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About The Rosary ( 4 )

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The rosary has a long and honored tradition and its present form it can be dated back to the last 14th century. The present day rosary seems to have been the work of the Dominican fathers however there is parts that actually date back to St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order.

St. Dominic was handed the method to pray the Rosary directly from The Blessed mother. And according to Alan de la Roche  St. Dominic revived the rosary on this revelation. At the time St. Dominic was fighting the Albigensians.

They were a sect that lived in the south of France in the 12th and 13th centuries.  They mostly were a group that created what they called heresies. They believed in two opposing   .God. principles, one that was good one that was bad. They also did not think that the Church had any authority.  The Albigensians also rejected the premise of sacraments and a sacramental church.  And one of their most radical beliefs was there was no resurrection of the body and they did not condone marriage.  St. Dominic was trying to use the rosary as away to confront the heredities and bring the Albigensians back to the church.

The Church in the early days was often threaded by these heresies.  And the Church would assemble Councils to help deal with these wrong believe. But the Albigensians grew in popularity which forced the church to send in missionaries St Dominic was one of the missionaries to help deal with this and get this group back on track. He did have some success but the Crusades came. This helped break the group down even farther.

There have been many who often try to minimize St. Dominic.s role in the formation of the modern rosary and place the formation of the modern rosary into the earlier times.  But even without placing the rosary in the 12th century it has a long rich history in the church for its devotion to Mary and its meditative properties.   

When trying to trace the history of the rosary it is difficult. There is very minimal documentation on the rosary to show when it began or how it began.  Through the ages though the each Pope has always advocated its use and written about it favorably.    But despite the lacking documentation on it, there is no doubt of the Dominican influence and devotion to the rosary. They have long advocated the recitation of the Hail Mary and the meditation of the events of Jesus life.

It was thought that back in the 12th century the original rosary contained 150 prayers, initially consistent with the 150 Psalms the residents of a town could hear the monasteries pray. Because only a select few could read they would mimic what they would hear using initially the .Our Father. as its base. It then moved to the Hail Mary.s in 3 groups of fifty and was assigned what we know as the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious Mysteries or events in Christ.s life.  

Eventually the beads were assigned the actual Hail Mary prayer we pray today, making it that by the 16th century the Rosary is what we know it to be today with the one addendum of Pope John Paul II making the last change adding the Luminous Mysteries to the fold on the anniversary of his 25th year of being Pope.

Advent ( 49 )


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Advent is the first season of the liturgical year within the Catholic church.  Its is a period of waiting that occupies the four weeks prior to Christmas.  Advent is a season that should be used for penance, and reflection to ready the Christian person for the arrival of the Christ child.

The use of the word Advent stems from Latin and means second coming. It is a season that looks forward to the second coming of Jesus and yes has mindful and penitential elements as well. It is a true season of preparation, and not just for Christmas itself but also the second coming the Lord.  Advent also draws from the Hebrews who were the ones who were originally waiting for their Messiah.

In the western churches, Advent begins on Advent Sunday or the first day of the liturgical year. And, this Sunday is also the first Sunday of Advent. The garments of the priest are now a deep purple and that keeps with the penitential spirit of the sacrament.

The earliest writings on the season date back to 480, according to when St. Gregory, who document St. Perpetuus in his book the History of the Franks. There was a passage that spoke of fasting three times a week from the feast of St. Martin, customarily Nov 11, until Christmas and said that St. Perpetuus spoke of it. Although it is unsure whether he started the custom or was speaking of an existing one. Also he denoted the period of 40 days equal to many things in the early Jewish and Christian churches. Jesus was in the desert for 40 days as were the Israelites. Noah’s flood was 40 days and in the more modern times, Lent also was 40 days. Advent was also thought of as a second Lenten Season and was viewed the same as the penitential elements of Lent so were Advent.

The Council of Tours in 567 addressed fasting implored the monks to fast every day from the first day Day of December until Christmas. The penitential practice soon became a full 40 days and how the feast of St. Martin was picked. Advent called in the early church St. Martin’s Lent.  Then in 582, the First Council of Macon  specified that the days between St. Martin’s to Christmas be days of fasting, designating Monday, Wednesday and Friday as those days. The canon went on to say these days should be treated the same as Lent.

There were other writings of that time including the Capitularia of Charlemagne further defined the period of Advent and in the book Institution of Clerics, The observance of Advent was again spoken. The early church worked very hard to tie the period to Lent so that the waiting and penance of Lent would be brought about in Advent as well. Advent allowed the believer to prepare his heart for the Lord. It allows the heart to be born anew if the period is observed properly. The Infant Jesus is a reminder for our own innocence and our ability to reclaim that during Advent.  

Angel Statues ( 3 )

   

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Angels are traditionally seen as messengers of a supreme divine being which has been sent to do the tasks of the being which sent it. Various traditions sway as to whether angels have their own free wills and the appearance of angels also vary, some being in the form of humans and most major religious groups deny that angels were former human beings. The Christian concept of the angel changed from the angel as a messenger of God and a manifestation of God himself. Some well known angels in the Christian faith which were identified with their own names were Gabriel, Michael, Uriel and Raphael.

 

Angels are represented as spiritual beings between God and men and some representations of angels show them with wings, and some without. Angel statues can be seen all over the world in various situations and places such as museums, churches and homes. Angel statues can take on many different forms, sizes and materials, from granite and marble to plastic and wood.

 

You can purchase your own angel statues for decorative use in a garden or in your home, these statues tend to be depicted as beautiful women in flowing robes with bird like wings. Angels are associated with being messengers, as well as being associated with love and luck and other things. Not to be confused with cherubs, Angel statues are usually fully grown men or women and you can also get Angel Gabriel and Michael statues which would look wonderful in your prayer garden.

 

Angel statues can make a beautiful addition to your home and angels have been the focus of many people’s attention for hundreds of years. They are thought to help humans, to aid in times when we need help the most and they are also a vision of faith in God and of the angels themselves. Owning your own angel statue will enable you to show your faith and devotion and it will also make a very beautiful addition to your home and will be a centre point of interest to friends and family alike. Angel statues come in many different sizes as well, you can get full sized angel statues which stand as tall as a person and can be used for outdoor use, you can also get smaller statues which can fit on your table top or stand in your hallway, it is up to your own personal preference what size you choose.

 

You can view angel statues in churches and in museums if you cannot afford to buy your own, or if you are simply interested in all of the different types of angel statues that exist. They are beautiful to look at and are ornate and special. You can find out more about angels and where you can purchase angel statues on the internet. So what are you waiting for? Start searching for your own angel statue today so that you can add a piece of hope and faith to your home now!

 

 

    

Baby Gifts ( 9 )

There are two kinds of gifts you can give to a new baby; something that will please the parents and something that will please the baby. Both kinds of baby gifts are welcome and you might consider choosing one of each. Parents need all the help they can get, even if it isn’t their first child but there is nothing so rewarding as to make a baby smile and there are simple squeeze toys, soft, cuddly toys and musical toys that will do just that.

More for the parents than the baby are kits that come packed with things they need. They usually have bottles, bibs, towels, a pacifier some baby soap and shampoo, a comb and brush, powder, baby oil and sleepers. Sometimes they have a cute rattle or squeeze toy to entertain the baby. Any baby care products along with a baby bath tub would also be welcomed. These baby gifts are appreciated by the parents because there are never enough towels or baby soap. A breast pump is also a good gift for the parents of a newborn. This will allow a nursing mother to save milk for a later feeding so she can go out for a while.

Clothes for infants come in a wide variety of styles and are the most common baby gifts. For boys it is no longer enough to get something blue. There are cowboy outfits, tuxedos, sailor suits and sports outfits and for girls, pink is just the beginning. Ballerina, princess, Ladybug, butterfly and many other cute motifs for girls and all of these are available in jumpsuits, T-shirts and sleepers. Even booties look like real shoes with running shoes, dance slippers, tennis shoes and much more. One good thing about giving clothes as a gift to a newborn; if you give something that is too big; it can still be used when the child grows into it. Another good thing is, clothes are always needed because babies grow out of them fast or they get washed so many times they look ragged.

You could be creative and try for something completely unique. Make a baby bag for going shopping, to the park or to visit friends and family. You could add bottles, wet-wipes, disposable diapers, a sweater and blankets and toys suitable for travel. Everything could be put in an attractive carrying bag that the mother may like long after the baby can carry his or her own bag. After you have selected baby gifts that please the parents look for a few that may bring a smile to the baby’s face.

Another idea for baby gifts is to help decorate the baby’s room. Large colorful posters are good for near the bath or changing table. They attract the attention of the baby so mother or father can get on with the cleaning. Mobiles above the crib are also great fun. Some move and have music boxes to delight the child. If you have the skill or know someone who does, and is willing, paint a mural on the wall of the baby’s room.

