Create a mosaic with your child while discovering the story behind St. Valentine and the Crocus Flower!
Society has taken many Traditional Catholic Holy Days and claimed them for their own! St. Valentine’s Day is one of them! Often robbing them of their traditional meaning, and sometimes the day is changed so much the original meaning seems all but lost. This Saint Valentine’s Day we are celebrating tradition while learning a new fine art term with a Saint Valentine book and the Crocus Flower Mosaic!
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This style of art involves taking small pieces of different colored material, such as glass, tile, or clay, and arranging them on a surface to form a picture. For our mosaics we will be using cut up tissue paper and glue!
Before diving into the project today, we read the story of Saint Valentine. This book is really quite beautiful in word and image. You can purchase a copy here! We were disappointed that the book was printed in China, as we try very hard to support USA made products! The author focuses on St. Valentine, a doctor and a priest, and how he became the patron saint of love. To better understand this saint we have to remember that true love means sacrifice!
The book itself is a great size (we like larger books!), and has wonderful pictures. It brings in the art of the time period through the use of mosaics! Great for preschool age children, but also a useful motivational tool for older children to explore more details of his life. They can learn more about the 3rd Century, more about his martyrdom, Rome, and relate his love of neighbor, to his love for Jesus! As well as Jesus’ love for us!
Who is St. Valentine?
Saint Valentine truly loved his neighbor as the Lord loved him, he laid down his life! He was a doctor and a catholic priest who often helped the poor. This saint did not live a wealthy life style, and made sacrifices for his patients. Living in Rome, Christians were despised. He knew he was risking his life, but believed so strongly in the sanctity of marriage, he married couples illegally! He defied the mandates of the emperor and he eventually dies a martyr for his commitment to the truth.
Through his prayers, sacrifices, and true love, he brings healing to a blind girl in the process. Her father was even a Roman Soldier! So, St. Valentine is put to death at the hands of Roman Soldiers, while also loving and blessing the family of one of those soldiers. Talk about loving your enemies!
Before Saint Valentine was put to death, he would watch the girl and together they would pick herbs and flowers. The Crocus Flower was the first flower to bloom signifying spring is coming. Before he is executed he sends a letter to his patient and friend signed “From Your Valentine”. He was executed on February 14th, the day before a Roman festival which held a type of courting ceremony. His feast day reminds us to move past superficial love and to embrace true love, the love of the cross.
Why a Crocus Flower
We choose a Crocus Flower for the mosaic today because it symbolized new life. Saint Valentine brought life physically to many as a doctor, and also spiritually to many by the shedding of his own. As winter faded into spring, the crocus was the first to bloom, and the young girl would pick the flowers. They are a tangible sign of hope that the winter, whatever it may be, will end and remind us to love authentically.
Saint Valentine and the Crocus Flower Craft!
- Glitter Glue
- Crocus flower template on paper
- Squares of paper (we used tissue paper, any will do)
- Child safe scissor
- Markers (optional)
Trace or print the Crocus Flower from the Template below!
Start by cutting small green squares and gluing theme on the step leaving white space between each piece.
Fill in the rest of the stem with green, and use yellow for the flower. Various shades add extra dimension, or once glued you can use a dark yellow and green marker to gain a similar look.
In the side bar, create mosaic hearts with two squares glued on each corner.
Our finished product! Rose asked on her own why we have to keep our paper tiles spaced apart! This was a great opportunity to introduce her to the term mosaic, building her vocabulary, and drawing on her natural curiosity and attention to details.
This story is sure to bring about new meanings and discussions each time we read, and we are so thankful for the inspiration of the lives of the Saints. May the story of Saint Valentine and the Crocus Flower help us to live more fully!
How will you be celebrating St. Valentine this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Thank you, and I hope this post brings joy!
St. Valentine, Ora Pro Nobis!
Stella Maris, Ora Pro Nobis!