by Patricia Mathson
CLICK HERE for a fun activity page about St. Gaetano Errico.
Gaetano lived with his family in a village in Italy. He had eight brothers and sisters, and so he helped his mother and father as much as he could. Gaetano even helped his father at the small pasta factory where his father was the manager.
Finding the Way
Gaetano felt called to serve God and others, and he prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide his life. When he was 16 years old, he started studying to become a priest. His family did not have enough money to pay for a room, so he walked five miles to the seminary each day.
Sharing the Gospel
Gaetano became a priest in 1815. He was a teacher and served as a parish priest. He loved God with all his heart and helped others know God’s love and mercy. He was a good teacher, and he visited people who were sick. In 1836 he started a religious congregation called Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others.
Praying Each Day
Father Gaetano was a person of prayer. Even today, the floor in his room has indentations made from Father Gaetano being on his knees in prayer each day. We, too, are called to share the gospel and to be people of prayer. Father Gaetano Errico was canonized in 2008.
What Can We Do?
* Let’s talk about St. Gaetano. How might he have helped his parents when he was a young boy? How did he decide to serve God? Why is it important to share the gospel with others? What are ways we can show God’s love to others?
* Let’s draw pictures that show ways in which we can follow Jesus. Then we can share our pictures with one another. Saint Gaetano and the other saints show us many different ways to live our faith in God each day.
* Let’s be people of prayer like St. Gaetano. What are times and places we can pray? Morning? Night? All through the day? At home? At school? In church? By ourselves? With others? Does God always hear our prayers?
God of love, thank you for the example of St. Gaetano. Give us the courage to share the good news of Jesus with others as he did. May we, too, bring hope to the lives of others. Amen.
Patricia Mathson has many years’ experience in faith formation as a DRE and holds a MRE degree from the University of Dallas. She is the children’s ministry coordinator at Hope Family Center in Des Moines, IA. She is the author of many books including Plant the Seed: Sharing the Gospels with Children (Liguori Publications).
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This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, September 2011.
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