Celebrating All Saints Day in Style: St. Helen edition!

Happy All Saints Day!

Now, this year was a special year! It was the first year that I got to make a saint costume. You see, our parish has a special celebration for All Saints Day, which they purposely schedule for Halloween, haha. Usually, they’ll give copious amounts of candy, rent bouncy houses, have pumpkin carving contests, lots of little arts and crafts booths, and! They will have a costume contest for the BEST SAINTS OUTFIT.

…no pressure, right?

Well, this Halloween, this fun carnival of sorts — alas! — was cancelled. Because apparently this year is cancelled. However, they still got to pick who their saint was, write a little speech about their saint, and then dress up as their saint. And, since this was my first year as a parent of a kid who was at school, that meant that I documented the whole thing!

And so… come into my home for a bit and celebrate All Saints Day with us!

The Picking of the Saint

My first grader got to be a saint this year! (Her siblings, by the way, were Batman, a bee, and a pumpkin, haha, so no saints there, but I am sure they’ll join the festivities when they are older!) After listening to the various stories of illustrious saints, such as St. Joan of Arc, St. Lucy, St. Catherine, etc., she decided to pick… ST. HELEN!

And that is probably because St. Helen has an awesome story in which she finds the True Cross of Christ! (I wrote a blog about her story here!) Basically, she was the mother of the Emperor Constantine. Therefore, she was one of the most influential women of all time, because, through her devotion to Christ, she first was able to persuade Constantine to not kill Christians, which was a big thing in the Roman Empire! Later, through her example of faith, he actually became a Christian, which was an even bigger thing and which effectively established the Holy Roman Empire! And then she was able to establish all these beautiful churches in the Holy Land and convert the temples of Pagan gods into beautiful churches that commemorated Christ.

…doesn’t she sound amazing???

Of course, this meant that my daughter got to be a QUEEN.

And so, the next thing we had to do was figure out what she wanted to look like. This meant, of course, we looked at lots of artworks of St. Helen! Here are some beautiful artworks of Saint Helen that I saved for reference…

Here’s a beautiful picture which depicts the legend of St. Helen finding the true cross of Jesus!

Here is Saint Helen holding the true cross of Jesus…

Here she is, with her son, Emperor Constantine, and they are together adoring the Cross of Christ!

And this the picture that my daughter liked the best “because she was wearing pink.”

Saint Helen, by Palma il Giovane, c. 1592-93. Chiesa dei Gesuiti, Venice, Italy.

The Speech

Now, dressing up as a saint is super cool, BUT. My parish’s school also wanted her to make a speech pretending that she was Saint Helen, memorize the speech, and then present the speech to the classroom.

EEP.

Since my daughter is still in first grade, that meant that we got to write it together in a way that she would be able to memorize it. SO. After going through several versions, this is what we came up with:

My name is Saint Helen. I was born in Greece in 248 A.D. During my life I showed my faith by finding the True Cross of Jesus. You can follow my example by following the True Cross of Jesus.

Short and sweet! Huzzah!

The Dress

If I had actually prepared, I could have shown you the entire process of how the dress had been made. Alas! This is the only picture that I took of it while it was still in progress and I was still fitting the dress to her…

My daughter being fitted for the dress!

I sort of free handed the whole thing and didn’t follow a pattern at all, so if you were hoping for a how-to of sorts… sorry! However, I will offer words of encouragement, if you’re a parent who is frantically trying to come up with a saints costume and somehow stumbled onto this page while doing so… YOU CAN DO THIS!

Now, after a couple hours of panicked sewing on the night before she was supposed to present her speech, I successfully sewed up the dress, made a cape, made a belt out of ribbon, and made a veil. Which I was able to do, thanks to my mother, who patiently taught me how to sew these sorts of things when we made my wedding dress together. (Thanks Mom!)

The result was… this!

The dress!

Of course, I took a picture of this, only to realize… WHOOPS. She is St. Helen of the Cross! That means she sort of needs a cross! And of course, by this time at night, it was already ridiculously late. So, I turned to my husband and asked if he would make a cross really, really quickly in an hour or so.

And let me tell you. My husband is an awesome craftsman. He was able to make this beautiful cross in about an hour…

The cross that my husband made!

The final result was this…

Isn’t she lovely???

Final Words…

And so, for All Saints Day, we’re planning to go to mass! (Never taking that for granted again!) And celebrating this feast day… in style!

Have a wonderful All Saints Day, from my family to yours, and God bless!

Karina Tabone

Karina Tabone is a wife, mother of four, author, blogger, and lover of Christian artwork. She's the author of the Illustrated Rosary series, which pairs every prayer of the Rosary with beautiful religious artwork. She likes also milkshakes, sunshine, and mystery novels. Follow her on Twitter at @illustr_prayer.

One thought on “Celebrating All Saints Day in Style: St. Helen edition!

  • November 3, 2020 at 6:14 pm
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    Good job! And yes, she is lovely.

    Reply

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