Susan Ciancio introduces a program designed to help your children learn about the saints and their virtues.
Summer is upon us! No school. No CCE. Lots of relaxation. But just because school is out doesn’t mean education — especially pro-life education — has to stop! In fact, pro-life education should be a lifelong journey.
Children need role models who live moral lives and who understand the faith. Social media, immoral television shows and movies, and messages from celebrities bombard our children. We must counteract this negative culture with examples of Godly men and women. Our children and grandchildren need glimpses into the lives of real people who faced real challenges and who chose to do good for others. They need to learn about — and befriend — the saints.
The Culture of Life Studies Program understands this. That’s why it has created dozens of lessons for students from preschool through high school, including lessons on many well-known saints. These lessons are flexible and can be done at any time, so they’re perfect for summer!
When children learn about saints, they learn morality. They become witnesses to the actions of great men and women who put God before all else. Children see that, even in the face of adversity — and sometimes death — these heroes never wavered. They never denied God or His will to do what may have been easier or more comfortable for their earthly bodies.
When children learn about saints, their relationship with God deepens. Their eyes are opened to a God they are only beginning to understand, and they more fully experience the love He has for His children.
When children learn about saints, they learn how to pray, and they learn the importance of prayer. They see that prayer is not just something these men and women did at night before bed or before meals but something they integrated into every part of their day because it strengthened their relationship with God.
When children learn about saints, they learn how to stand up for those who are weaker than they are. They become participants in God’s plan for the world and in shining His light to others. And they learn courage in the face of opposition as they honor His command to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
These amazing friends in heaven are there to guide us, to protect us, and to pray for us. We need their intercession now more than ever.
So, this summer, help your children make new friends. Teach them about the saints.
Below are some descriptions of a few of our favorite lessons. Each is a positive example of a person in love with life and who shows love for others because of his love of God.
- Do Small Things with Great Love: Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Developed for children in grades K-2, this lesson explores the life of one of the greatest pro-life saints of all time. We also offer a lesson entitled Serving the Poorest of the Poor: St. Teresa of Calcutta for 5th grade and older that teaches kids how to live the Corporal Works of Mercy.
- When Heroes Become Saints: Saint Damien de Veuster of Molokai. This lesson for middle schoolers tells the story of this heroic priest who volunteered to serve the lepers on the desolate peninsula of Molokai.
- Embracing a Culture of Life: Blessed Chiara Luce Badano. Chiara Luce Badano was a joyful young Italian girl who bravely battled a painful bone cancer. This lesson teaches high school students how suffering brings us closer to God.
- No Greater Love: Saint Maximilian Kolbe. This lesson teaches middle school students about the vocation of St. Maximilian Kolbe and about his martyrdom for the sake of another man.
- Joseph: Pro-Life Saint, Hero, and Role Model. This lesson teaches elementary-aged children about the beauty of fatherhood through the example of St. Joseph as he cared for Jesus and Mary. Children will also learn why we should turn to St. Joseph for his intercession.
The saints all help us as we travel our own path to sainthood! Now is the perfect time to introduce them to your children and to foster a lifelong friendship.
Copyright 2021 Susan Ciancio
Images: Canva Pro; courtesy of the Culture of Life Studies Program, used with permission, all rights reserved.
About the Author
Susan Ciancio has a BA in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s in liberal studies from Indiana University. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a professional editor and writer. She is executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program and editor of ALL's Celebrate Life Magazine.