Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sheen and Mary

I've written quite a bit about Mary this year, (like here and here and here).

Fulton Sheen loved Mary.  He dedicated every one of his 66 books to her, spoke often of her, and taught others to know her.

Was he making a "mountain out of a mole hill"?  Practicing idolatry? Losing sight of Christ in focusing on His Mother?  No.  He was loving the Woman that Christ loved, learning from her example, and following Christ more closely because of it.

As he said:
"God, Who made the sun, also made the moon. The moon does not take away from the brilliance of the sun. All its light is reflected from the sun. The Blessed Mother reflects her Divine Son; without Him, she is nothing. With Him, she is the Mother of Men."

(Coincidentally, as we started taking about Mary, we were in the light section of our Science book, which talks about how every object that we can see either produces its own light or reflects from another sources.  Wove those two lessons together and had a ready-made journal topic!)
Fulton Sheen loved to teach others the prayer/poem "Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue." It is a sweet child's prayer written originally by Mary Dixon Thayer.  I added some of my artwork, and gave my students a copy to put in their Sheen Notebooks.
Click on the image below for the printable.
I also used this opportunity to cover some of the "basics" about Mary that are taught in a single chapter in our religion textbook.  The kids are at the point in the year that anything read to them out of a textbook goes in one ear and out the other, so I just took the info and presented it in a different way.  They all made these mini Mary fact books with info about terms relating to Mary, Mary in the Gospels, the Mysteries of the Rosary, Mary's Feast Days, and Names of Mary.  Click on this image for the printable.
They cut them out- FYI, I recommend only having kids cut out one "set" at a time- otherwise it is really easy to mix them up...which of course could be an entirely different challenge or assessment...but for our purposes I didn't want any lost pieces, so they cut out one at a time...

...and then stapled on one side to make an itty-bitty mini book...
...that easily opens to reveal info.
We then glued all of the mini books on blue paper in out notebooks.

This was also a good time to talk about why the color blue has a connection with Mary.  I just started the discussion with how they thought paint and dye was made hundreds of years ago. They were able to figure out that paint would be dyed with natural materials, and therefore blue must have been hard to make, and if it was hard to make, it would have been expensive.  Then, the students made the inference that you would only use blue paint on things you really valued, and so artists must have wanted to make the Blessed Mother as beautiful as possible.  The connection between blue and Mary has stuck to this day.

After these "fact activities," the kids were ready to talk about devotion to Mary and how she is a powerful intercessor for us.  Check back tomorrow for their favorite part of this project so far!


  1. I never knew that was why artists used blue for Mary!

    1. I probably over simplified it, but it gets the point across!

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  4. I am really very interested in using these printables in our homeschool, but I just get a blank page when I click on the image. Is there another way to get them?

    1. Hi Nicole! I checked, and both links are active. If you send me an email address, I can either email them to you or share them through google drive.

    2. Maybe because I am trying to access them on my tablet? I would appreciate having them sent to me! Thank you so much! nicdan_ch(at)q(dot)com
      Blessings to you!

  5. Lovely lady...I've known since I was about 10 when the dear Sister Juliana made me memorize it as a 'redirection' for my poor attitude during CCD. I loved it then and I can NOT WAIT to share with my children and religious education students this summer!

    1. It is such a beautiful poem! So glad you plan to share it with them :)