Prayer: Alban Roe preached the Gospel to his fellow prisoners with playing cards, and faced his execution with faith, courage, and cheerfulness. Lord, give us the joy that can shine through adversity, the grace to share our faith in good times and bad, and the hope to look death in the face, confident in your victory.
Lord in your mercy, Hear our prayer.
Prayer for us Alban Roe, Pray for us, all saints of God.
Info: Alban Roe was a Roman Catholic and a Benedictine monk. One of the things Alban Roe is best known for is working with cards. He often visited pubs and played card games (Maws or 45s) with the people he met there, having fun and making friends before telling them about Jesus.
He lived at a time when it was illegal to be a Roman Catholic and so every day when he taught people about Jesus and the Christian faith, he was risking his life.
One day, he was arrested and sent to prison for the work he did and was even locked in the Gatehouse in St Albans for a time before being sent to a London prison, and even in prison he found a way to teach people about the faith using cards.
Cards are still used by many to teach people about the Christian Faith. Here is one way (this is not what Alban Roe developed, but the closest thing to it that young children could understand).
Ace: The one true God.
Two: The Old Testament and New Testament in the Bible.
Three: The Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Four: St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John, evangelists and authors of the four Gospels.
Five: The two groups of five virgins who trimmed their lamps for a wedding. Five were wise (by saving enough oil) and were admitted, while the other five were foolish (did not have enough oil) and were shut out.
Six: God created the Earth in six days.
Seven: God rested on the seventh day, now known as the Sabbath.
Eight: The eight righteous people whom God saved during the Great Flood: Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives.
Nine: Of the ten lepers whom Jesus cleansed, nine of them did not even thank him.
Ten: The Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses.
King: God, the Father.
Queen: Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and Queen of Heaven.
Jack or knave: Satan or the Devil.
Talk through the cards with your group. Then play a memory game to test how many they can remember. Give each one in turn a random card and they have to tell you what it represents.
If they make a mistake, go through the cards again.
How many times do you need to repeat it until they remember them all?
Questions to ask the group
• Can using cards be a useful way of helping us to remember important things about our faith?
• What other aspects of our faith could you assign a card for?
• What important things have been missed out?
• Do you think Alban Roe helped people learn about Christianity through using cards?
From the list above, make your own card and decorate it with its meaning. For example, you may draw out a Queen, and decorate it with a picture of Mary.
Give each child in your group a suit of cards from a deck. Get them to decorate each one with an image that will remind them of something that number relates to from the bible or using the above pattern. (One deck of cards will go around 4 children, if you buy cards for this activity, please remember to claim the money back via the finance office).
Explain to the children that Alban Roe often visited pubs because that is where he could find a large group of people, who didn’t know much about God, that he could get to know, and tell tem about Jesus.
He often visited these places so that he could share what he knew with other people.
As a group on lining paper, or individually on pieces of paper, draw or write some of the places you could go, to tell people who don’t know about God why he is so great.
(Leaders prompt them to think about clubs and groups they are part of, family members, places they visit like the park)
Follow up with the question, what are the most important things you would want them to know after talking to them about God?