Monday, October 5, 2015

Teaching Your Children About Pope Francis


I was closing in on my 11th birthday when Pope Paul VI died. The subsequent election and death of Pope John Paul I followed by the election of the young, dynamic non-Italian Pope John Paul II fascinated me.  I scoured newspapers and magazines (the internet of the day) for articles about the Popes - and meticulously scrapbooked all my findings. These mysterious men in white mesmerized me and the Lord would eventually use my childhood devotion to the Holy Father to call me back to my faith after I wandered from it.

If your child is interested in learning about Pope Francis and the Papacy in general, here are a few resources to satisfy their curiosity. 

Books
  • Francis, the Pope for Kids is a great resource for kids ages 9-11. It is chock full of great Pope Francis facts, is cleverly illustrated and provides a glossary to explain the more complicated faith-based words. 
  • Praying with My Fingers: An Easy Way to Talk with God is an adorable rhyming book for that the youngest of children will enjoy as a read-aloud and is based on the Five Finger Prayer that Pope Francis is said to pray frequently.  This book would make a very special faith-filled gift for a baby shower or Baptism!
  • Lessons from Pope Francis for Children provides catechesis for kids on different areas of the faith - with each "lesson" interspersed with quotes from Pope Francis.  Beautifully illustrated, this book would be a great read-aloud for younger children or a read-alone for older ones.
Prayers

Pope Francis is associated with two prayers in particular - the Five-Finger Prayer and the devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots.
The Five Finger Prayer is a simple prayer of petition and intercession that can be said anywhere, Catholic Online for a detailed description of how to pray the Five Finger Prayer. 
anytime by anyone, including even the youngest of children. It is a great prayer for families to do together and seems so "Pope Francis-like" in its down to earth style and simplicity. Visit

The Devotion to Mary, Undoer of Knots captured the attention of Pope Francis when he was a priest studying in German in the 1980's. He was captivated by the painting depicting Our Lady "undoing the knots" in a long rope. 

While the  Novena to Our Lady of Knots is a little complex for young children, the idea behind the concept is simple enough to grasp: we all have "knots" in are life that we cannot overcome on our own - they may be bad habits, patterns of sin, and other struggles. The devotion to Our Lady of knots invites the Blessed Mother to assist us in "undoing" those knots in our life - much in the same way a Mom is able to undo the knots on her child's sneakers.  Children can certainly appreciate the concept of asking Mary to help them undo the difficulties in their lives.

Videos

I love this animated video about Pope Francis (and the one like it about Pope John Paul II) - this is a fun teaching tool for younger children to watch at home or in the classroom. 





I showed the Apologetics class (ages 9-11) I teach at our homeschool co-op this video from Biography.com which was chock full of information about the Holy Father. 

Pope Francis Crossword Puzzle

Kids and adult alike will love this crossword puzzle - which is chock full of fun facts about Pope Francis.  Put on your researching hats and see how many of these you can figure out. 

Click here to download your FREE crossword puzzle and answer keys. 

Pope Francis Crossword Puzzle
Pope Francis Crossword Answer Key

  
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3 comments:

  1. I am bookmarking this page. It is so interesting to learn how Pope Francis has influenced our faith in his time and in his own ways! I'm so thankful for the New Evangelization!

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