Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Saints for all the Smarts {The Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education}

As we start the school year, one of the first activities my students and I will do together is this Smarts Survey, both so that I can get to know them and also so they can see and celebrate their strengths.  I am excited to put more ideas into practice about the Multiple Intelligence theory in my faith instruction, especially as we learn about the Mass and the Sacraments.

Because we all relate to those that are similar to us, I thought it would be fun to have a list of Saints to match the multiple intelligences.  We are blessed to have so many holy people to follow in the footsteps of, and even as I am publishing this post more and more Saints are coming to mind.  Many of them could have easily fallen under several categories, but I chose one intelligence where I thought they shined.  There are Saints from various eras as well as at least one person from the New Testament.  Hopefully your students can find Saints that help them celebrate their strengths and guide them in their weaknesses.

(If I have corresponding activities for one of the listed Saints, a link is provided in purple.)

Picture Smart Kids (Visual-Spatial Intelligence)
St. Catherine of Bologna is one patron Saint of artists– she was a painter, musician and writer. Some of the talented art she created can still be seen in museums in Italy. An illuminated manuscript created by her was once owned by Pope Pius IX.
Other Patrons:
-St. Veronica- woman celebrated in the Stations of the Cross for receiving the image of Jesus's face when she offered Him her veil as He carried the cross
-St. Luke- traditionally said to have painted the first icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary
-St. Lucy- patron Saint of eyes and vision
-St. Clare of Assisi- while sick in bed, received a vision of Mass on her cell wall, making her the patron Saint of television
-Bl. Fra Angelico- Italian friar and painter from the Renaissance era known for his paintings of the life of Christ and of the Saints

Word Smart Kids (Linguistic Intelligence)
St. Catherine of Siena was technically illiterate, making it even more amazing that her fiery letters helped the Pope make decisions. Her autobiography “The Dialogue” records conversations she had with God.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Paul- his speeches and letters were (and are) responsible for spreading Christianity around the world
-St. Bernadine of Siena- popular preacher from the 15th Century
-St. Francis de Sales- patron of journalists because he is known as one of the first to write and print religious tracks to share Christianity with people he met
-St. Augustine-author of one of the world's most famous autobiographies
-Ven. Fulton Sheen- spent his life speaking and writing about Christ, as evidenced by his radio and television shows and dozens of books
-St. John Chrysostom- his name literally means "golden mouth" describing his ability to teach about the faith

Body Smart Kids (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati was a talented athlete and active young man who also used his time and energy to serve the poor and share his vibrant faith.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Thomas- so hands on that he needed to touch Christ to believe in the Resurrection
-St. Sebastian- martyred by archers, patron Saint of athletes
-St. Genesius of Rome-comedian and actor who wrote and acted in a play mocking Christianity, and then experienced a conversion during that very play.  He was baptized and promptly martyred
-St. Julia of Carthage- early Christian martyr and patron Saint of hands

People Smart Kids (Interpersonal Intelligence)
St. Teresa of Calcutta spent her life serving the poorest of the poor, and also traveled the world meeting all kinds of people, sharing the message of her faith and helping others.
Other Patrons: 
-St. Peter- after the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Peter boldly proclaimed his faith in Christ to anyone and everyone he met
-St. Padre Pio- known for reading hearts, Padre Pio knew people and how to minister to them
-St. Maximilian Kolbe- reached thousands of people through his writing in pre WWII Poland, and then impacted more with his act of sacrifice saving another prisoner in Auschwitz 
-St. John the Baptist- without care for consequences, John spoke about about the coming Kingdom and drew scores of followers
-St. Frances Xavier Cabrini- she traveled across the ocean to minister to American immigrants, helping the people and their children keep their faith in a new place

Self Smart Kids (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
St. Therese of Lisieux’s “Little Way” shows a deep understanding of the interior life that Self Smart Kids will be able identify with. She led a simple life that centered around love and service of God and others.
Other Patrons: 
-The Blessed Virgin Mary- as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Mary is intimately connected to the life of the Trinity
-St. Joseph- with no recorded words in Scripture, Joseph's interior life helped him listen and respond to the promptings of God as he led the Holy Family
-St. Gemma Galgani- deep prayer life and mystical experiences in the midst of physical suffering
-St. Faustina- known for her visions of the Divine Mercy of Jesus
-St. Teresa of Avila- her teachings on mental prayer and mystical experiences are among the reasons she was named a Doctor of the Church

Music Smart Kids (Musical Intelligence)
St. Gregory the Great is remembered for reforming the musical liturgy of the Mass and for traditional Gregorian Chant. Among his many writings were original song lyrics and poems.
Other Patrons:
-St. John the Apostle- recorded heavenly hymns and liturgy in the Book of Revelation
-St. Cecilia- patron Saint of music, known for "singing to Jesus in her heart" when pagan music was played at her wedding to a non-Christian husband 
-Bl. Solanus Casey- played the violin
-St. Rose of Lima- often pictured singing while playing a guitar
-Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich- played the organ

Nature Smart Kids (Natural Intelligence)
St. John Paul II loved the outdoors. He was known for hiking, skiing, and camping trips, often using that time in nature to teach and pray with others.
Other Patrons: 
-St. James the Greater- he was a fisherman before being called as an Apostle
-St. Kateri Tekakwitha- the first Native American to be canonized
-St. Francis of Assisi-patron saint of the outdoors and animals
-St. Isidore the Farmer- angels did his plowing so that he could attend Mass

Number Smart Kids (Logical/Mathematical Intelligence)
St. Thomas Aquinas is one of the greatest minds of the Church, so it is no surprise that he is a great patron for kids who love math and logic. His great mind is an inspiration to all.
Other Patrons:
-St. Matthew- tax collector before being called as an Apostle
-St. Hubert- a patron Saint of mathematicians
-St. Albert the Great- well educated with wide interests, including math, logic, and science

Click here for a printable handout with all the suggested Patron Saints for the different intelligences:

Who are some of your favorite Saints?  Which of the multiple intelligences do you think are their strengths?

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