Saturday, November 1


 "Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors, responded to God's invitation to use his or her unique gifts serving Him above all. God calls each one of us to be a saint."
This feast day celebrates these AMAZINGLY holy saints, who we respect and try to emulate in our day to day lives.  They are not made-up super heroes or fictional movie/book characters that are "scripted" to be perfect....These are real people who truly spent their lives striving to grow closer to our Lord.  They fell into sin,  just as we all do, but they never gave up the fight for virtue and for purity of heart.  They fought the hard fight that always leads us back to God

There was an extravagant All Saints Celebration at school.  The students were to dress as a saint that they admired.  The celebration began with an  All Saints parade, each child processed up on the altar and introduced their saint to the students and teachers.  After the student introduces his/her/ saint, the rest of the students and teachers in the sanctuary, says "Pray for us"  This was so powerful, as the Communion of Saints, as Jesus taught us, will pray on our be-half to God....for we are all "one body in Christ"  All 3 of Children had a particular saint in mind, as they have all had the same favorite saint for as long as I can remember.
Here are Nicholas and Savannah dressed as their favorite saints.  
Savannah was non-other than St Joan of Arc (her favorite saint because she was a warrior for God's Kingdom (she also very much so admires St Michael the Archangel, on who's feast day, she was born)
Nicholas is.....well, St Nicholas (his patron saint)
At the last minute, Nicholas changed his mind and went as St. John Paul II (another of his favorite he aspires to be a Pope someday....I pray that my children, I pray that they do whatever mission that God has in store for each of them.....but I have a secret prayer that Nicholas feels called to be a Franciscan.  Even with this secret desire, in the end, I want whatever Jesus wants.

Well, it turns out that he thought that St. Nicholas' grand Miter might be too difficult to keep on his head all day at school......the fears of a 4th grade boy
Moms love that,  last minute "costume change", but I peacefully went with it, since this is such an important feast everything needed to be perfect.

Blessed Chiara Bandano 
Madison's saint is so inspiring to both myself and Madison.  Madison told me about her and I think that she was a perfect fit for my Madi.  I felt called to add some information on this special saint, as she is not very well-known

Madison is totally inspired Blessed Chiara Bandano.....Madison didn't really dress  differently than usual for the All Saints Celebration at school, because Blessed Chiara is a modern day saint.  Chiara dressed just like Madison dresses everyday. 
Born in 1971, Chiara lived a very faithful life, being diagnosed with Bone Cancer in 1988.  Her response to this news was simply
 “It’s for you, Jesus; if you want it, I want it, too."
Near the end of her life, as she continued to spend her time touching others instead of focusing on herself (even when her parents begged her to rest...she would answer , "that soon she would rest forever" she offered every suffering to our Lord Jesus.  As the end of her life was nearing, she and her mother planned her wedding and her funeral.  She chose songs and readings that were uplifting and joyful.  Chiara said that she did not want people crying at her funeral...she wanted laughter and joyful celebration in honor that she was now finally with her beloved Jesus.  She requested to be buried in a wedding dress, preparing to be the bride of Jesus, as she entered into heaven.
Awesome, right?!?! 
What a girl for my Madison to look up to...She lived at a time that Madison can relate to and her sainthood was lived out as a teenager!
 Chiara sick in bed, but still cheerful.  With each hair that would fall out from the Chemo Therapy, She would say  
"That is for you, Jesus"
She died in October of 1990
Here is Chiara, so beautifully dressed in her white wedding dress, resting now in the True Peace of her beloved Jesus

Obviously too young to dress up as his favorite saint, but this Feast Day played a special role in his little life as well....

One year ago today, on The Feast of All Saints: November 1, 2013 (after leaving morning Mass), Jeremy, myself and the kids went to the Doctor to find out if mommy (me) was having a little boy or a little girl....well, as we all know now, I was growing a little boy inside of my belly.  From that beautiful feast day on.....Our little "Tater Tot Baby", a name given by Madison (Savannah and Nicholas lovingly called him "French Fry"), was now known officially as our little brother and was to be called Isaac, from that day forward!
This was taken right after a bath.....can't you just smell that fresh baby clean and fine that if you do smell it (his fine blond hair)....which is one of my favorite things to do, by the way....his fussy little baby chickie hairs actually inhale into my nose as I smell.

Thank you my Father for giving us so many holy examples to emulate our lives after.  You inspired me to lean on the example of these holy Saints when I was so sick.  May their example tug at each of our hearts and inspire us to be better Christian Children of Yours again, we are ALL called to be saints

Have a holy and blessed All Saints