Baptism ( 2 )

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Baptism is one of the most widely celebrated rituals in all of Christianity. It is recognized across many religious sects and is recognized among the Catholic Church as well as the protestant sects. Oddly its one of the most catholic rituals of the church .Jesus himself gave the process by which to baptize. He said he baptizes in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit. This is known as the Trinitarian form and as long as someone was baptized using the Trinitarian format it is widely accepted regardless of what faith the ritual takes place under. The Catholic church recognized Baptism as the first Sacrament that a baby receives, however it is not just limited babies within the church. Baptism is the washing way of sin with water. Water is the perfect symbolism for the recipient to die from self and be also be born again. Water is required for life. It is required to drink and to be cleansed with. Its also very deadly. Think of a flood, or death because of drowning. There is great symbolism with the use of water. Some religious denominations use submersion for the recipients of baptism but as most Catholics know sprinkling is also acceptable. But why are we baptized. Adam is the created the original sin and Jesus came to save us from it. But a cleansing is required. Baptism in the Catholic church is also one of the most symbolic sacraments. It also is a sacrament that addresses the senses. It addresses the senses of smell though the chrism oil that is used to anoint the recipients of the sacraments. Fire is also used and that addresses the sense of sight. The baptism candle is lit during the ceremony. Water addresses the sense of touch as the water is poured over the head or the person is immersed. Baptism is also symbolic in the sense of dying to self. The sin of the person is washed away the original sin. Other religions also do baptism as well but they do not use the Trinitarian format as previously outlined in the book of Matthew by Jesus. Those religions include Mormon, Unitarian as well as Jehovah Witness. Throughout history baptism has been the bench mark for the initiation into most Christian religions. In the early church, prior to the protestant reformation, baptism was celebrated with adults after they completed a year of immersion into Christianity. What that means is the prospective convert would live with members of the early church. They would learn the teachings of Christ, as similar to the modern day program known as the RCIA. The person going though the early church program would receive all three sacraments of initiations all at the same time. This stayed the case all the way though the 15th century. There were so many conversions to Christianity in the previous centuries there was no longer large communities of unbaptized Christians. There was at that point a shift to divide up the sacraments of initiation and do just infant baptism which is still the tradition today. Baptism has become one of those symbolic steps in life and the first step in each child’s spiritual life.

Baptism Gifts ( 16 )

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A baptism or christening is an important religious ceremony in Christianity in which holy water is sprinkled on the child or an adult, in order her or she, becomes a member of the Christian community. This is an important occasion and special occasion in one‘s life, signifying his or her commitment to God and goodness. It is a highly auspicious occasion for the one who is baptized and the people around witnessing the ceremony. This makes it appropriate for giving baptism gifts to newly baptized person or infant and his parent. Being a special occasion, these golden moments of life are very well cherished by one his baptized and also by the other people involved in holy ceremony.

 

Therefore a perfect gift for this occasion will make the person remember it for the rest of his or her life. There are many Baptism gifts but five important gifts with historical and religious touch are as follows. The most important gift is jewelry tailor made or customized specially for the person. For newly baptized infants baptism bracelets make a great gift. A handcrafted traditional silver or gold bracelet with pearls or infant’s birthstone or Holy Rosary gems make it a perfect gift.

 

The second important baptism gift is an engraved antique plaque or handcrafted wooden keepsake box personalized with name and birth date, and kept close to heart. It keeps reminding one of the cherished moment throughout his or her life. Pewter baby crosses made out  Austrian crystal blue stone and etched with holy messages make it a very good

Baptist gift for infants or new born.

 

The third important baptism gift is to put together the time capsule. This baptism occasion, which is highly treasured, is complemented by capturing the moment in a symbolic way by presenting a time capsule, usually a treasure chest or trunk like storage unit that is made out of wood, glass or stone. The time capsule contains a woven or embroidered baptized blanket with name and date of birth on it or a towel, a crucifix or cross, a baptism rosary, bible or the holy book, which were all used in actual baptism. To make it more personal, photographs and pictures taken of the ceremony and person baptized and place in silver or carved wooden picture frame.

 

After this there is another important baptism gift that acts as a lifelong motivator. It is to turn an ordinary hard cover journal by simply upholstering front and back hard cover with patterned cloth and present it to the family, the priest, Holy father, friend, well wisher, relatives and fellow church members to fill in inspirational and holy message until all the pages are filled out. This will certainly become his or her most treasured gift.

 

Finally presenting something biblical like the solid silver Noah’s Ark, personalized stone tablets of Ten Commandments, paintings or art work of scenes of bible, Last Supper, Mary and Jesus on mount or scene of the holy family holds a great deal of religious sentiment. Especially for infants and children baptism silver medal or a sacramental chain bracelet make an ideal baptism gift.

Baptism Gowns and Outfits ( 1 )

Baptism is a ritual of the Christian Church whereby one becomes a member of the Church. It is usually a form of submersion in water or washing with water as a purification rite and rebirth into the Church. Baptism gowns are white and usually for toddlers or younger. For older children and adults regular cloths are worn with a white robe over them. Gowns for children can be very elaborate and expensive or very simple and homemade. They come in hundreds of styles including European modern or a traditional look.

 

Baptism gowns are made to be comfortable for your little one. They are made from soft fabrics including cotton batiste and polycotton broadcloths. Some are silk shantung, polyester organza and bridal quality polyester matte satin. These fabrics are carefully stitched with appliqué lace, flowers and ribbons. Some have tiny puffed sleeves. You can get accessories to match such as headbands, bonnets and caps as well as booties and bibs. There are instructions online and all the material and decorations to choose from for you to make your child’s gown. If you are talented in this way or know someone who is and is willing to help you, you can have the most unique and meaningful gown possible.

 

The designs and styles of baptism gowns are endless. There are empire waist, cut away jackets, lace hemlines, satin ribbon accents, embroidery on the bodice and hemline. Some have organza overskirts, puffed cap sleeve with lace embellishment. Some are fur lined for those cold winter days. You can even get haute couture gowns for your little one that will be handed down to all the baby girls in your family for generations. One elaborate example is a made to order gown with pin-tucked silk, and a formal coat fully lined with a cotton heirloom length slip. A bonnet goes with it and it looks like something from the 18th century.

 

It is possible to order online baptism gowns that are one of a kind and hand made for your child. These are gowns made with great attention to detail and are based on traditional designs from history. The makers use imported goods such as French ribbons, Swiss embroideries and Italian lace. The silk and satin roses are hand made with pearls and shells and are as comfortable as they are beautiful. There are also accessories to match including headbands, sweaters, bibs, blankets, booties and bonnets.

 

There are places online where you can have personalized embroidery on your child’s gown. You should know exactly what you want and place your order well in advance. These baptism gowns are cotton, organza, satin and dupioni silk. Most of these very costly and well made gowns available online come with an heirloom preservation bag which is recommended if you want to save your gown for a long time. Otherwise it is possible for moths and insects as well as mold to destroy the beautiful garment. Find a website that offers many different brands so you can see the vast array possible and get exactly what you want.

Birdbaths and Bird Feeders ( 5 )

Birdbaths are one of those items that will enhance any yard. They are statuary that are designed to hold water in them so that bird can come in frolic in them in the long hot summer months.

 

They come in many different shapes and sized and are made of many different materials. Which birdbath you would choose is dependent on what its application is. There are many that are made out of cement and those are far more permanent structures.  They are usually heavy having flat surfaces. If you live in a hurricane area and think you would need to move your birdbath, it would not be advisable to buy a heavy cement item.

 

Other birdbaths come in in lighter resin materials. These items look like stone and are very durable. The resin makes them strong and more able to sustain weather but they are light and are able to be moved more readily in the event of high winds or relocation.

 

One tip with resin birdbaths is to bury the base of them. This will allow them to be more stable for your feathered guests. This also helps anchor them on the unlevel ground too to make sure the weight of the statue is balanced.

 

There are also many birdbaths that are plastic. These are usually very low cost and are not very durable. Plastic baking in the sun tends to become brittle. Often these items have very short lives, leak and over all are a waste of money

 

Birdbaths come in the forms of people. Saint Francis birdbaths are very common and they come in many sizes. Some are 4 ft tall and there are also small ones with small water features. They often show animals around St. Francis so these real live birds brings great beauty to a yard and a St. Francis birdbath is a great idea for a prayer garden.

 

When owning a birdbath it is important that you care for it. This is after all standing water if left for long periods of time. Often they will grow algae and maybe even mosquito larvae.  One way to reduce this problem is to use chemicals to treat the water in the birdbath. That is not advisable because often this can harm the birds that you are trying to help. Some drink the water and others slash around in it. So chemicals really don’t help if you really intend for birds to use the water.

 

One common way to clean the birdbath is to drain it frequently, defined as ever two days. Should algae start to grow its advisable to take a brush and scrub the slime out of the birdbath. If you have a cement version it’s a good idea to use a wire brush. But if you have a resin or plastic model a softer brush type would be advisable. The best way to avoid this or the mosquito problem is to make sure you change the water and do not allow for leaves and debris to accumulate in the basin.  Regardless of the work,  a birdbath will add much to any backyard.

