2. Alchemy of the Heart – Lesson 2

Stretching Muscles

Overview of Lesson 2 for Children Ages 3 to 6

  • You can learn to love more
  • Love more by opening your heart
  • When someone needs help, do something

MUSIC:  Harp music, such as: Bridget Cruise/Jon O’Connor/George Brabazon Celtic Treasure:The Legacy of Turlough O’Carolan, Narada Collection Series.

CHAPTER: Stretching the Muscles of the Heart from Lesson 1, Section 3.


  • Pink index cards (the ones used in lesson 1 and enough extras to make duplicate cards)
  • Crayons and colored pencils

How Saint Francis
Learned to Love More

Saint Francis, who lived nearly 800 years ago, is known and loved by millions around the world for his loving heart. He loved all of God’s creation so much that birds and animals came around him as he sang to them and gave them food.

Long age, when Saint Francis lived, there was a terrible disease called leprosy. Leprosy causes the skin to become very sick, turning white and sometimes coming off in patches. It is not pleasant to look at and it is contagious so people with leprosy were usually kept separate from the rest of the people in their town. People with leprosy were called lepers.

Saint Francis, born the son of a wealthy man, was terrified of lepers. One day as he rode his horse along a path, he saw a leper. He wanted to turn his horse and ride away as fast as he could. But he could not. He had learned to love God very much and he suddenly realized he could not say he loved God and turn his back on any part of God’s creation.

So he stopped his horse and overcame his desire to run away. He gave the man some money and then he gave the man a hug and a kiss on the cheek. You can imagine the man must have felt so grateful since most people turned away and would not even look at him.

Francis wrote about that day later in his life. He said it was a turning point in his life and after that, things that had seemed impossible to overcome became easy and even pleasant for him. He had learned to love more than he ever believed possible and it have him great joy inside. 

Maybe there is someone in your life who is like the leper, someone who needs you and your loving kindness. Have the courage to open your heart.


Have you ever been on the playground when someone fell and hurt themselves? They don’t need you to ask them if you can do anything for them. They need you to help them up or get a wet paper towel to wipe their cut.

It is the same is someone is feeling sad. They may or may not want to talk about it. Maybe they just need you to go give them a big smile or a hug or tell them a joke.

Activity 1: Opening Your Heart

Think of someone in your life that

might need a little extra kindness.

Think of something nice you can do for that person.

Activity 2: Hope to Love More

Draw a picture or act out a scene
of someone opening their heart
and being kind to someone
everyone else is ignoring.