Cards For Saint Valentine
Peter Fournier and Catherine Fournier
Instead of purchasing cards with Pokemon or WWF wrestlers, here's a craft to make with the children as homemade cards.
Whether or not there was an actual Saint Valentine (and I think there was) the idea of making and exchanging cards as expressions of love is a good lesson for children. The many stories about Saint Valentine all include the idea of service to others.
Service is simply making or doing something for someone. Making a pretty card is a gentle introduction to the whole idea of service. It's about generosity too, you make a really nice thing, and then you give it away. This is an easy gradual introduction to the idea that you can (and should be prepared to) give most things away.
- red construction paper
- white paper doilies (heart shaped or round)
- white construction paper
- decoration stuff: glitter, sequins, confetti, other things
Simple Heart Cards:
|Using the pattern at the right, cut out heart shapes out of the red and white construction paper. Enlarge or shrink the pattern as you wish to make them bigger or smaller than the doilies you've managed to find. (To me, finding a good pattern to make a heart is the hardest part. The rest is just the fun of decorating it. )|
|Glue the unfolded heart shape onto the center of a lace doily, or glue a doily in the center of a heart. Decorate the heart with glitter, crayons, sequins, stickers and other wonderful stuff.|
|Write a message on the back. Present it to a special someone.|
Folded Heart Cards:
|Fold the red or white construction paper in half to make a bi-fold card. Using the outline at the right, cut heart shapes out of the construction paper making sure that one edge of the heart outline is on the fold of the paper|
|Glue a doily in the center of the front of the heart card. Decorate the heart with glitter, crayons, sequins, stickers and other wonderful stuff. If you'd like, you can glue a larger doily on the back of the card, so that it shows when the card is closed. Write a message inside. Present it to a special someone.|
What About Saint Valentine?
Legend has it that the holiday became Valentine's Day after a priest named Valentine. Valentine was a priest in Rome in the early days of Christianity. The Emperor Claudius II, ordered that Roman soldiers could not marry or become engaged. Claudius believed that as married men, his soldiers would want to stay home with their families rather than defend the Roman Empire.
Recognising that this caused great interior suffering and put many of the Christian flock in moral danger, Valentine defied the Emperor's decree and secretly married several young couples. He was eventually arrested, imprisoned, and put to death.
Valentine was beheaded on February 14th, the eve of a Roman spring holiday named Lupercalia. During this festival, boys drew girls' names in honor of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno.
After his death, Valentine was named a saint. As Rome became more Christian, the priests moved the spring holiday from the 15th of February to the 14th and named it Saint Valentine's Day. Now the holiday honored Saint Valentine instead of Lupercus.
Other lengends of Valentine state that he was imprisoned for giving aid to other martyrs in prison, and while there converted the jailer by restoring sight to the jailer's daughter.
Still other legends maintain that the custom of sending Valentines on February 14 stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date. By 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day "every bird chooses him a mate." The custom started of men and women writing love letters to their Valentine on this day.
Mark and Christine Dudley write that:
"There is a story of St. Valentine for children entitled "St. Valentine." It tells the story of St. Valentine the priest, physician and martyr. Part of the story includes the saint sending a letter of his capture to a blind patient, enclosing a yellow crocus. When the patient opened the letter her sight was miraculously restored."
Following the theme of this lovely story, activities on the Feast Day of Saint Valentine could include planting yellow crocus bulbs for forcing (see Forcing Bulbs for instructions) and/or decorating a paper yellow crocus with glitter, etc.
For more information about Saint Valentine , the Saint Joseph's Saints Index is an excellent resource.
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