Monday, July 27, 2009

Celebrating St. Anne (and Caroline's Nameday!)

St. Anne is remembered in the Catholic Church on July 26. She and her husband, St. Joachim, are remembered as the parents of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. we also consider this day to be Caroline's "nameday," meaning the feats day of her patron saint.

But wait, you may say, if you happen to know... Caroline's name is not Anne, nor is her middle name Anne!

Yeah, we didn't use an actual saint name on our first child... although JPII's first name was Karol, but otherwise I have not been able to find any saints named Caroline... and certainly no St. Rhiannons, which is her middle name. So, after some creative thinking, along with noticing that Caroline seemed to have a special thing for St. Anne... I noticed that the name is actually within her middle name, RhiANNon. So... there's the background, in case anyone wondered or cared. ;)

Several days before the 26th, Caroline and I worked on a craft project to be used as a centerpiece to celebrate St. Anne. I based this off Charlotte's idea... I found some images online of Sts. Anne and Joachim, some with Mary as a child, and also some of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. If photo albums existed around the time these people lived, then these would be some of the people whose photos they would include in their family album.

I just cut the edges of some cardstock with a rugged-looking pair of craft scissors (I think the style is called "Deckle"), and then I printed off the pictures and let Caroline cut them out and glue them onto the pages. Then we tied them all together with yarn. The top photo shows one of the inside pages, and the second shows the "cover" of the album.

Traditionally in paintings, St. Anne is typically pictured wearing red and green... not Christmas-y red and green, which I suppose the decorations might look like if one chose an equal amount of red and green together. We made watermelon lemonade smoothies (another idea from Charlotte) because this red and green fruit is in season right now - perfect! Both girls really enjoyed cutting up the watermelon with me (and eating bites as they went!) to put into the food processor. Cecilia is getting very particular in doing some of the "big girl" things she sees here sister doing. She actually moves the chairs to the counter and climbs up herslef now - I have to be extra-super-mega-careful to keep all sharp knives and such pushed far back where she cannot reach!

As an aside, did you guys know that watermelon stains? As in, worse than blueberries, pomegranates, and avocado? I never got some watermelon stains out of Caroline's clothes from a previous year, but did that teach me to take off Cecilia's clothes first this time? We'll see if the immediate stain treatment has any better effect this time...

I keeping with the red and green theme, we had a green salad with tomatoes from our garden, and spaghetti with homemade tomato and basil sauce (also from our garden). And we happened to still have our sage green placemats out. I let Caroline eat off one for the special occasion, even (I was planning to toss them into the dirty placemat/napkin bag after dinner anyway...). Caroline wanted the St. Anne holy cards displayed right in front of her seat!

I plan to get a new holy card or two, or a small St. Anne statue, or a book, or a medal (lots of possibilities here!) each year for Caroline on her nameday. I will do the same for Cecilia, whose nameday will be in... hmm, I think November. I will have to look it up as we've not celebrated it before. I think the nameday celebrations are a fun idea - encouraging patronage to a saint and celebrating a special day with special food and traditions!

Here's Caroline, about to try her dessert, which was called St. Anne's Cream. It was like a custard/flan type dessert, and very yummy, I thought! Chris liked the flavor but had issues with the texture (I don't get the texture issues that many people have with foods!)... and Caroline's polite way of saying she didn't care for it? "I think this dessert is a little too interesting for a kid like me." LOL!!

St. Anne, pray for us!

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