Gathering 11: 7 Fascinating Facts About Mary Magdalene
After learning about St Mary Magdalene, what qualities or strengths that she possessed would you like to strive for in your faith life?
If you were to describe what a saint is in your own words, what would that look like?
Tasks & Activities
May is the month when the Church honours the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. Here are some activities to do with children. Read and discuss stories of the Virgin Mary, her life and her relationship with Jesus.
More ideas on celebrating Mary here.
For Confirmation Children
Check off how many characteristics of a saint you feel you have and talk about each one.
Is each one achievable for you? if yes: why? if no: why not?
Characteristics of the Saints
1) All saints are filled with the love of God. They have chosen God above all others and made a definite commitment to God. In her book Saint Watching (Viking Press), Phyllis McGinley writes that saints are human beings with an added dimension.
“They are obsessed by goodness and by God as Michelangelo was obsessed by line and form, as Shakespeare was bewitched by language, Beethoven by sound.”
2) All saints love other human beings. It cannot be any other way. although saints may be different in many ways, they are always generous. You will never find a stingy saint.
3) All saints are risk-takers. When God called, they answered. For some it was taking a chance on a new way of life in a new place.
4) The saints are humble. Humility has always had a poor press; many people think that humility means saying derogatory things about oneself. Far from it! The saints showed their humility by using whatever gifts they had to perfection, but never attributing these gifts to themselves.
Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas were brilliant men and they did not go around saying how stupid they were. They did acknowledge, however, that all they knew was as nothing compared to the infinite wisdom of God.
5) Saints are people of prayer. Some, especially members of religious orders, had entire days of prayer. Others found their time with God in other ways.
Dorothy Day — not canonized but recognized by many as a truly holy person—started her day with prayer but said that she met God daily in the crowds of the poor who came to her hospitality house. None of the saints saw prayer as a waste of time or as an activity for only the weak or naive.
6) The saints are not perfect. Each of the saints had human flaws and faults. They made mistakes. Even at the end of their lives, they still found themselves in need of contrition, pardon and reconciliation.
Saint Jerome, it is said, had a fearful temper. When another scholar of his time, a former friend, Rufinus, questioned his conclusions, Saint Jerome wrote pamphlet after pamphlet blasting him.
7) The saints are people of their times. One wonders how anyone escapes being of his or her time. There were injustices around the saints that they did not speak out against. Saint Paul did not condemn slavery but encouraged slaves to obey their masters. Saint Thomas Aquinas considered women unequal to men. He believed their only task in life was to bear children.