Halloween Should Celebrate Saints, Not Sin
- Saturday, October 10, 2009
Here are some Saints you might want to learn more about:
The Early Martyrs
The Church faced much persecution in her infancy - and where there is persecution, there are opportunities for heroes to emerge. Countless Christians - young mothers, nobles, slaves, Roman guards, and every day men and women -- gave their lives in the name of Christ.
Perpetua, a noblewoman from Carthage, and her servant Felicity bravely marched to an amphitheatre of wild beasts around A.D. 203. Historians consider Perpetua's writings on their persecution, imprisonment, and impending martyrdom the oldest surviving text penned by a Christian woman. Costume: A robe of pretty material accompanied by bracelets, jewelry, and adornments worn in the hair, symbolizing Perpetua's noble status.
Noah and his ark. Moses and the Ten Commandments. Rebekah and her watering jar. Queen Esther and her court. John the Baptist and his clothing made of camel's hair. Joseph and his colored coat. There are many fascinating characters in the Bible that could make for some interesting costumes.
One mom combined creativity with simplicity by dressing her son as the Apostle Peter. She draped him in a sheet for a robe and gave him a fishing hat with fish lures pinned through the hat, symbolizing his status as a "fisher of men." Another common symbol for Peter is a set of keys, for the Scripture where Jesus gives Peter the "keys of the kingdom." (Matt 16:19)
Another fun costume for boys might be St. Joseph, the Carpenter. Scripture, although somewhat sparse on details, reveals he was a compassionate, faithful, and righteous man. When he learned of his betrothed's unexplainable pregnancy, he decided to "divorce her quietly" so as not to leave her to ridicule or even death (Matthew 1: 19-25). When an angel appeared to him in a dream, revealing the true nature of Mary's pregnancy, he was obedient to God. He traveled great distances to raise and protect Jesus, fleeing to Egypt to avoid Herod's slaughter, and living an obscure life in Nazareth. Costume: brown and green robes, carpenter's square, tools. Or, instead of robes, cargo pants and a tool belt with a cross around the neck.
Although the angels are not human saints, their heroic characters are worth emulating. Plus, they'd make for some fun costumes.
The archangel Michael appears in the Old Testament and in the Book of Revelation. He is called "one of the chief princes" (Dan 10: 13). Scripture and tradition identify him as a warrior for God, some even considering him the commander of God's angelic army. In medieval times, he also became a symbol of chivalry. Costume: wings, armor, a sword, and a set of scales for justice.
Like Michael, Gabriel appears in both the Old and New Testaments. He appears with Michael in the Book of Daniel, and is traditionally considered the messenger who appeared to Mary to announce the conception of Jesus. Gabriel is chiefly identified as God's messenger. Costume: Wings, yellow and white robes, halo, messenger's scroll.
Saints from More Recent Eras
From the early Church fathers to 20th century poets, there are countless Christians whose stories weave a vibrant tapestry of Christian history. These three are noteworthy, but barely scratch the surface, so check out the resources at the bottom for more.
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