Birthstone Rosary ( 6 )

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Birthstones are precious and semi precious stone that are assigned to a certain month of the year. Often people born during that month wear items with that stone prominently  displayed. When you think of birthstones, images of rings and earrings are often conjured up.

 

If you are lucky enough to be born in april, you stone is a diamond and you will cost your significant other a fortune in jewelry. If your are born in July your stone is Ruby and September a sapphire.

 

These items are not the only thing though that come with birthstones. Birthstone rosaries are frequently a popular gift idea. It allows for an expression of faith but doing it in a personal and unique way. When talking about birthstone rosaries, it allows for a very customized gift but yet to do it in an affordable way.

 

Rosaries are often made in the 12 birthstones. From opal, Rubies and Emeralds to less known gemstones such as aqua marine or a little more known stone such as a topaz, which belongs to November.

 

Birthstones are suppose to bring luck to their wears but what is nice is the how easily these can become personalized gifts. Just by their presence,  they convey to the person you are giving the gift to that you considered something personal about them when you give them their gift.

 

Birthstone rosaries can be made from precious or semi precious stone, synthetic stone or glass.  Real Gemstones are easily identified through their pricing. They are significantly more. Their brilliances if far superior. They usually have a facetted cut although, sometimes there are smooth semi-precious stone. You will find often rosaries made of real stone are usually Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Diamonds. These rosaries can cost in the hundreds but often run into the thousands, especially a diamond rosary because it would still need the 50 diamonds and often the medals that comprise the framework of the rosary are 10 or 14 caret gold.  The reasons are these are stronger  and more durable where 18 and 24 carets are often soft and don’t hold up as well. You don’t often see a gold –filled on a precious or semi-precious birthstone rosary. Gold filled, sterling silver or base medal provide a very durable structure for a rosary but often don’t fit with a semi-precious stone.

 

You may find less expensive stone when you move to a synthetic stone. Is a man made version of the precious stone. They is often very little difference in the stones and only a certified gemologist will be able to tell the difference. These stones are harder and more crack resistant. In a rosary, this may be a good quality because often the owners carry those rosaries in their pockets and they will see a fair amount of wear and tear. Synthetic birthstones are often less expensive but the price difference sometimes is not enough so make sure you weigh out pro and cons on own real versus synthetic gemstones.

 

Glass is the third type way a birthstone can be placed in a rosary. The glass is colored red for ruby, blue for sapphires and so on. These are considerably less expensive often less than $50 making them more affordable gift idea if you are on a budget.

 

Overall birthstone rosaries are often a viable personal gift idea no matter if you pick a precious stone or is glass counterpart.

 


 

 

 

 

Catechism and Books Reviews ( 3 )

The word catechism as a variety of meanings however the most accepted one comes from Greek and means to Echo. In this application it is a way to echo or repeat the tenants of the Catholic Church. Prior to the invention of the printing press in the 1400s , the beliefs and tradition of the church were handed down verbally. They asked people to repeat them over and over until they were learned,  like an echo. Even in the time of Jesus the teacher taught scriptures by asking again and again for them to be repeated, until they were learned. This was a common way of teaching even before the time of Jesus. But this again invoked the Echo theme.

After the invention of the printing press, it changed the way things could be taught. The beliefs were written down and there was many question and answer books to help with the catechesis process.  In the 15th century the influential catechisms of St. Peter and St. Rober Bellarmine became the mainstay of the catechesis process.

But it wasn’t until the 90s that Vatican II framer,  Pope John Paul II recognized something that many overlooked. The young post Vatican II Catholic was severely under catechized and with that in Oct of 1992, he published an apostolic constitution the Deposit of Faith which announced the need for a Catechism of the Catholic Church. The date of his release coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Vatican II. The Catechism of the The Catholic Church goal was to fill in all the missing information that most Catholics no longer know by rote memory. It gave a way for every Catholic family to have a desktop reference for any question their children may ask or any friend of another faith. Many of these persons of other faith still attempt to challenge us and now with the Catechism, any Catholic is armed in answer those questions.

As many look back since Vatican II there is an paradigm shift in the church that moved from self to community. Then  Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became known as Pope John Paul II, in the writing of the Vatican II documents said that to help yourself you had to help others and outlined a framework that spoke of the acts of helping others would help one’s self. The other shifts in the church though are what allowed the Pope to say we need a Catechism written that would allow Catholics a reference of their faith. He saw the Catechism as a reference of Catholic Doctrine, which was something that was lacking.

In tandem, the US bishops also set to work writing a comprehensive version for the United States Catholics. The format is dramatically different although the message is the same. In June of 2000 they under took the task of creating a Catechism that is uniquely American. This book was to address the local situation and culture but preserved the unity and fidelity of the faith in its teaching found in Pope John Paul II’s catechism and gave a more readable book format of the desktop reference out of the Vatican.

Children's Rosaries ( 3 )

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The name rosary comes from the Latin meaning garland or roses or flowers. Rosaries are an important symbol in the Christian tradition because the rose is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary because it is considered her flower. Rosaries were first introduced to illiterate Christians as a way of them being able to give prayer without having to read the bible. Nowadays most Christians own their own rosary to give prayer to, and they also make a very nice focal point in your home.

 

Children’s rosaries are traditionally given on the first communion, an important day for Christian children because it is when they first declare their religion. Children’s rosaries will make a brilliant first communion gift and there are many designs and styles available which have been specifically designed for children. One such rosary is a very pretty crystal rosary which is gift boxed and has a cross with it, this will make a very nice keepsake and will be something that the child can remember their first communion by, as well as give prayer to and learn all about the history and importance of the rosary.

 

Rosaries are traditionally made from crystal beads, but children’s rosaries are usually made from wooden beads because these are a lot more durable and safer for children to use. You can get many different colored children’s rosaries, and you can also make your own if you are feeling particularly creative and would like to give a unique and special gift. All you need are some round wooden beads, a length of cotton of thread and a simple wooden cross to affix to the bottom of the beads- it really is simple to do and would make a very nice gift.

 

You can also get children’s rosaries which can be hung on the wall; these make great gifts as well as a pretty addition to any child’s bedroom. It will also help the child to learn about the importance of giving prayer to the rosary and it will be a great teaching aid. There are many types of children’s wall rosaries that you can buy and they come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular is the crystal rosary, but if you are buying for a child then you might want to invest in a clear plastic rosary because these are safe and less fragile.

 

As well as making great first communion gifts, children’s rosaries can also be given as a christening gift of a gift to welcome a new baby into the family, you can get rosaries which are specially designed for the nursery, and you can also get rosaries which are designed to go on the baby’s crib- these rosaries will make brilliant and thoughtful gifts and will help the child to grow up learning all about their religion and faith.

 

You can find out more about children’s rosaries on the internet, where you will find lots of helpful links and sites which will give you ideas on where to buy rosaries and what type of rosary is suitable for children, you can also find information on making your own children’s rosaries.

Christmas Decorations ( 18 )

Santas, Trees, Angels  and candy canes are Christmas decoration symbols that often conger up childhood memories of Christmas past. Christmas has a rich tapestry of tradition. It  has become a holiday that melds old traditions of the old world with the traditions made by a new family. Often when immigrants came to the use they brought those old world Christmas traditions with them.

 

The most prolific Christmas decoration is often the Christmas tree. It’s also one of the oldest symbols  from an historical account. Started in the 400’s often pagans would use decorated trees as part of their winter festivals. These trees were often lit with candles to brighten long winter nights.

 

In the 7th century as legend has it a monk , who was working to convert Germany, offered a tree to the first family that could explain how a triangle represented God in his three forms of the trinity.   By the 16th century decorating trees had caught on and glass ornaments, snowflakes and tinsel started being used. This spread to England who added their own traditions to this.

 

It wasn’t until after WWII did decorating of trees really catch on in the US. Candles gave way to electric lights and the advent of specialty ornaments have become a  hallmark of Christmas in the United States..

 

Prior to the invention of electric lights, candles often were common Christmas decorations. But after Edison invented a light bulb, it started being put on trees to illuminate them, starting a whole new tradition of adding Christmas tree lighting.

 

Ornaments started out with common food items. Popcorn, pickles, cranberries and gingerbread were common items that found there way onto a Christmas tree. Children would spend the time stringing items to decorate their Christmas trees.  Glass became more common and hand blown glass became the more common Christmas decoration. Glass stayed the common material of Christmas decorations through the 1950s with the advent of plastics. Often in families, there is a box of glass ornaments that belonged to a grandparent that pre-dates the 50s, helping us remember the Christmas of the past.

 

Other Christmas decorations include the Nativity scene, recalling the birth of Jesus.  There are several heirloom companies that make keepsake type sets that help decorate any home in a traditional way. Some of these sets are ornate and other are simplistic wooden nativity sets. The Nativity and the legends behind it are often depicted with shepherds, and wise men, in addition to the manger area.

