Are you looking for ways to keep the hallowed in Halloween?
We could hand out holy cards to trick-or-treaters, but we would probably not end up being the favorite house on the block if we neglected to hand out candy with them. Some online stores sell bags of little Christian gadgets like flying dics, rubber bracelets and bouncy balls for relatively inexpensive prices. I would still give a little candy bar with it! After all, the children come for the treats; we don’t want to make them feel tricked.
As for our own children, we can help them choose costumes that “consider the things that are above, not the things that are of the world” (Col. 3:2). Below are a few ideas of either quick-make costumes or ones that you can buy at a costume store and turn into a saint. It is important to share the story of the saint with your child. Knowing their saint’s story will make them excited to put on their outfit. Moreover, they can witness about their saint if someone was to ask who they are dressed up as.
So, here are a few ideas:
St. Isadore – The patron saint of farmers was known to have help from his guardian angel in plowing fields so that the saint could attend morning Mass without getting behind in his work. This would be an easy costume: overalls, button-down shirt, and a straw hat. A hoe is the perfect accessory.
St. Martin – This Roman soldier-turn-Christian gave half of his cloak to a chilled beggar, who appeared to Martin in a dream as Christ Himself. What boy doesn’t like to imagine being a soldier? To become a Roman soldier, you will need to find brown faux leather material, just enough to go around your child’s waist and down to his knees. Cut slits about 2/3 the way up the skirt. Then simply safety pin it around his waist. You will also have to buy him a breastplate and helmet, which can be purchased at any costume or Christian store. To top it all off, safety pin a piece of red material to each shoulder for a cape. Under the skirt and armor, your son can simply wear black sweats, t-shirt, shorts, or the like.
St. George – Like St. Martin, St. George was also a soldier, the famed dragon-slayer. Though the story of St. George killing the dragon and saving the town of Silene, thus converting all its people to Christianity is considered legend, he is one of the most popular saints of all time, revered by both Christians and Muslins. So if you have 2 children, it may be fun to dress one up as the saint and the other as a dragon. George is usually depicted in full armor with a red cape tied around his neck. And as long as your son promises not to use it on his sibling, a cool accessory for this costume is a sword.
St. Louis – The only French king to be canonized, Louis fought in the crusade to help make the Holy Land safe for pilgrimage. Though king, he was concerned for the poor. He also introduced the presumption of innocence in criminal procedures. For this costume, a boy could wear blank pants, a blouse, red cape with gold trim and a golden crown. Or, because St. Louis fought in the crusades, he could wear the armor of a crusader with the cape and crown. Many Christian book stores carry the “armor of Christ” that would work well for this.
St. Maximillian Kolbe – This Auschwitz martyr, though a Franciscan friar, is best recognized in his prison garb. Though perhaps a jail bird costume would do, it may be better to make your own. The stripes on his prison outfit were vertical, not horizontal. So get a grey sweat suit or grey sweat pants and a large gray button-down shirt. Add some blue/gray duct tape to the shirt to make the vertical stripes. Then, whether you are using a sweat suit or prisoner costume, be sure to sew an upside-down red triangle with the letter “P” on the left side with the number 16670 written under it.
St. Damien of Molokai – This priest ultimately laid down his life to serve the lepers on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. Get a black collared shirt, black pants and jacket. The shirt will have to be put on backwards and a white square piece of felt attached to the middle of the collar. St. Damien is often depicted wearing a straw hat or he could wear a lei.
Bl. Stanley Rother – Newly beatified, greatly beloved Fr. Stanley Rother from Oklahoma was martyred in Guatamala in 1981. To be Fr. Stanley, your son can wear the black suit with white collar described above. His often pictured wearing a colorful, latina stole, which your son can have fun coloring with fabric markers from a long, shoulder-width wide, white piece of cloth.
