Assisi's Feast Day!

Click to download.


Note: You can download the free Saint Francis of Assisi coloring page here.

Saint Francis is credited for creating the Christmas creche, which Catholics have adopted into their homes, so I drew him thinking about plans for creating one.

(We tend to call ours the "nativity" but it's the same basic idea.)

Let us also take a moment to say his prayer of peace:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.



xo
Vee

p.s. If you do use this and happen to have an Instagram account, tag it with @paper_dali, so I can look at your wonderful work!



Monday, August 14, 2017

Free Saint Maximilian Kolbe Coloring Page [Downloadable]

https://app.box.com/s/ztyxzw77jlhkv8vsd5mb7ynq8g18ldf0


When you love someone deeply, you can find it difficult to focus on just certain aspects about him that you love. You want to talk about everything. It's not just this or that, but the entire collection of traits, the stories surrounding him, the feeling you get around him.

Likewise, I find it difficult to explain exactly what St. Maximilian Kolbe means to me. I'll just jot a few thoughts down then ...

Saint Max has been my Papa Kolbe since I was 12 and in dire need of a good, strong Catholic papa around. From the moment he entered my life during a homily at my Confirmation Mass, he has had a strong grip on me. A few times, I let go of him, but he always called after me to come back to the Church, come back to Christ, love Mary ...

I'm a practicing Catholic today, no doubt, because of his strong intercession.

In his earthly life, St. Max wrote, taught, preached, and lived his faith with a profound sense of charity, sacrifice, and humility. To learn about him is to learn how to pray more deeply and to surrender in the smaller sacrifices of the everyday.


St. Maximilian Kolbe is a patron saint known for this supreme act of sacrifice. At Auschwitz, he stepped out from the line of prisoners to tell a Nazi guard that Max would take the place of a prisoner sentenced to die.

But that sacrifice came from years and years of smaller, hidden sacrifices. "Let us remember that love lives through sacrifice and nourished by giving," he wrote. "Without sacrifice, there is no love."
 
No doubt that he continues to teach us how to love and prays for all God's children. May we learn from his example and strive to serve Christ more lovingly and more sacrificially.

If you'd like to download my free coloring page of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, feel free to do so!
Creative Commons License ... and please do NOT offer my works as downloads from your site.