 

Candy canes are another Christmas decoration that have a root in Germany. At Christmas time candy sticks would get bent into the shape of a shepherd’s staff, reminding us that Jesus is the shepherd of the church. Often now candy canes are hung from the tree as a Christmas decoration. This is just another decoration that congers up the memories of Christmas.

 

No matter whether it be the nativity the lights  or the colors, Christmas decorations  bring the Christmas spirit to any home or office creating new memories or recalling old ones.

 

 

Christmas Gifts ( 7 )


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Giving gifts at Christmas time may have its origin in the story of the three kings who brought gifts to the baby Jesus. Today, gift giving at Christmas is a secular practice and many people do it no matter what their religion. Christmas gift ideas are sometimes difficult to get because either you have no idea what a person would want or the person has everything. Previously, you needed to spend hours going from store to store looking at every possible display and hope that just the right thing would stand out. It was exhausting, frustrating and, in the end, you may have settled for something you weren’t really happy about. This kind of shopping is a thing of the past.

 

Now, there are websites that make Christmas shopping unbelievably easy. They give you access to Christmas gift ideas from hundreds of stores including department stores, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, auto supply, electronics, toys, house and garden, jewelry and so much more. Without leaving your home you can browse thousands of objects, with descriptions that tell you size, colors available, etc. and choose exactly what you want and taking as long as you want. You can shop for one person at a time without the distraction of so many other things trying to get your attention.

 

There are also hundreds of inexpensive Christmas gift ideas online. For example, specialty food items, home made baked goods, art supplies, makeup tote, personalized coffee mugs, gift certificates for lots of places including theaters, candy stores and sushi bars. What about something useful?  Everyone needs blank CDs, an address book, a flashlight with batteries, sewing supplies, Post-It pads, prepaid long distance phone cards, kitchen towels, basket of different soaps or a small clock or calculator. And, there are websites with hundreds of ideas of home made gifts which some people really appreciate.

 

The most important thing about giving gifts is that the receiver likes the gift. If you give it a little thought and try to know a persons likes and dislikes you can probably find Christmas gift ideas for all your friends and family that they will love. With shopping so easy online, you can browse, with someone in mind, and find just the right gift. When you browse you can choose the price range as well as the store. So, you can look in auto parts for something under $10. There may not be much, but there will be something. Or you can look in a bed and bath store for under $15. This will help you stay in your Christmas budget.

 

If you simply have no Christmas gift ideas for one or two people that you don’t know well or have no idea what they would like, try a subscription to a magazine. You could give something funny or, something about food, travel or animals. This is a good idea for children too, because there are many great magazines that children love. This is an easy choice for women, because there are hundreds of women’s magazines, at least one for every interest.

Christmas Trees ( 7 )

The origin of the Christmas tree is generally accepted to predate the Christian era. During the dark months of winter in Germany, there was a practice of bringing into the house the only natural decoration available, which was an evergreen conifer tree. During the Christian era this practice continued and became associated with Christmas. Today, Christmas trees are one of the best decorations of the season and are sometimes very elaborate. There is usually an angel or star at the top giving reference to the nativity of Jesus but the tree decorations can be secular.

 

Having genuine Christmas trees does not deplete our forests. Very few are cut from the forest and they are supervised by the forest department. Most trees are grown on a farm just for Christmas. Buying a fake tree does not save a wild tree and will eventually end up being thrown away, whereas a real tree will decompose and enrich the earth. Some people say that real trees are a safety hazard and may catch fire. Where this is certainly possible, statistics show it is very rare. Real trees give a wonderful fragrance to your home that is evocative of the season and you know you have made the best choice for the environment.

 

Decorations for Christmas Trees can have many themes. They can be all home made, they can be all one color, or two colors, for example, all red and gold or silver and light blue. Your tree can fit into the décor of your home or have an added old fashioned theme that gives a warm atmosphere.  There is every conceivable tree ornament available online, from pop art themes to religious themes. Lights are a major factor in decorating a tree. It depends on your theme. Are they all the same color? Are they all white? A traditional tree has multicolored lights that are more festive and less designer.

 

Fake Christmas trees are a possibility for some. If you want the look but not the fuss a fake tree may be the best. It doesn’t have the same atmosphere as a real tree but will give the impression. Some fake trees are pink or blue to match a particular décor. They look like snow covered trees with dawn or evening light reflecting off of the snow. They have an elegant look for certain situations and usually look best with lights of one color.

Strings of pop corn, tinsel, and fake snow all give your tree added cache. There is an aspect of realism, with the artificial ornaments shining in between.

 

There are many famous places, such as the White House, that have special Christmas trees every year. Also, large department stores, community centers, and important buildings around the world make a special effort at Christmas to have a spectacular tree almost as a tourist attraction. Some other famous trees are the National Tree which is traditionally a living tree, The Rockefeller Center Tree, in New York; the lighting ceremony is on television every year.

 

 

Church Statues ( 0 )

 Church statues for your home add grace, beauty and in come cases fun for your family and friends. There are many types of statues you can choose from, some are very lifelike and some look like ancient copper or other metals that give a rustic look for your garden or a courtyard in a church or other building. Some statues are more appreciated by Catholics, but some are simply beautiful, and look good in anyone’s garden.

 

The most popular church statues are Jesus, the Virgin Mary, St. Michael, St. Francis and St. Joseph. These are available online, made out of resin, plaster, wood and stone. Some are made out of alabaster and are imported from Italy. In the early days of the church the common people couldn’t read the Bible and statues were a realistic and inspiring way for them to visualize the stories and saints. It was like actually having the angels near and a constant reminder of their faith. Each statue was made with all the symbols relating to their power or sacrifice so the viewer could understand the meaning as well as the beauty.

 

Today, we have books, movies and even cartoons to bring the religious stories alive, but church statues have not lost their power. A life size statue in a garden looks alive and attracts the heart, even if for only a moment. It is something you family and friends will see everyday and have the deep thought of their faith. Statues of St. Francis of Assisi, looking humble and poor, patron saint of animals reminds everyone of the need to care for the earth. St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers and families as well and working men. His statue is said to bless a home even if the home is up for sale and needs a buyer quickly. St. Michael, possibly the most awesome display, symbolizes the power of good over evil, no wonder he is the patron of law enforcers.

 

There are cute church statues just to attract children to the stories and faith of Christianity. Jesus sports statues where Jesus is playing football, soccer, golf, baseball, track, basketball and other sports with children of today. There are plaques that say ‘Jesus is my coach’ and remind children from where they get their strength. For small children there are cute angel statues and childlike figures of the nativity that seem like toys but are so much more.

 

Church statues come in all sizes for any place, from a life size Jesus in your garden to a small Jesus on you desk at work. They look good on your front porch as well as on bookshelves or in glass fronted cabinets or even on the widow above the sink in the kitchen. In Rhode Island a 25 foot, 4,000 pound of Jesus is looking for a home. For Catholics, it’s very inspirational and should be somewhere lots of people can see it every day. There are many life size statues, mane of fiberglass in an eight stage process that will last outside for years.

Church Supply ( 0 )


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When you walk into your local church or cathedral, have you ever really looked around and thought about all the things that make up the Mass or Sunday church service.  As you walk in you may find on the wall a Holy Water Font for you to bless yourself.  As you look out you try to find a seat in a pew or in a chair. You may look up and notice the beautiful  church lighting that makes your church unique.

As you walk down the aisle, you may see your altar and the ambo, many with candles on or around them.  Some of the altars are wood carved and very ornate and some places a very plain humble alter may be present.  You may see a monstrance, which displays the Body of Christ for adoration. You may see your parish’s tabernacle, the vessel that holds consecrated hosts. You may see a wood carved Crucifix over the altar. Some are large and fill the whole area and others may be small that just sit over the altar.

If you look on each wall you may see the Stations of the Cross displayed. Some are done in wood, some in stained glass but in almost all cases you will see these items. Somewhere in the church you may also see a baptismal font. And you may see a crute set that holds oils, unconsecrated wine and you may even see a ciborium, the bowl looking item that holds concentrate and unconsecrated hosts.

So as you look around your parish and start to look at it for all its parts, you will see all the all the many things that go into making your church what it is. Church supply and goods are important to celebrating liturgy, providing the statuary or candles. These are the items that make the Catholic Church Unique

We think that these items are an important part of the ‘Catholic’ experience and that it is an important part of our site.  In 2008, we’ve had a large increase in parish representatives calling us to buy items for ministries. With that, we are adding other items that may make their jobs easier providing a one stop shop for church goods and supplies as well.

Confirmation ( 2 )

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The final sacrament of initiation, Confirmation sees the baptized person sealed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. But with these gifts comes the responsibility of service to the Body of Christ.  Historically, the Old Testament spoke of God’s spirit and how the Messiah would use the Spirit to help with his mission and infact that’s what the person being Confirmed is to do, continue the Mission of Christ.

