“I have called you by name, and you are mine.” – Isaiah 43:1
“God calls each one by name (Cf. Is 43:1; Jn 10:3). Everyone’s name is sacred. The name is the icon of the person. It demands respect as a sign of the dignity of the one who bears it.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church Section #2158
Today, October 18th, is the Feast of Saint Luke, Gospel writer, follower of Jesus Christ, and “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14). It’s the day the Catholic Church sets aside to honor one of the great early Christians who proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ to a Gentile people along with his mentor and friend, the Apostle Paul.
We celebrate Name Days like “mini birthdays” in our home. Special food, special decorations, special treats for the person whose “name saint” is honored on that day. And so today we are honoring our second son, Luke Augustine, with his very first “Name Day” celebration.
When our children are older I imagine (knowing myself and my addiction to Michael’s Crafts and Hobby Lobby and the Dollar Tree) that we’ll get more extravagant with our celebrations, but for now while they are little, my goal is just to begin introducing them to the saints whose name they bear – letting them know it’s a day set apart, and that they were named with purposefulness and hopefulness that they would follow the Lord Jesus with the same fervor as their namesakes.
For Luke’s Day, we kept it simple yet fun for two small boys. We decorated our kitchen island with the icon of St. Luke that his godparents gave him on his baptism day, a few candles, and his stuffed animal bull (who came to the hospital with me when Luke was delivered – sleeps with him every night in his crib). The bull, or ox, is the symbol of St. Luke the Evangelist. (Mark has a matching Lion stuffed animal, the symbol of St. Mark, who adorned our table on Mark’s Name Day.)
We had a celebration lunch of smoothies and gluten free scones (the boy’s favorite brunch treat) and we talked about St. Luke and who he was (in “toddler terms” of course). Mark, our two year old, said the prayer for St. Luke’s intercession during our grace before meals.
(Luke with smoothie face).
We had our Name Day celebration dinner last night on the vigil of the feast, since the Hubs is taking a final exam for his MBA today and won’t be home for dinner. We made one of Luke’s favorite dinners (turkey meatloaf) and for dessert we had a major splurge of mini vanilla cupcakes. Mark could hardly contain himself through dinner he was so excited about the “feast day cupcake”. At Mark’s insistence both he and Luke had a candle in their cupcake, and we sang “Happy Feast Day to St. Luke.”
Simple. Super easy. So fun for little kids learning about their patron saints.
For ideas on crafts and foods to celebrate saints Name Days, I highly recommend my friend Lacy’s blog: http://www.CatholicIcing.com.
St. Luke, Pray for us (and for my sweet little Baby Bear)!
“Yahweh called me before I was born. From my mother’s womb He pronounced my name.” — Isaiah 49:1