Second-graders bring saints to life on holy day

 

Photos by Sarah Ann Jump/The Herald
Holy Trinity Catholic School second-grader Ally Wagner presents as Saint Margaret of Hungary to Annie Gramelspacher of Jasper during the Saints Wax Museum to celebrate All Saints' Day at Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper on Thursday. For more photos from the museum, click here.

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

JASPER — A company of 46 saints gathered at Precious Blood Catholic Church Thursday morning to celebrate All Saints’ Day.

Holy Trinity Catholic School’s second-graders brought the saints to life, dressing up as their chosen holy man or woman to create a Saints Wax Museum where younger grades and community members could learn about the saints honored by the Catholic Church.

The school held the first Saints Wax Museum last year as a way to celebrate All Saints’ Day and to provide something fun and unique to the second-graders, the oldest grade housed at Holy Trinity’s central campus.

“It’s just something special for the second-graders to do as they’re getting ready to take their First Communion,” said second-grade teacher Andrea Hurm.

Students chose their saints from a long list, and spent a month researching their chosen holy person. On Thursday, they took on the persona of their saint, dressing to look the part and sharing their chosen three facts about the saint with anyone who stopped by.

St. Anne, the Virgin Mary’s mother, was popular. So was St. Francis of Assisi, with a few boys bringing in stuffed animals to help them look the part. Keaton Gunselman was one of the boys who portrayed St. Francis, wearing a brown monk’s robe and holding a decorative bird to make his costume.

“I love animals, and I love nature,” Gunselman said. “And he loved animals and nature.”

Holy Trinity Catholic School second-grader Keaton Gunselman presents as Saint Francis of Assisi during the Saints Wax Museum to celebrate All Saints' Day at Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper on Thursday. For more photos from the museum, click here.

Like Gunselman, several students chose their saint based on shared interests. Evan Legris loves books, so he chose to portray St. Jerome, the patron saint of librarians.

Ally Wagner likes princesses, so she chose to portray St. Margaret of Hungary, who was a princess and a nun. Despite her high pedigree, St. Margaret often went months without bathing. That was Wagner’s favorite fact about her saint.

Some students chose their saints because they had similar names. Kylie Hopf, for example, chose St. Elizabeth, patron saint of pregnant women, because Hopf’s middle name is Elizabeth. In her research, Hopf discovered that St. Elizabeth was the Virgin Mary’s cousin and the mother of John the Baptist, the man who baptized Jesus.

Although many of the saints the students portrayed were European, a few Latin American saints made an appearance as well.

Sophia Bravo donned a bright blue veil to portray Our Lady of Guadalupe, an apparition of the Virgin Mary who is the patron saint of the Americas. Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531. Juan Diego was an Aztec early convert to Catholicism, and Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the former site of an Aztec Temple. Bravo liked the part of the story where Our Lady of Guadalupe gave Juan Diego roses in December as a sign of her holiness.

The wax museum ended about 10 a.m. Thursday with the saints departing until next year’s All Saints’ Day when Hurm said next year’s second-graders will host the third annual event.

Holy Trinity Catholic School second-grader Drake Lichlyter presents as Saint Florian to Rhonda Van Winkle of Bretzville during the Saints Wax Museum to celebrate All Saints' Day at Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper on Thursday. For more photos from the museum, click here.



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