The Holy Spirit, third person of the Trinity for all Trinitarian based religions, played a huge role in Salvation history. Jesus himself was conceived by the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus during Baptism. And Jesus promised that the Spirit would be given to the Apostles and therefore the entire Church after his death. And of course, The Spirit gloriously participated in the raising Christ from the dead by the Father, with the power of the Holy Spirit, all three parts of the Trinity actively working together for the salvation of mankind.

The person receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation is always a baptized person. They may be a young adult or maybe a person coming into the church through the RCIA. Or, they may be a person raised Catholic and for some reason did not receive Confirmation when they were younger. Those individuals come into the church at Pentecost Sunday. For young adults it is the present policy of the church to Confirm children when they are the age of discretion, or the age of reason. Presently the church considers that to be the age of 16. Historically, this age has been moved and in the United States, it can change from Bishop to Bishop and Dioceses to Dioceses. Other requirements are that the candidate for Confirmation be in a state of grace, that is without serious sin. It is imperative that the candidate receive the sacrament of Reconciliation prior to the day they are to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.

The church views Confirmation as a very essential sacrament and that every baptized person can and should be confirmed. In fact the catechism says that the faithful is obligated to receive this sacrament at the appropriate time. (CCC No. 1306).  The Catechism also says that this is the case because there is a unity between Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation, also the three sacraments of initiation.

The candidates must also be willing to accept what is asked of them. Confirmation is a sacrament of great responsibility. In baptism because most candidates are babies or very young, their God parents stand up for them and answer for them. Basically in Confirmation, each candidate is answering those questions for themselves. Its is vitally important that each candidate fully understand that they are committing themselves to.

The church asks that the candidate gain a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit and become familiar with his gifts, his actions and his biddings so the candidate can be more able to assume apostolic responsibilities of being a Christian, not just a Catholic. In that sense the preparation for Confirmation may be asked to perform community service type actions which mimic the Holy Spirit.

The perpetration for and receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation are an integral  part of being a member or the catholic (universal) church.

Faith-full carries a wide variety of Rosary Gifts Sacramental Gifts and Clothing  Seasonal and Holiday Gifts,  Church Goods and Supply, Gift Ideas and Inspirational Home Décor If you can not find what you are looking for call 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

Confirmation Gifts ( 2 )

In many Christian churches, confirmation is the rite of initiation into the church. In the Eastern churches it is conferred on infants just after they are baptized but in the West it happens later when the can think about its meaning. Usually between the ages of 11 and 16 the child stands in front the adults of the church and shows that they are knowledgeable about their religion. There are usually gifts given at this time. A confirmation gifts can be a religious gift or not, but they should commemorate the moment and be something the person will cherish in connection with becoming an adult member of a religious institution.

 

The usual confirmation gifts that are religious are; rosaries, crucifixes, books and bibles. You can give patron saint medals as pendants or earrings and charms. There are also patron saint statues, wall crosses, gift baskets and cards that can be given on this occasion. There is the confirmation teddy bear, pen set, watches, and keepsake boxes.

There are personalized gifts such as pillow cases, framed poems, a wall cross with the lords prayer engraved on it. For a girl there is a delicate bracelet with the ten virtues on the links and for boys there is a silver pendant, which is thick and on a leather cord and has the 23rd psalm engraved around in a circle.

 

There are also fun religious confirmation gifts for children like T-shirts, posters, stickers, cute cut-outs and figurines of children praying. Gifts for the god parents such as mugs that say godmothers rock, baseball caps, mouse pads, tote bags and aprons are a good idea even if the child doesn’t think of it, you can. There are also hoodies with saint’s names and key chains.

 

Rosaries make perfect confirmation gifts. There are special rosaries with different colored wooden beads for children as well as rosaries especially made for girls and boys. For girls there are pearl-like beads and beautiful colored glass beads that will attract the child to pray. For boys there are rustic wooden beads and heavy metal crucifixes that look trendy. A bible makes a good confirmation gift with leather covers as well as cross pendants. There are delicate designs for girls and heavy ones for boys. A keepsake box, glass for a girl, wood for a boy, a wall hanging of the Lord’s Prayer of Twenty-third Psalm and there are snow globes and music boxes that have religious themes.

 

Non-religious confirmation gifts include, money, gift certificates, jewelry with birthstones or signs of the zodiac, a bicycle or skate board, board games, magazine subscriptions and craft ideas. You can give any gift that will make the child happy and remind him or her of the special day. When a child in confirmed into the Church it is an important day for the whole family as well as the child. You can make a party on that day and give everyone a small gift so there is the feeling of unity and support as the young person starts his or her journey of faith.

 

 

Crosses ( 8 )

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For Christians, the ultimate expression in religious jewelry and art is the cross. Gold cross jewelry is an expression of faith and joy, and, as a gift, is always welcome to give and receive. The word jewelry comes from a French word that means ‘joy’ and with religious jewelry, the joy is doubled. They are available online in every conceivable design from gold nuggets to sleek pointed stars.

 

A few examples of the styles of gold cross jewelry are; 14k gold, combined to make a beautiful pendant with, onyx, jade, mother of pearl, pearl, diamonds, amethysts, and much more, as well as plain gold, in filigree, Celtic crosses, with doves, Italian Renaissance designs, sleek modern, with roses and leaves or a heart in the center. There are also bracelets, rings, brooches and anklets that have the cross symbol. In recent years as the cross and crucifix have become trendy and gifting these jewelry items has become very popular.

 

Gold cross jewelry comes in yellow, white and rose gold with many different colored designs in all shapes and sizes. There are plain crosses or crucifixes that are tiny and delicate or large and bold. The delicate designs come on earrings, charms and anklets and the bold designs are usually pendants or belt buckles and often liked by trendy people with a glamorous rock star, surfer or motorcycle lifestyle.

 

The price of gold cross jewelry depends on the quality of gold, any added gemstones and the quality of artistry. You can find solid gold religious jewelry online at over 50% reduction from many other prices, especially from jewelry stores. There are different reasons why some places can offer gold at less expensive rates and they will tell you on their website, so look around for exactly what you want especially on discount sites. If the price is less, make sure it is not plated if you want solid gold. If you are looking to buy an expensive gold item, it would help to become a little knowledgeable about gold. What is a karat and why isn’t 24k gold jewelry the best? You should know that gold is very soft and can change shape or even crumble if it isn’t mixed with a stronger metal such as copper for a red tone or silver for a white tone. 14k gold is the most popular and is 59% gold with the rest being alloys to make it strong. White gold is yellow gold with nickel or palladium added to it.

 

If you are buying a gold cross jewelry pendant make sure the chain is compatible with the cross. If the chain is too thin for a heavy cross, it will break and if a chain is too thick for a delicate cross, it will not look attractive. Today, cross jewelry is very fashionable for everyone, including those who want to exhibit their faith. There is such a huge variety online that it will be a lot of fun to look for exactly what you want for yourself or to give to someone special.

 

 

Crucifix ( 0 )

Crucifixes are present everywhere the Catholic religion is practiced because they are the most meaningful symbol for Catholics. Rosaries, medals, pendants jewelry and wall hangings are just a few of the places people use a crucifix. For a wall in a home or small personal shrine, there are many different styles and sizes of crucifixes. They are also very trendy for rock stars and celebrities to wear large silver or white gold crosses and crucifixes.

 

Unlike a plain Latin, Celtic or other cross, a crucifix has a more somber atmosphere and is not displayed lightly. It is a reminder of the death of Jesus by torture, and for Catholics especially and other Christians a very powerful symbol. Almost all rosaries from the most simple wooden to the most elaborate gem stone and gold have a crucifix on the end. On some, the figure of Jesus is the same metal as the cross and it looks like one piece of beautiful jewelry, but on others the figure is made of resin or polymer and painted to look life-like. This is not often worn as religious jewelry. It may be for a rosary, wall crucifix or for a small shrine.

 

Wooden crucifixes are often made out of olive, walnut, cherry or linden wood.  The image may be of cast metal but often is painted resin. The different types of crosses that are used for a crucifix are trefoil or budded, bent beam, Latin, San Damiano which is an icon style often with the figure painted directly on the wood in a Byzantine style. The Fontanini family, in Tuscany, Italy, has been making religious statues for four generations. They make a polymer crucifix that looks like wood with a life like figure of Jesus.

 

The crucifix that the Pope uses is very simple and has been controversial. It was first used by Pope John Paul II and continues to be used by Pope Benedict XVI today. It is on the top of the crosier or shepherd’s staff that the Pope always carries. It is a very simple, thin, bent beam cross with a thin figure of Jesus and the INRI on top. It looks very rustic and humble and this is what some Catholics object to. They want the Pope to carry a magnificent crucifix which they feel is befitting his station as the top Catholic. The other opinion is that a humble crucifix is more in keeping with the degradation of the crucifixion and of the sins of mankind.

