Help your students learn more about these three saints.
by Jean Grant
Preparation: Place a large map of the Americas on the prayer table. Make two large arrows and add them to the map to show Canada and Brazil. Give out copies of the prayer service and select two readers. Students should wear their canonization chains (from page 52) and gather quietly, or while singing the suggested opening song, “Companions on the Journey.”
All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Leader: Since the days of the apostles, the spread of the Good News has relied upon those driven by a passionate desire to share the faith and the story of Jesus Christ. Their courage helped them face adversity met along the journey.
Reader #1: Read Acts 2:38-42 aloud.
Leader: The three saints of the Americas—St. José de Anchieta, St. Marie de l’Incarnation, and St. Francois de Laval—left their families and homes to follow paths of uncertainty in uncharted lands. They met natives who spoke languages foreign to them. They applied themselves to learn how to communicate and learn from the people they also wanted to help. They tried to express their love and respect to these strangers, and share their important message.
All: Dear Jesus, bless us with a respect for our neighbors in our own communities and around the world. Help us not to be blinded to those hurting and in pain. We need not go far to see your reflection in the faces we pass each day. Help us not to fear but to reach out to your children and embrace their needs as our own.
Leader: The Lord God has given us many saints who shine as examples for us in our lives. In each era men and women have faced death and martyrdom. In the early Church, some were recognized as holy, revered, and beloved examples of faith. They were declared saints without the canonization process. A “servant of God” may have waited decades or longer for his or her cause to be examined and possibly be approved. Holy cards, Masses, and prayers were created at the pope’s direction to honor them as saints worldwide. Over the centuries, the saint-making process has been streamlined. The saints we honor today have shared “equivalent canonization.” This is an expedited canonization process. Our Church continues to be relevant by responding to a changing world and elevating to sainthood those who found the courage to change, sacrifice, and lead.
Reader #1: We offer ourselves for the good of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We pray for the salvation of souls.
Reader #2: We ask that the Blessed Mother, the angels, and the saints intercede for us. May we one day be found drawing near to God’s holy throne and praising him forever.
Leader: Let us all find inspiration from the words of St. Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) as we read together.
All: “Trust in God. May nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass; God does not leave. Patient endurance attains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing. God alone is enough.”
Suggested closing song: “The Cry of the Poor”
Source: Today’s Catholic Teacher, April/May 2016
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