Eating Locusts and Wild Honey, and Gathering Herbs, Just Like St. John the Baptist!

On June 24th we can remember the Nativity of St. John the Baptist by letting the kids make one of his favorite things to eat...locusts! No, not real bugs, the chocolate kind!



Ok...so I know I said I was launching the site in July. It's only June, but celebrating this feast with your kids is just so much fun! If we want to be ready for all the cool things to do at the end of the summer, we have to start with this activity now...you'll see what I mean. So here's the plan:


We like to remember that our dear friend St. John the Baptist fasted in the desert from his childhood in order to prepare for his life of preaching, by eating, as scripture tells us, wild honey and locusts. Now, raw honey is a real favorite of our family and eating that is a treat, but locusts? Well, yes! Locusts are a treat here too! Not real insects, of course, but ones made of chocolate!

We found some really nice candy molds here: https://www.confectioneryhouse.com/grasshopper-candy-mold.html

which are made in the shape of crickets, but any bug-shaped molds will do! We just melt some chocolate, stir in some puffed rice cereal and fill the molds!

When they harden, you can pop them out and munch on some crispy locusts, just like St. John the Baptist!


While you're enjoying those locusts, keep an eye out for these cute little yellow flowers that may just be starting to appear in gardens and fields near you:


hypericum perforatum, aka St. John's Wort

These are called St. John's Wort. Wort isn't the same as wart...it's an old word for herb, or flower. They are cheerful little yellow flowers that are named for St. John the Baptist, because in most areas, the flowers tend to appear around his feast day, June 24.  The children pick these little yellow treasures and put them all into a clean jar.  When they have enough (what's enough?...any amount will do), they cover them with olive oil and put the jar on a sunny window sill, shaking it well every day and then they wait for the little miracle. After a few days, the oil in the jar begins to turn a brilliant red!



They love it!  The red color reminds us of St. John's martyrdom for the cause of the sanctity of marriage...remember how he urged King Herod to repent from the sin of adultery. We talk about poor St. John, who gave his life for speaking the truth.  We talk about the saving Blood of Christ which washes and heals.  We talk about how miraculous things happen all around us every day, if we would only stop and see them. This is such a great teaching tool! Do you see now why I just couldn't wait to tell you about it?!


If the flowers are harvested around the feast of St. John, the oil is usually ready by the time the season of the Holy Cross Fast rolls around, so the timing of it couldn't be better. We'll talk then about how we can make a healing salve to use for the coming winter season. For now, the oil is wonderful as it is for things like bug bites and little aches and pains of childhood, muscle fatigue, anxieties.


I hope your ByziKids have enjoyed our first two activities! More to come!


Nativity of St. John the Forerunner

Helpful links:

Just for fun....ewwwww. :P

https://www.livestrong.com/article/549444-the-nutritional-value-of-locusts/


Here's a fun coloring page!

https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/655/20774002072_636bc6380e_b.jpg


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