Monday, September 25, 2023

Our Lady of Fatima Block Print- Feast Day 5/13

In a field outside of Fatima, Portugal, three young children cared for their families' sheep. As brother and sister Francisco and Jacinta Marto along with their cousin Lucia dos Santos were in the fields watching their flocks, they saw a lady appear in front of a nearby oak tree. The Lady was surrounded with rays of light brighter than the sun and was dressed in a white dress with gold trim. She held a rosary in her hands and told the children not to be afraid.

Mary appeared at the site on the thirteenth of the month for six months spanning from May to October of 1917. She shared many messages with the children, but the main theme was asking for prayer, especially the Rosary, for the conversion of sinners and to bring peace in the world. Mary also asked them to share her Immaculate Heart, both as a devotion for individuals and as a consecration for the whole world.

The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is on May 13, but the anniversary of the last apparition and the Miracle of the Sun on October 13 is also widely celebrated.

When I was working on my Names of Mary block carving collection a few years ago, I created an image of Our Lady of Fatima. I'd like to share a 5x7 printable from that project with you! This image was originally hand drawn by me, transferred to a rubber block, carved out, and then printed like a stamp. This is a true scan of that print that you are welcome to hang as art in your home or classroom or use as a feast day decoration!

Click here for the print:

And you can also find it included on these Names of Mary Bookmarks:

And if you are interested in more info on Our Lady of Fatima, the devotion has a whole chapter in my book Through the Year with Mary! Complete with a kid friendly explanation, full color artwork with discussion prompts, reflection questions, a prayer, and a connection to Jesus, the goal of the book is to help you have good conversations with your kids!

Click here to find in from my publisher the St. Paul Center or here to find it on Amazon!

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Beatification of the Ulma Family

Have you heard about the remarkable Beatification happening this Sunday? The Ulma Family, Josef and Wiktoria and their seven children, will all be beatified together- marking the first time an entire family has risen through this part of the Canonization process. This is also the first time that an unborn child has been Beatified. The Ulma family lived in Poland and made the brave decision to hide a Jewish family of eight from the terrible reign of the Nazis. They remained together in the Ulmas small home for over a year. But when they were discovered on March 24, 1944 by Nazi soldiers, the soldiers killed the Jewish family, Josef and Wiktoria, and even their children.

The holy life and heroic death of the Ulmas is devastating to read. But we share the stories of the martyrs to spread the truth of the Gospel- a truth that is worth both living and dying for. While not easy, the story of the Ulmas is one that should be shared- a family growing in holiness together, willing to make sacrifices for what is right, placing their hope and trust in Jesus above all else.

If you'd like to share the story of the Ulmas with your older students during this time of their Beatification, or as part of a study on the atrocities of WWII, I pulled together this quick activity. These slides contain links to two short videos, a Vatican News article, and a few questions for the students to complete.

Click here to open the slides:

(Note- if you'd like to make changes to these Google Slides, you'll have to either download a copy and edit in Powerpoint or make a copy in Google Drive and then edit the version that you own. You won't be able to edit this master copy. Similarly, if you'd like your students to use this for an assignment, you will need to make a copy before sharing with them or assigning in Google Classroom, etc. Most school internet filters block tools from outside accounts, so students won't be able to access my file. Let me know if you need any help!)