St. Francis of Assisi Day

St. Francis of Assisi day celebrates St. Francis of Assisi who is the patron Saint of animals and the environment.  This is not a major Catholic holiday, but St. Francis of Assisi is probably one of the most well known Saints.  Often you see pictures of Saint Francis with animals and in particular with wolves or birds.  My Nana has a bird bath of Saint Francis in her backyard.  St. Francis was born into a wealthy family as Giovanni Francesco Bernardone in 1181 and lived a life of privilege but after having a vision embraced a life of simplicity and poverty.  He was known for his love of nature and all creatures and by actually following all that Jesus said and did.  St. Francis and his followers lived in poverty and gave up all material possessions.  Francis is considered the founder of all Franciscan orders and the patron saint of ecologists and merchants.  The current Pope chose his name after St. Francis of Assisi. 

Many Catholic churches welcome pets on St. Francis Day to be blessed, and patrons reflect on the importance of all beings in creation.  

I told the boys that this holiday was about a man who lived to help out all creatures of earth and decided to give away everything he had so that he could dedicate his life to help other people.   My Middle son said he sounded like a nice guy:)  

Our craft and food was one project- Bird seed cookies.  While not a food for us it should be a good snack for the birds.  We followed the recipe for bird seed cookies found here.

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 Cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 TBS Karo corn syrup
  • 4 cups of wild birdseed
  • Method: 

    We selected some cookie cutters and then got down to business of making these "cookies"   

    My middle son scooped the flour into a mixing bowl and then added the water, packet of gelatin, and karo syrup, and mixed it all up. 

     

     

     Adding ingredients to the mixing bowl

    Adding ingredients to the mixing bowl

    Then my oldest dumped in a bag of bird seed and he mixed that up. 

     Adding birdseed. 

    Adding birdseed. 

    Then we lined a cookie sheet with parchment paper and laid out the cookie cutters we wanted to use.  The boys scooped the seed mix into the cookie cutters.  Then I used a chopstick to make a hole in each cookie.  

     

     Filling cookie cutters with the mixture.

    Filling cookie cutters with the mixture.

     After the cookie cutters were all full I moved the cookies to the counter so they could harden over night.  The next morning we popped the cookies out of the cookie cutters and we threaded yarn through the holes.  

     Putting the yarn through the hole for hanging the cookie.

    Putting the yarn through the hole for hanging the cookie.

     After that we walked around the neighborhood distributing the treats on the trees to help keep our pigeon population plump.

     Baby with final product.

    Baby with final product.

     Hanging some cookies on a very bare tree.

    Hanging some cookies on a very bare tree.

     

    Enjoy making the bird cookies and enjoy your St. Francis of Assisi day!