**Disclaimer: I am receiving nothing in compensation for this blog post. This is a post being done purely from the desire in my heart to spread the word about this home-based company. I also have no relation to any members of this company, nor have I even met them!**
As those that follow my blog know, I am trying my hardest to raise my child in the Catholic Christian religion, and trying to instill the love of the faith in my child/ren from an early age. That includes all areas of Catholicism.
When Catholics turn to the saints, we are NOT worshiping saints or worshiping the statues. Instead, we are looking to the saints as examples of how a sinner can work to turn their life toward God, and eventually are granted a seat next to their (and our) Father in Heaven. And, as such, they look over us and watch over us, and are ready to give our prayers to God on an eye-to-eye level whereas we can’t quite look God in the face at this time.
I recently explained the intercession of saints in this manner: we frequently ask others around us to pray for us, regardless of religious denomination. I have been asked to pray for Muslim and Christian friends alike. I have asked for prayers when I have needed them, regardless of with whom I am speaking. When I ask the saints for prayers, I am asking someone that the Catholic Church recognizes is up in Heaven, to sit down across the dinner table with God, and ask them to please give my request to God in person. I most definitely ask God myself for my intentions, but it’s always nice to have an advocate up close and personal with God, who can sit down with God, and plead my case as well. Obviously, God’s will is always done, regardless of whether or not I think it is my will at the time; but, I like having that extra advocate on my side, peppering God with my requests.
While my child will sit and watch episodes of Animated Rosary on EWTN, he avoids any of the other cartoons or depictions of the saints right now. I have faith that, one day, he will be interested in reading the adventure books that are out and available, the way I would devour them as a growing child. But, for now, as a toddler, he is oblivious to those stories – they just aren’t as attention-worthy, in his opinion, as Scooby Doo or Toy Story.
That said, last year I was introduced to a company that is working hard to provide a new way of looking at the saints. Their family-owned business is changing the way I am able to evangelize my faith to my child/ren. And, their business also allows me to gift small tokens to others who are experiencing the need for cute gifts, whether it be Baptism, Confirmation, or any other occasion!
My personal collection of Tiny Saints is small, compared to others I know. This company sells small keychain charms, and a toddler book, featuring the saints. They also have a Pope Francis keychain charm, and have other charms for figures working their way toward sainthood – so, although she isn’t a saint yet, they have Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. They also feature charms with various versions of Our Lady.
Because I found them shortly after reading Our Lady of Kibeho by Immaculee Ilibagiza, and have since developed a personal attachment to the “Our Lady of Sorrows,” I was excited to see Tiny Saints offered a charm of “Our Lady of Kibeho.” Not shown in the above picture, we also have purchased a few St. Thomas More (patron saint of attorneys and politicians) keychain charms, a St. Agnes (another personal favorite saint, but since she had a skein of yarn, was sent to a family member who loves to knit) charm, and a St. Cecilia (patron saint of musicians) charm. Having been on a pilgrimage in Hawaii, I pounced on purchasing the St. Damien of Moloka’i, because it is a constant reminder of my favorite days in Hawaii, and the peacefulness of Moloka’i. When asked if they had a Divine Mercy charm, I was told they are not doing any depictions of Jesus, which I find absolutely admirable. Instead, they offer St. Faustina, who is credited with the Divine Mercy image, as well as chaplet – her little charm holds a framed Divine Mercy image.
What absolutely astounds me is how these small charms have reached across age ranges.
My three year old child adores his Michael the Archangel charm that stays on his diaper & wipes bag. It’s a small way for me to immediately recognize my bag, among the vast other similarly patterned 31-Bags that are all too popular in military circles these days! As my son gets older and potty trains, and learns to not pull by the charm itself (something I learned as a “trial by error” accident with my original St. Damien of Moloka’i charm), I suspect this little guy will be moved to a jacket.
Our Catholic women’s group purchased one for each child Confirmed into the Catholic Church last year. From what I was told, these kiddos (typically close to, or at grade 8) all got excited, with some wanting to put their charm on their backpacks, and others wanting to put them on zippers on their jackets, or others trying to figure out how to attach it to binders and notebooks. Some children have made homemade bracelets and included their Tiny Saint on them.
Adults have also fallen in love with Tiny Saints. I have also kept one on my keychain to distinguish my keys from my husband’s. I have heard other adults using them to set their briefcases apart from colleagues’. These Tiny Saints are a visual representation, for adults and to adults, that we are Christian, and we are striving toward having a seat with God in Heaven someday. And, the cool thing about the lesson of the saints is that, it doesn’t matter what your life was previous to your conversion to God, what matters is how you live your life once you have become a follower of Christ.
For 5 dollars a charm (there is a price reduction on bulk orders) these gifts are an absolute steal – especially given the vast interest among age ranges!
This company also released a 10 dollar children’s board book, which introduces the children to the saints. In a previous post about recommended children’s books, I acknowledged I think my son was getting too old for the book by the time I learned about it and purchased it, so I will wait for our daughter’s reaction when she is getting old enough to look through books and really grasp the “pictures” concept. However, here is an example of how the book introduces children to the saints in age-appropriate language and pictures:
The book introduces the little reader to the following list of saints:
So, if you are in the market for finding small, cute, relatable gifts for anyone, be sure to check out www.shoptinysaints.com
. They will provide you with inspirational gifts, regardless of age of the recipient, and are budget-friendly! I guarantee you will find some charms you will love, and will have to purchase, regardless of occasion!