 

Except for the Latin cross and the bent beam cross, all the other crosses used for representational crucifixes are very decorative. A Celtic cross is already very decorative with the ancient Celtic patterns and the circle of life. A trefoil cross with the three buds at the end of each arm is perhaps one of the most ornamental. It looks very Renaissance inspired and is often embellished with filigree and diamonds to make an elaborate piece of jewelry or wall hanging.  There is also a Tau crucifix that is so simple it is almost the opposite of a trefoil but the figure is realistic and sends the same powerful message.

Faith-full  carries a wide variety of religious jewelry, home decor ideas and religious gifts. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., New Orleans, La., Cleveland, Ohio, Kansas City, Mo., Mesa, Arizona, Virginia Beach, Va., Omaha, Nebraska, Oakland, California, Miami, Florida, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Arlington, Texas, Beaumont, Texas, Denton, TX, McKinney, Texas, Midland, TX, Killeen, Texas, Dallas TX, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, ALBQ, NYC, LA, MPLS.

Easter Decorations ( 0 )

For Catholics, Easter is one of the greatest feasts of the year, even more important than Christmas.  On Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Christ from the dead is celebrated after 40 days of prayer and fasting, which is known as Lent.  Through spiritual struggle, people prepare to die with Christ on Easter Friday, the day of his crucifixion and then rise with him again in new life on Easter.  Religious symbols are used heavily in religious Easter decorations and each one has special meaning.

While many people are familiar with the Easter egg hunt that takes place at Easter, many people are not aware of the religious significance of the egg, one of the key religious Easter decorations.  Eggs, which were forbidden to eat during lent, are eaten because the egg symbolizes the germinating life of early spring, and without doubt the rebirth or resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Traditionally the eggs have been often coloured, especially red, to symbolize Easter Joy. The rabbit, or Easter Rabbit as we know it, was said to be the one that laid the eggs and the rabbit itself has long been a symbol of fertility.  It is only in the last century that it has taken the form of a chocolate rabbit and chocolate or candy eggs as most of us know it today.

Another symbol that is widely used in religious Easter decorations is the lamb, which represents Jesus and his death is often related to that of the lamb which was often sacrificed on the first Passover.  Jesus is also often referred to as “the Lamb of God”, going all the way back to medieval times.  The Easter basket, which often graces the table at Easter and which many children and adults spend hours to decorate, represents the ancient ritual of carrying the Easter food for dinner to the church to be blessed by the Priest before it was consumed.

Religious Easter decorations also often incorporate flowers, especially the white lily, again for their representation of spring and rebirth.  Easter for most catholic families is a time of joy and celebration as it is for non-religious families as well.  Although oftentimes Easter decorations are homemade, especially by children, they are also readily available in stores around Easter time as well.  Gifts are also often given at this joyful time.

If you are interested in purchasing Easter decorations and flowers, they are readily available in traditional stores as well as available on the internet as are the supplies to make Easter decorations.  Many online merchants these days source worldwide and you can find some very unique decorations, as well as symbolic religious Easter decorations to grace your table or your door.  Most online merchants these days have secure checkout facilities and also offer very fast delivery to virtually anywhere in the world so you easily deliver gifts to your worldly friends if you so desire.  This includes the delivery of fresh flowers.  Mmm, you can almost smell them and the spring that is in the air....

 

Easter Season ( 1 )

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Easter Sunday is the most important day in all of Christianity. It is the cornerstone of all Christ-based churches because it is the celebration of the day that Jesus concord  death and rose from the death. It is also a season within the Catholic Church that goes from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. This is the day that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit.  

 

 

Jesus is often said to have passed over death. This is a reference that is Jewish in root. Passover is one of the high days within the Jewish faith. Passover is the story from Exodus that the Jews were told to with specificity how to paint their door frames with lambs blood. By doing this the Lord passed over those homes and did not kill the oldest son in that household. In the New Testament Jesus fled to Egypt to avoid Herod and his edict that said to kill all the first born males in the house holds so that kill the King of Kings, or Jesus.

Easter Sunday can fall anytime between Late March and Late April and was assigned this time frame in 325 at the Council of Nicaea, when it was said that Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday and there for Easter should be celebrated on a Sunday. It was further decided that this would take place on the first Sunday after a full moon after the Vernal Equinox or March the 22nd. Since 325 a.d, Easter has been celebrated in this way.

The Easter season follows the 40 days of Lent which is the period of penance that preceding Easter Sunday. Lent runs right though Palm Sunday which is the day of Jesus Triumphant return into Jerusalem .  

The bridge between the end of Lent, Palm Sunday, and Easter Sunday is known as Holy Week. This includes the Easter Tritium, which is the Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. According to the Synopic Gospels of Matthew Mark and Luke, They all tell the story of Jesus arriving in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the Jews laying palms in the road for the Lord to walk on. They then move on to the preparation for the Passover meal which was actually Holy Thursday, and the meal which Jesus instituted the Sacrament of Communion or Eucharist.  Good Friday also has references in the Gospels to Passover where Pilates asks if the Jews wanted Jesus released as part of the Passover custom. As we know the crowed picked the thief Barabbas. This lead to what is called the Passion of Our Lord, his torture, his crucifixion and ultimately his death. And because of Passover and the Sabbath, Jesus was laid in the tomb of Joseph of Aramathea  and left until they could come back after the Sabbath and prepare the body for proper burial. This was Holy Saturday which lead into the Passover of the Lord, into Easter Sunday, which the Lord passed from Death into Life.

This is where the Easter season starts. The eight days immediately after Easter, or the Octave of Easter continues the Easter story in the gospels, which carries us though the Easter Season which will end at Pentecost.

Eucharist Supplies ( 3 )


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Fall Decorations ( 1 )

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One of the most fun times of the year is the fall. The cool air, the leaves changing and then falling on the ground, the apple orchard, the cinnamon donuts with the apple cider, being all bundled up watching your kids play their first football games of the season in the cold drizzly weather and let’s not forget Halloween. There is a certain type of feeling you get when the weather starts to change and you take a deep breath and it tends to make you think about knitted sweaters and fire places and all those warm things that you know you are going to need for a long winter. Fall brings us a since that it will be a long time before we will see any of those fun summer activities again.

But knowing what is coming up in the next couple of months tends to take away from the summer time blues. One of the best ways to get rid of those summer time blues is to decorate your house with fall decorations. You can bring the warmth of those coming months with the traditional fall colors of autumn. There is no limit to the way you can decorate your inside and outside of your home to welcome the fall and get ready for all those fall activities and holidays that will soon come after. You can bring out that spirit with corn stocks, fake leafs and wreaths, pumpkins, candles that have an autumn smell to it, dried out fruits and vegetables and many more decoration that you will find available to you.

Another great way of decorating to get into that holiday spirit is to decorate with Halloween decoration. There are so many recognizable figures that come around each year for the great holiday of Halloween. Craved pumpkins are always not only great decoration for Halloween and autumn but also great for having fun with your kids and getting ready for Halloween. Some of the other recognizable characters are the skeleton, the ghost, tombstones and of course Frankenstein. Must Halloween decoration are cheap, easy to find, easy to set up and tear down and most importantly kid friendly.

When thinking about fall decoration you can make your life a little easier by doing little a planning ahead. It is kind of a pain to change decoration from autumn to Halloween and then Thanksgiving and of course there is always Christmas. But with careful planning you can decorate for autumn including Halloween and thanksgiving without changing a whole lot in between. You can help yourself when you set up your decoration by making a very universal autumn setup that you can use the base of it for both Halloween and Thanksgiving and then you might find that the only changes that you might have to changing a couple of ghost and globins to a couple of turkeys and pilgrims.

Making these holidays fun is what it is all about and what better way to do that than living in a place that is decorated for the season of autumn and everything that comes along with it. Rather you have kids, grand kids, or nieces and nephews you will find that decoration will help everyone get in and stay in the spirit.

 

 

First Communion ( 4 )

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On the night he was betrayed, Jesus took time to spend with his apostles  for the Passover meal. During this time with them he, revealed the Sacrament of Communion which he told each of us to do in memory of him.  The took both bread and wine blessed it and said that it IS his body and blood and ask, his followers do the same. Thou the ages, Catholics everywhere do just as Jesus Commanded and receive Eucharist at mass. For many Catholics its arguable is the most important sacrament

The additional significance is that the institution of the Eucharist at the Last Supper became the new Seder replacing the Passover ritual. It was the New Covenant that the Lord had made with his people.

Steeped in a long history each Spring children, usually around age 7, receive the Sacrament of Communion for the first time. From that point forward parents, up until their child is old enough themselves, are encouraged to take their child to receive Communion as often as possible.

For a child to receive Communion for the first time, the child must be baptized. If the child is over the age of 4 but has not been baptized the child may be placed in the children’s  RCIA program at which point the child would receive the Sacrament of Communion but also they would receive Baptism as well as confirmation. This is a very common thing for families who do not have their child baptized as infant. In the first century however the baptisms were celebrated with adults and it was not changed to baptizing infants until the 15th century.

