St. Nicholas - December 6

This 4th-century bishop from the Byzantine Empire has long been considered a powerful intercessor due to many miracles associated with him. Hailing from a wealthy Greek family, he had a generous and humble nature that urged him to help others anonymously, giving rise to the legendary figure of Sinterklass -- or more commonly known today as Santa Claus. Teach your children about the beauty of giving through this very inspiring saint.

St. Juan Diego - December 9

As one of Mexico's most important saints, the 16th-century Catholic convert was visited by the Virgin Mary, who told him to ask the bishop to build a shrine in her honor. Doubting his authenticity, the bishop asked Juan Diego for proof. Mary visited him again and told him to pick roses for the bishop -- this was during winter -- as a sign of her visit. When Juan Diego opened his cloak to show the roses to the bishop, it was miraculously imprinted with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The bishop had the evidence he needed to build a church. Juan Diego spent the rest of his life in a hut near to the church, caring for visiting pilgrims. His story is one of complete faith and dedication to God through devotion to the Blessed Mother.

Our Lady of Guadalupe - December 12

For her appearance to Juan Diego, the Blessed Mother is honored as Our Lady of Guadeloupe in Mexico. In her visits, Mary showed her reassuring motherly nature. She not only spoke to Juan Diego in his native tongue, but was able to instill in him enough courage to carry out her instructions. Her feast day, halfway through Advent, is a perfect opportunity for children to honor the Mother of God, as they await the birth of her son.

St. Lucy - December 13

This 4th-century saint died during the early Christian persecutions. Although there isn't much factual information about her, she's said to have displayed great bravery at a time when professing the Christian faith often meant torture and death. Her name means light, and she is the patron of those with eye disorders. Lucy's courage is a great demonstration for children to stand firm in their faith, even if they face adversity for their beliefs.

St. John of the Cross - December 14

This Carmelite priest was a mystic, poet, and reformer. His actions and beliefs saw him ostracized at times, leaving him isolated, but closer to God. His struggles actually brought more power and understanding to his work, reminding him that in life it's necessary to accept the cross and unite yourself with God. His life is a lesson to children that whatever hardships they may face, the Lord will be at their side.

St. Thomas the Apostle - December 21

More commonly known as "Doubting Thomas," the Apostle's story is one that shows children that it's okay if they question their faith, but, if they ask the help of this saint, they'll find answers, and strength to live the Gospel, confident that Jesus is at their side.