Below I have created for you a library with activities which you can download, print and use at home or in school.
I hope you will like this resource and use it for yourself, your brothers and sisters and your friends. Enjoy!
August - Our Lady of Knock
We are going to learn about Our Lady of Knock this month.
The story of Knock began on the 21st of August 1879 when a heavenly apparition appeared on a gable wall of the parish church when Our Lady appeared in the company of St Joseph and St John the Evangelist, the Eucharistic Lamb on a cross standing on an altar surrounded by angels. The apparition lasted for 2 hours and there were 15 official witnesses.
The Marian Shrine of Knock is a well-known place of Catholic pilgrimage in County Mayo in the west of Ireland.
Knock is a traditional annual pilgrimage for thousands: visiting the shrine is a tradition passed down through generations of families. Lots of parishes in Ireland have an annual parish pilgrimage to Knock. People spend a day in prayer, taking part in the Stations of the Cross or joining in candlelit vigils. They carry away Blessed Holy Water to share with family and friends. Many say they find Knock a place of peace.
You can ask your parents or grandparents if they have ever been to Knock and some of you may even have visited Knock yourselves.
Our Lady of Knock is also known as the Queen of Ireland and there is a lovely hymn that tells this story really well.
Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland
All my cares and troubles cease
As I kneel with love before you
Lady of Knock, my Queen of Peace.
In 1979, Pope John Paul II visited Knock.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta visited the shrine in June 1993.
In August 2018 Pope Francis visited the shrine at Knock.
I hope you are enjoying your summer holidays. Be sun-smart, stay safe and have fun!
We are going to learn about two saints that are connected with the environment. Their names are St Kateri Tekakwitha and St Benedict.
We use St as an abbreviation (shorter word) for the word SAINT.
Let’s all do our part to look after our common home and show we care about the environment.
Name: St Kateri Tekakwitha
Feast day: 14 July
Patron saint of Native Americans, ecology and the environment.
Life story: St Kateri Tekakwitha was 20 when she was baptised. Her life lights the way for everyone who wants to live in harmony with creation. Kateri Tekakwitha was the first Indigenous person of North America canonised as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. She devoted her life to God. She came to be known as the Lily of the Mohawks during her life because of her kindness, prayer, faith and heroic suffering.
Name: St Benedict
Feast day: 11 July
Patron Saint of Europe.
Life story: St Benedict is known as the father of Western monasticism. Many monastic men and women belong to a Christian religious order named in his honour, the Order of Saint Benedict. He wrote the Rule of St. Benedict that these people follow. The Rule can be summed up by pax (peace) and ora et labora (pray and work). St. Benedict’s love for creation has spread throughout the world since his death more than 1,400 years ago.
Design a poster showing ways we can care for our environment.
You are welcome to share this with me by sending a photo of your poster to toby @salesiansireland.ie
Each year we celebrate many special feast days throughout the year. One special feast day that we celebrate is called Corpus Christi. That is Latin for the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. We celebrate Corpus Christi on the Second Sunday after Pentecost, this year that will be June 16th.
History of Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi as a Christian feast didn’t happen until the second half of the thirteenth century. It is thanks to the efforts of a nun called Juliana of Liège. Since childhood, Juliana had claimed that God had been telling her that there should be a feast day for the Eucharist so she petitioned the Bishop of Liège. Back then bishops could order feasts in their local dioceses. The bishop agreed to the feast and convened a synod in 1246 and ordered that a celebration of Corpus Christi should be held annually.
Corpus Christi has been celebrated by the Catholic Church in Poland since 1247, and the first mentions of a procession come from records in the Diocese of Kraków from 1320.
How we celebrate the feast
The festival of Corpus Christi is celebrated in many places with a procession, during which the priest carries the Eucharist, on display in a special receptacle called a “monstrance”. The Blessed Sacrament is sheltered under a canopy.
In many parishes and dioceses across Ireland there will be processions to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi. People will walk a route following the priest or bishop and the Eucharist while praying and singing. In some places the children who recently celebrated their First Holy Communion will be invited to take part in the procession and the girls will wear their white dresses again to show this is a special occasion.
The month of May is a special month in the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar. The practice of special devotion during the month of May dates back to the 17th Century.
Why is May the month of Mary?
Traditionally, Catholics devote the whole month of May to honouring and celebrating Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary is sometimes known as the ‘Queen of May’.
You may see a ‘May altar’ in your classroom, school, local church or at home. The May altar is usually a table covered in a blue or white cloth, with pictures or statues of Mary, candles, flowers, and rosary beads.
We sing special hymns to Mary during the month of May and sometimes we have a May procession and place a crown of flowers on the statue of Mary.
Here is a verse from one of these special hymns:
Bring flowers of the rarest bring blossoms the fairest, from garden and woodland and hillside and dale; our full hearts are swelling, our glad voices telling the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!
Refrain: O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May, O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May.
Mary is known as the mother of the Church. We, the people, are the Church so Mary is our mother. We know that we can turn to Mary in our times of need. Mary is our heavenly mother and she is an inspiration to us as we try to follow her example. You can say this prayer to Mary.
A special prayer to Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
As we are preparing for our Easter celebrations this year let me take you on a journey through Holy Week.
Palm Sunday commemorates the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem when palm branches were placed in his path.
Spy Wednesday: Jesus was with his disciples in Bethany. Judas was a spy and Wednesday was the day he chose to betray Christ.
Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday) Maundy comes from the Latin word ‘Mandatum’ meaning instruction. Jesus told his disciples ‘Do this in memory of me’. Jesus washed their feet. He blessed the bread and wine and shared this meal, called the Last Supper, with his friends, which was also a traditional sacrifice of Jewish people. Now we know it as a Holy Mass.
Good Friday: Jesus died on the cross in Calvary. The Latin word for skull is calvaria. Along the way he met Mary, his mother, and some women of Jerusalem. Veronica stepped out from the crowd and wiped his face. Simon of Cyrene helped Jesus to carry the cross. And at the end Jesus was crucified at a spot outside Jerusalem called Golgotha which in Aramaic means “place of the skull.”
Easter Sunday: Jesus rose from the dead. He appears at the empty tomb to Mary Magdalene, then to the disciples minus Thomas and then to all the disciples including Thomas (known as “doubting Thomas”). Today the site is called the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Easter blessing:May Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you and your family and be your loving guide. Amen
I hope you all enjoyed learning some facts about the events of Holy Week.