If you are like me, you might still be looking for gifts to give to family and friends.
Let me share seven (plus one extra) gift ideas that are all saint-related, and can still be ordered in time to give on the first day of Christmas. (Before becoming a Catholic I was familiar with Advent, but still Christmas was really only one day. Now, as a Catholic, I really enjoy how Christmas lasts for much longer.)
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1. The Saints at the Chapel
My first suggestion for a gift for a family member or friend (or you!) who enjoys reading about the saints is the book the Saints at the Chapel.
It is a wonderful collection of saint stories based on relics which are held at St. Anthony's Chapel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. What is incredible about the relics in the chapel is that it is the largest collection of saints' relics outside of Rome. (If you are ever near Pittsburgh, it would seem that a visit to St. Anthony's is definitely in order.)
In these stories you will learn new things about familiar saints such as St. Anthony of Padua and St. Philip Neri and meet lesser known saints such as St. Quentin and St. Fina dei Caeri.
The book was written by Christopher Reibold who credits the saints for a renewal in his Catholic faith. Interestingly, he now works full-time in the storytelling business after working in commercial banking for many years. In fact, he is known as the "Saint Story Guy" because of his writing and performing stories based on the lives of the saint. You can learn more about him on his Facebook page.
2. Saint Cards
Saint Cards is a great gift idea for families and children. They are a fun way to integrate the saints into the life of your family.
The cards teach you about the saints with pictures and short pieces of information about the saint.
There are several games associated with the SaintCards, and of course, you can get creative with how you would use them to learn more about the saints.
With dozens of saints, you will find familiar saints and less familiar saints. Through the games and the cards, you will get to know all of them better.
3. Catholic Books for Kids: The North American Martyrs Activity Book
The third saintly gift I would like to recommend is a great new book by Bonnie Way. If you are looking for a gift for a child, grandchild, niece, or nephew, her book the North American Martyrs Kids Activity Book is a great choice.
The book shares about the lives of 8 Jesuit missionaries who lived in the 17th century and gave their lives to spread the Gospel. The book is organized into 8 sections in which a short biography about one of the men is shared and then followed by pages of fun activities. There are coloring pages, word searches crossword puzzles, mazes, codes, questions, and prayers. All told, there are 134 pages in the book.
When I saw the book, I thought I would really have enjoyed it as a child. It is a great way to introduce children to the lives of the saints in a fun and engaging way.
It is recommended for children 7 and older.
4. Coloring Book for Mothers: A Collection of Inspirational Quotes and Prayers for Catholic Mothers
Looking for a great gift for a mom, daughter, sister, or sister-in-law? What about an adult coloring book filled with attractive pictures and quotes from the saints?
Consider, Ann-Marie Wilkoff 's coloring book for mothers. It is filled with great illustrations to color accompanied by inspirational quotes from various saints.
The saints quoted include St. Zelie Martin, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Calcutta, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. John Paul II.
5. Catholic Daily Devotional: Padre Pio's Spiritual Direction for Every Day
As you know, I think it is important to listen to the saints every day. The saints have lived out the Gospel, and we can learn from them how we, too, can live out the Gospel in our lives.
To help me with that, I have been reading through the book Padre Pio's Spiritual Direction for Every Day. St. Padre Pio is a great saint, and he just as he was on earth, he continues to be a great spiritual director. If you are looking to give a great Catholic daily devotional or to get one for yourself, this is an excellent choice.
The books contains 365 excerpts from the hundreds of letters that St. Padre Pio wrote as a spiritual director. They are short excerpts, but they can give you plenty to think about and pray about. The book is organized by month and date so you can easily keep track of where you are and be certain to read something from a saint every day.
6. Catholic Daily Devotional: Voices of the Saints
Voices of the Saints is a wonderful book written by Bert Ghezzi in which he introduces you to 365 saints through their own words. Each saint is given two pages in the book. As the title of the book suggests, you get to know the saints through their own voices.
The entry for each saint includes an excerpt from something the saint wrote or said as well as biographical information to help you become familiar with the saint.
With 365 saints, you could add one saint per day to your spiritual reading and become more familiar with the saints. The book is arranged in alphabetic order by name, but you can also read about the saints in chronological order beginning with the Blessed Virgin Mary and continuing with the guides that lead you to the next saint. Either way, it can make for a great Catholic daily devotional to take you throughout the entire calendar year.
I read from this book every day and enjoy learning more about the saints I encounter in its pages.
Bert Ghezzi's book certainly can be a welcome addition to your prayer life as you let the saints help guide you on your journey with the Lord.
7. Letters from the Saints
If you are looking for a unique gift that will last well past Christmas, consider giving a subscription to Letters from the Saints.
Letters from the Saints is a weekly subscription service that sends letters written by the saints through the postal service.
Each letter is a reproduction of an actual letter written by a saint followed by background information on the saint and the context of the letter. And, there is also a short reflection about what we can learn about our Faith from the letter. All of this is printed on quality paper and sent with a real stamp.
The letters are hand selected to provide words of wisdom and to show the saints as real human beings who struggled just like you and me.
Each week you can expect a new letter from a different saint. Some saints will be familiar such as St. Francis Xavier and St. Catherine of Siena and others might be new saints such as Bl. Maria Droste zu Vischering and Bl. Titus Brandsma.
And now, save 25% off the first two months of the subscription with the coupon ADVENT25.
8. Saints Letter Club
I wanted to add one more gift which is a new addition on the Letters from the Saint website.
Help a child learn about the saints by getting excited to hear from the saints. Give your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew, the gift of the monthly Saints Letter Club.
Every month, your child can look forward to receiving in the mail a special hand-crafted letter. A new saint each month will tell about himself or herself through an engaging story designed to entertain and teach.
The letters are illustrated and include a fun activity related to the saint such as a game, craft, or puzzle.
Join now for only $4 for the first two months with the coupon: ADVENT4