As every Catholic Boy and Girl knows First Holy Communion is a big even in their lives. In the more modern times it has become a time for celebration, Communion Dresses, and parties. Usually on this day the family and the godparents  gather with the child to celebrate.

Parishes have started making First Communion more prominent in the community as well. In the past you had the choice to enroll your child to celebrate their first communion as a group. They would hold the mass at an off time, usually Saturday afternoon and family and friends of the communicants were in attendance.  If you wanted to make your First Communion individually you could do that and would do it as part of the Sunday Mass. But in the last 15 years that has changed and moving to pulling the ceremony to one of the Sunday morning masses . Depending on how many children there are making their First Holy Communion, they may make the event into several Sundays. In this way the entire community or parish can be involved in what is an important day in each of these children’s lives.

With the new traditions,  First Holy Communion Sundays become large celebration days within each parish community. Often a professional photographer is also hired which makes for lasting memories. For First Communion Gifts, often a picture frame is a good way to make lasting memories. It is a day so profound in each of our children’s life’s it will often be long remembered and held dear.

Faith-full  has distribution centers for  first communion dresses in Houston Texas, Dallas Tx, New York, NY, Los Angeles, Ca

First Communion Dresses ( 13 )
First Communion Gifts ( 10 )


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The first communion is an important time for any Christian child; it is when a child is first entered into the religion of Christianity. It can also be celebrated by adults who wish to enter Christianity later in life and if you are looking for first communion gifts, then you will probably want to get something for that special someone so that they can remember their first communion for the rest of their lives.

 

There are many things that you can give as a first communion gift, and if you are buying for a girl then how about their first cross or crucifix? A small gold or silver chain with a crucifix would make a brilliant first communion gift for any littler girl, it can be a symbol of their Christianity as well as a beautiful piece of jewelry which they can keep forever and which will always help them to remember their first communion. You can also buy a rosary for a first communion gift, you can either get a wall rosary so that the person you are giving it to can hang it on their bedroom wall, and every time they look at it or give prayer to the rosary then they will remember their first communion. You can also get rosary beads which also make a great first communion gift for littler girls.

 

Something else which would make a great first communion gift is a Bible. This can be for either a girl or a boy and even if they do already have a Bible, you can invest in a special, unique and even personalised Bible for a first communion gift so that they can remember their day for the rest of their lives. There are also other books that you can get, books which help to prepare children for their first communion and books which also tell the history of the first communion.

 

If you want to buy first communion gifts for boys, then how about a personalised photo album? This would make a great first communion gift as you can fill it with photographs of the special day and it will be a great keepsake that he can look back on for many years to come and remember with pride the day of this first communion.

If a photo album doesn’t seem personal enough for you, then how about a pair of first communion cufflinks? These will look great on any little boy whom they can wear with their suit for the first communion, and it will make a great keepsake which they can use for years to come.

 

Other first communion gifts for girls and boys include; rosaries, bracelets, memory boxes, books and Bibles, wallets and pins, gift sets, pens, photo frames, watches and personalised plates. There are many ideas which you can choose from, there is something to suit everyone and if you are stuck for ideas, or you don’t know where you can get first communion gifts from, then run a search on one of the internet search engines and find your ideal first communion gift today!

First Communion Outfits Boys ( 0 )

Most children receive first communion when they are about seven or eight years and in Grade Two.  It is an event that they study carefully for, and there is much preparation leading up to this event.  For example, first confession is usually taken about one week before as the children must be without sin and in a state of grace in order to receive their first sacrament.  First communion is an event that is celebrated by families in many ways.  Children often wear special outfits, and white is usually the predominant colour as it represents innocence and purity.  Although some people dress their boys in white, first communion outfits for boys are often in more sombre colours like black, navy or grey, much like the groom at a wedding. 

Although first communion outfits for girls often incorporate religious symbols, the first communion outfits for boys do not usually incorporate as many religious symbols.  The most common outfits usually include a white shirt, a suit jacket and trousers, and usually dress shoes.  Vests are also commonly worn, as well as ties, either standard ties or bow ties.  Sometimes the times are woven of special fabrics that incorporate religious symbols or the tie tack itself incorporates for example a crucifix.   Sometimes the first communion suit is very formal, as a tuxedo.

Many families celebrate first communion by having a large party that includes extended family and friends.  There is often a large meal served after communion and a professional photographer is usually hired for the occasion.  Dressed in their first communion outfits for boys, and their first communion dresses for girls, the children are usually proud to have their photos taken all dressed up and the photo is cherished for many years and often put on display in the family house.  It is indeed a proud moment, as the children receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist for the first time, which represents the body and the blood of Jesus Christ which is the sacrament at the heart of Catholicism.

When you are looking for first communion outfits for boys, you will find that they are readily available at fine department stores as well as on the internet.  Most online suppliers have a size chart that you can use together with the measurements of your boy to determine an appropriate fit.  You will need to measure their arms, chest, waist and the length of their inseam for their pants.  You will also need their shoe size if you are ordering shoes.  While you can order the suit, the shirt, and the shoes and accessories as separates, they are often also available as a kit with everything included. 

Along with their first communion outfits for boys, many boys also receive first communion gifts.  These can include jewellery, like watches or crucifixes, as well as prayer books, first communion medals or medals of the saints, and rosary beads.  These gifts are usually very good quality and are designed to remind the child of the special first communion event, as well as provide them with icons that will help to remind them of their special passage into Catholicism

General Gift Ideas ( 1 )


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There are many different reason to give gifts. Many of lifes events find that there is an opportunity to lend a hand or offer a inspirational gift.

Situations would include a friend with Cancer would benefit from being given a Rosary, many of which are now themed for Cancer Patients or Suvivors.

The person who starts in AA, a gift with a Serentity Prayer on it. The Serenity Prayer is often attached to wall crosses and plaques to be given as gifts.

The person who is going through a Divorce or needs to be consoled at the loss of a loved one. The Serenity Prayer often offers comfort.

Inspirational plaques make great gifts for life events, for the birth of a new baby, the purchase of a new home. The list is endless.

Our topics will include background on gifts to help you make a decision on the meaning of the gift and how it fits your circumstance.

Gift Ideas ( 1 )


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Gift giving is something we all have to do over the course of a year. At times it can be hard to come up with the perfect seasonal gift for that one special person. Many   also have the added pressure of onetime events. Many who  are looking for a perfect holiday gift are looking for for onetime life events gifts.  First Communion Gifts, Confirmation Gifts, Wedding Gifts, Graduation and even Anniversary gifts are one time life events and the gift may be something you want to last a lifetime.  

Holiday gift giving is a tradition that dates back to the Roman Empire and frequently done to gain favor from those in power, usually the Emperor . Often these gifts were tokens. As time went practice expanded to special favors and gifts of more value such as gold and silver.

There is also evidence that also some of the gift giving practice goes back to Babylon. There is the story of the reincarnation of Nimrod who was born in December. In addition, there was also an organized effort to cut down and decorate evergreen trees. And in 324 AD, Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, in order to satisfy both Christianity and the pagan cultures in the Roman Empire, too Saturnalia, the name of the gift giving and tree lighting holiday, and renamed it to Christmas.

Other basis for holiday gift giving is the Three Wise Men who brought the Christ-child the gifts of Gold Frankincense  and Meir.  Christmas is of course one of the biggest holidays that involve seasonal gift giving. But there are many events throughout the calendar year.

So for everyone that has ever thought to give a gift and got stuck trying to come up with the perfect idea we have a large selection of meaningful gifts for life events and these gifts will last a lifetime.

Faith-full carries a wide variety of Rosary Gifts Sacramental Gifts and Clothing  Seasonal and Holiday Gifts,  Church Goods and Supply, Gift Ideas and Inspirational Home Décor If you can not find what you are looking for call 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Albuquerque NM, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, Norfolk VA , Madison WI., Corpus Christi, TX, Plano, Texas, Garland, TX, Laredo, Texas, Lubbock, TX.

Glass Rosary Beads ( 6 )

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Glass rosary beads are the most common beads for the modern rosary. They come in many colors. They come in many sizes. And, they come in many shapes.  Almost every rosary now is a glass base. Some actually emulate a crystal or diamond but for the most part they are a glass synthetic that mimics a precious gemstone.

 

There are some specialty glass bead types as well. The most common specialty glass is the murano glass that came from Venice. This glass dates back as far to Marco Polo and at one point was a trading commodity. Murano glass beads were hand blown glass and made into a bead. They are very distinctive in appearance because they often has the milforie design embedded into the glass. In the present day we have heart shaped Murano glass bead. This captures the Italian rosary style and uses this specialty glass bead. Murano rosaries have become a very popular rosary type.  They are the ones that are given as gifts because of the distinctive pattern on them. The pattern is cut into the glass and the beads are hand blown.

