The season of Advent is packed with some amazing saints. We know there are a lot of resources for Advent, but it can seem overwhelming how many things are available and all the things you could do to prepare for the Feast of Christmas. But, maybe just by focusing on and celebrating a few of the feast days for the saints, you can add something to your Advent.
The Feast Days During Advent
So who is celebrated during Advent? Well, here’s the lineup:
- St. Andrew (Nov. 30)
- St. Francis Xavier (Dec. 3)
- St. Barbara (Dec. 4)
- St. John Damascene (Dec. 4)
- St. Nicholas (Dec. 6)
- St. Ambrose (Dec. 7)
- The Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8)
- St. Juan Diego (Dec. 9)
- Our Lady of Loretto (Dec. 10)
- Our Lady Queen of Angels (Dec. 11)
- Our Lady of Guadalupe (Dec. 12)
- St. Lucy (Dec. 13)
- St. John of the Cross (Dec. 14)
- St. Thomas (Dec. 21)
So. That is a long list. And even that may seem overwhelming. So maybe just pick 4 or 5 that you’d like to focus on this Advent. Advent is a time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. Obviously, The Church believes all these people could be great helpers in this preparation, but which saints do you jive with?
Let’s just take a few of these awesome people and brainstorm some ideas.
St. Andrew is a great one to begin with because his novena lasts all the way until Christmas. His novena prayer is quick and simple, but lovely. It is meant to be recited 15 times a day. Here it is:
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment In which the Son of God was born Of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, (here mention your request), through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
Try setting an alarm on your phone 15 times a day. Let’s say you get up at 7 and go to bed around 10 (I know that may sound early to some, but I have a one-year old and we are tired!). So, that’s 15 hours of being awake and you could set an alarm every hour to stop and say that prayer. By Christmas time, you’d have a pretty sweet regimin of prayer built.
So, St. Nicholas is a very well-known saint and there are some different cultural traditions and ways to celebrate him during Advent. St. Nicholas was a very generous bishop, who, as legend tells us, used to give gifts and gold coins to people in need. He was also pretty fierce in fighting heretics.
Many people leave shoes or boots at the fireplace hoping St. Nicholas will come and fill them with fruit like oranges, gold coins, candy, small toys, or nuts on the eve of his feast day, December 6. Also, this would be a great day to do some act of service or something for others because of St. Nicholas’ great generosity.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
This is one of my all time favorite feasts to celebrate, but there are a lot of different cultural traditions surround this feast too. You could go as simple as eating some really good Mexican food on her feast of December 12 (tacos, guacamole, fajitas, anyone?). Maybe attend a Spanish mass on that day. Maybe buy some fresh flowers and make a little altar in your home, since the miracle at Tepeyac Hill included some beautiful flowers. You can even reenact the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady with some wiling kids. It’s a great day to remember just how many people came to faith because of this miracle and Our Lady’s intervention.
Quotes & Prayers for Advent from the Saints
There are a ton of great resources to spend time with the saints during Advent, and I’ll link them below, but this Advent, you could even meditate on some quotes and prayers from the saints about Advent and Christmas, and that could change how you view this season of preparation.. Here are a few of my favorites.
St. Anthony of Padua
O Father, in your Truth (that is to say, in your Son, humbled, needy and homeless) you have humbled me. He was humbled in the womb of the Virgin, needy in the manger of the sheep, and homeless on the wood of the Cross. Nothing so humbles the proud sinner as the humility of Jesus Christ’s humanity.St. Anthony of Padua
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Arise, all ye nobles and peasants; Mary invites all, rich and poor, just and sinners, to enter the cave of Bethlehem, to adore and to kiss the feet of her new-born Son. Go in, then, all ye devout souls; go and see the Creator of heaven and earth on a little hay, under the form of a little Infant; but so beautiful that he sheds all around rays of light. Now that he is born and is lying on the straw, the cave is no longer horrible, but is become a paradise. Let us enter; let us not be afraid.St. Alphonsus Liguori
He was created by a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.St. Augustine
St. Teresa of Calcutta
We desire to be able to welcome Jesus at Christmas-time, not in a cold manger of our heart, but in a heart full of love and humility, a heart so pure, so immaculate, so warm with love for one another,St. Teresa of Calcutta
St. Paul of the Cross
Celebrate the feast of Christmas every day; even every moment in the interior temple of your spirit, remaining like a baby in the bosom of the heavenly Father, where you will be reborn each moment in the Divine WordSt. Paul of the Cross
Here are some great resources for Advent with the saints. This is a great resource for bringing the preparation of Advent into your home, including so many cool resources about the saints we celebrate during this season.
This book of reflections is from a Franciscan perspective, and this is a book for kids for Advent with the saints. The Catholic Apostolate Center has gathered a ton of awesome resources for Advent here.
Don’t forget to check out our shop where you can gather all kinds of saint medals for Advent and make this Advent a great preparation for Christ’s birth. Wishing you a beautiful Advent!