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Catholic Activity: St. Elizabeth's Bread

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Have children follow the example of St. Elizabeth, benefactress of the poor, and bring bread to their neighbors on her feast day.


Elizabeth is supposed to have been taking bread to the poor and met her husband King Ludwig on the way. He asked what was in her basket, lifted the napkin, and there underneath he found roses. Elizabeth, full of humility, was not exposed as the great benefactress of the poor. This is not consistent with her reputation for openly giving away to the poor everything she could get her hands on, but it is a charming story and gives us the cue for our St. Elizabeth's Day custom. We bake bread that afternoon so that it will be done by nightfall. It is shaped into large buns — or small loaves (if you prefer), wrapped carefully in linen napkins, and put into baskets. The children bundle up, get their flashlights, take notes explaining the day and the custom, and go off down the lane to the neighbors with hot bread for their suppers. It is given away for the love of Christ. Then when you return home the bread for your own supper tastes that much sweeter.

Activity Source: Year and Our Children, The by Mary Reed Newland, P.J. Kenedy & Sons, New York, 1956

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