Servant of God Emil Kapaun – Fr. Kapaun is another holy priest. As an army chaplin during the Korean war, he was taken prisoner of war when he would not retreat and leave behind his wounded and dying soldiers. He died while held captive in North Korea. Wearing green army fatigues and an army helmet can be your son’s way of honoring this servant of God. Just be sure to have “Kapaun” on the name tag on his army jacket. And remember, Father would have carried a chalice, not a gun.
St. Helen – What girl doesn’t dream of being a princess, or better yet, a queen! St. Helen was the Emperor Constantine’s mother. She is accredited with finding the true cross of Christ. For this costume, your daughter can wear a royal gown and a golden crown. We found beautiful royal robes at, of all places, Cracker Barrel! But any queenly dress-up will do. Just veer away from the Disney princesses. For St. Helen, your daughter may want to hold a wooden cross. There are, of course, other holy queens. St. Elizabeth of Hungary could carry a basket of bread, as she often fed the poor with food from the castle. St. Margaret of Scotland is often depicting holding a book, perhaps because she read Scriptures to her unruly husband, thus influencing him to become a just and good king.
St. Joan of Arc – For those girls who do not dream of being a princess, perhaps a soldier will do! As St. Joan of Arc, your girl could dress in armor, found in many costume, or even Christian, stores. She may have to wear a skirt with that armor, though.
St. Lucy – This young virgin martyr can wear a white dress with a red sash. On her head is an evergreen wreath. Candles (battery operated) may give extra light to night time trick-or-treaters, but they aren’t necessary. St. Agnes is another young virgin martyr that could be dressed in the same fashion; however, instead of a wreath crown, Agnes is often depicted holding a lamb. Do you have a stuffed animal lamb?
Blessed Imelda – The patron of first communicants gives girls who want to dress up as Bl. Imelda another chance to wear their First Communion outfits. This incorruptible blessed begged to receive Communion at the age of 5. Normally, back then, the Eucharist was not given to anyone under the age of 14. One day, at the age of 9, while praying after Mass, a Host floated over to her. Needless to say, Imelda was given the Sacred Host. After receiving her impromptu first Communion, Imelda passed into Heaven.
St. Lucia or Jacinta – The Fatima shepherd girls saw our Lady and prayed the rosary with her. They also were taught a new prayer by an angel. We are coming upon the 100 year anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun. This may be the perfect year to dress up as St. Lucia or St. Jacinta. A simple long skirt and plain blouse with a shawl that can be worn over the shoulders or to cover the head is all your daughter needs. A rosary makes a perfect accessory.
Saint (Mother) Teresa – Can you sew (or fabric paint) blue strips around a white sheet? Then your daughter could dress up as one of the world’s favorite, most recognizable saints – Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
St. Gianna Molla – This holy doctor gave up her life for her unborn baby. Diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, St. Giana would not “terminate her pregnancy” nor undergo any procedure that endangered her baby. Soon after giving birth to her daughter, she went home to her Heavenly Father. Her daughter was present for her canonization. To be St. Gianna this Halloween, all your daughter needs is a doctor costume or some scrubs. A name tag helps identify Dr. Molla. A stethoscope is the perfect accessory; moreover, a doctor’s bag can double as a trick-or-treat bag!
Blessed Mother Mary – No list of girls saints would be complete without our Lady! A simple, plain dress with a sash and blue fabric for a veil makes for a fine Blessed Mother costume. Holding baby (doll) Jesus makes it perfect.
To get the pieces you may need for any of these costumes, besides checking any stores that sell costumes, look at thrift stops, fabric stores, dollar stores or even your parish. Sometimes your church may have crowns for kings from Live Nativities, or robes from passion plays (these are perfect for dressing up as St. Joseph or an apostle; just be sure to accessorize to identify, using a walking stick for Joseph or large keys for Peter). Altar servers’ robes might also be borrowed if you promised to wash, iron and return before the weekend. White robes can be used for Mary or any of the early virgin martyrs, too.
Be creative. Be instructive. It just may be inspiring. It will definitely be fun. Happy All Hallows’ Eve.
Copyright 2017 Kelly Guest