 

You may also find glass rosary beads that mimic precious gems. Its not uncommon to have a rosary that looks like a ruby, emerald or an amethyst.  These glass beads are formed to provide inexpensive alternatives to these rosary styles. Often these beads are beveled or chiseled to give the bead character and appearance of a faceted gemstone. Although they lack up close brilliance of these gemstone types, they are very beautiful and give the same opulence at a fraction of the price.

 

Capped glass is another common rosary bead. These are usually capped with a base medal and the more expensive ones have a gold or more commonly sterling silver cap. The caps on the beads are usually molded to the bead making it very ornate.  Its not uncommon to see capped beads mimicking ruby and emerald stone.

 

Smooth glass is also used in rosary making. These beads make for a good every day use rosary because they are super strong and far less likely to chip or crack. They are very inexpensive and make again a great situation for carrying the rosary with you. They are inexpensive and usually made with a base medal for pens.

 

One last use of a glass bead rosary is to make one for rosary societies and guilds. These are groups of people, usually woman in the church or Parish that make rosaries for distribution to the sick, the troops or sometimes prisons. These rosaries are usually put together with string or threaded so they are not fancy in design but they serve the purpose set forth buy the rosary to spread prayer to people and makes no discrimination if someone can afford to purchase the rosary. These woman are devoted creating these rosaries and work many hours to make them by hand.

 

Glass rosaries are one of the lasting and enduring symbols of faith. Their hard surface make them durable for almost any circumstance or situation.

Inspirational Home Decor ( 2 )

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They say your house says a lot about you. For Christians, much of the décor of their home may reflect their beliefs.  As you look around your friends homes you can get a feel for where Christ or their religious belief fits in their life.

As an Italian Immigrant, growing up in North Jersey it was not uncommon to go to a friend’s house and find holy water fonts on the wall for you to bless yourself when you walked in. Many of my friends had statues of the Blessed Mother or the Sacred Heart of Jesus and a full statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the living room.  Others had a patron saint statue in their kitchen window. And in bedroom they had small statues or knickknack that had a religious theme.  I remember my one friend, also Italian, when you walked in they had a like-sized statue of Jesus in their entry foyer.  

Often in these homes, you would see each room having a crucifix over the door. One of the nicest religious home décor items is a St. Benedicts cross. There is so many symbolic items in this one style of crucifix and it is long believe that having one of these over your doorway does help keep the evil on the outside.

Other religious and inspirational décor items can also be things such as wall hangings that have scriptural verses on the. The ‘As for Me and My House’ verse (Joshua 24:15) is one of the most popular verses that people use for home décor items.  It is often put on wall plaques, coffee mugs and even blankets and throws.

One idea to help with your prayer life is to set up a room or a part of a room of you home as a prayer corner. In this you can have your Bible displayed. Other items may include  statuary of the Blessed Mother, the Saints or Jesus to help focus you. The proper setting helps with a good prayer life.

Another place for Inspirational Home décor is in gardens. Drive down any street you may see angels guarding over homes and front flower beds. You may see St. Francis with the animals and meek surrounding him or sometimes for garden statuary you will see the Blessed Mother.  These statues can make inspirational gardens in your yard to give you an area to be reflective or prayerful in peace. There are also inspirational benches that have scriptural verses on them setting mood or tone for your prayer garden.

Bird baths and wind chimes are other items that one may have to decorate their home with religious items.  Things like a St. Francis Birdbaths is are way to bring nature into your backyard again creating a peaceful retreat and a place to improve your prayer life.

In my own home, as I look around, I have many items and find myself though out  the day as these items catch my eye, using them to remind me to thank God for all I, have many times a day.

Faith-full carries a wide variety of Rosary Gifts Sacramental Gifts and Clothing  Seasonal and Holiday Gifts,  Church Goods and Supply, Gift Ideas and Inspirational Home Décor If you can not find what you are looking for call 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Memphis, Tennessee, Baltimore, Maryland, Irving, Texas, Amarillo, TX, Brownsville, Texas, Grand Prairie, TX, Pasadena, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas., El Paso, Texas., Charlotte, N.C, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Seattle, Washington, Boston, Massachusetts, Denver, Colorado, Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Jesus ( 0 )

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What is the in  the names of Jesus? One of the most important questions that Jesus asked was "Who do you say I am?" He has been given over 40 names though out both the Old and New Testaments It is also to be a lesson in Christology or the study of Jesus and his divinity. Why did he come and who he is.

Of course these few weeks of ordinary time start with the Baptism of Jesus. Now this lecture year is Cycle A, and primarily from the Gospel of Mathew. For those unaware Mathew's Gospel is a great example of how Jesus was the fulfillment of the old testament prophecy. Each event, miracle and milestone in Jesus' ministry, Mathew matches the Old Testament to each event, holding that up as the evidence that Jesus is the Messiah to all the good practicing Jews that know the covenant of the old Testament.

Some of the names of Jesus our obvious and many of them are ones you've heard. Son of God, Messiah Son of God, Son of Man, Light of all Nations, Light of the World and the Bread of Life. John called Jesus the Lamb of God and Gods' chosen one. And both of these are very prolific references to the Old Testament. He's been called a Jesus The Shepherd and often there is statuary to that reference. Take a moment and think of how many different names for Jesus you can come up with? It is a great topic to spend time in prayer with and trying to find why Jesus was bestowed that particular name.

Titles like Lord is obvious. It bestows honor as well as reminds us of the second coming of the Son of God ushering in end-times. It also help convey the divine nature of God. And by example the word Christ means the anointed one. It is often used to depict Jesus is Messianic role in the world. And the Son of Man is a term that Jesus himself used in relation to his passion and how his Resurrection saved mankind.

Lenten Season ( 5 )

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Lent is the period of 40 days of fasting that is preceding Easter. Often this 40 day period is paralleled with the story of Jesus being in the desert for 40 days being tempted by the devil. (Matthew 4:1-11) and this is the reading for the first Sunday of Lent to remind us of that parallel. Originally Lent was no more than a word used for the Spring Season, similar to Autumn being referred to as fall.  But in Modern time its a period for fasting, prayer and alms giving.  The 40 days in the Catholic Church are 40 days not counting Sundays.

Lent has become a period to prepare you heart for the Easter Season. You are to do this though prayer and penance and almsgiving. On a personal note I have to say i particularly like the Ash Wednesday reading that explains that when you fast don't wear it on your sleeve so everyone knows. When you pray don't pray on the street corner pray in the privacy of your own home and God will take care of you. I think this is a powerful message and it is always a great reminder (Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18) to start of Lent in how we are commissioned to act and react.

Lent runs though Holy week starting with Palm Sunday, and the commemoration of Jesus triumphant return to Jerusalem all the way though his passion, crucifixion  and then the glorious celebration of His Resurrection. The Sacred Triduum is among the highest holy days of the year take place at the end of the Lenten season and the Easter Sunday. They are Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.

On Maundy Thursday, it is the commemoration of the Last Supper including the washing of feet. And most importantly during Holy Thursday Mass, all the hosts are blessed which will be used all the way though Easter Vigil. There are no masses celebrated on Good Friday and what is most fascinating about this is that the Holy Thursday mass does not end. It is left opened and finalized until the end of Good Friday Services. This is one of the most special times in the church and everyone should make a point to participate in all three days. It is steeped in tradition and a great way to end the Lenten Season.

Seasons of the Catholic Church:

Lent

Liturgical Calendar ( 0 )

Though each calendar year there are seasons in which the church enters. Just like summer, winter and fall, the church also has seasons. Most people are familiar with the names of each of the liturgical calendar. The season are Advent, Christmas, Lent,  Easter and of course, Ordinary Time. These are the basic division of how the Liturgical Calendar is divided.

The churches use this way to decide what readings are used, when Feast Days and Solemnities are observed.  Many of the Solemnities are placed though the calendar based on dates.  In both Easter and western sects of Christianity the dates of the feast days may be vary from year to year. Things like Easter are the prime example. Easter's date is set within the Catholic Church by picking the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox. That sets the date for Easter, which you then count back 6 weeks and there you have the start of Lent.

The date that Easter falls on also dictates a number of Solemnities, a day the Catholic Church has set aside and most correspond with an event in Christ.s life. The other Solemnities in the Catholic Church that are determined by the day within the liturgical calendar are The Ascension of the Lord, which is always 40 days after Easter, but moved to the following Sunday in some parts of the US. Pentecost is the 50th day after Easter. The Holy Trinity is always the Sunday after Pentecost.

There are also dates that are based off the date  of Christmas although there are some Solemnities though the Liturgical Calendar that are a set and prescribed dates. For example. Dec 8 is always the Immaculate Conception, but the feast of Christ the King, is always the last Sunday before Advent. How advent is determined is to take Christmas go to the Sunday before it and count four Sundays prior to Christmas Day. Usually the Feast of Christ the King will fall during Thanksgiving weekend but not always.

Additionally, the other thing the Catholic Church does is they have divided up the readings in to 3 year cycles which over the course of those three years. If you read each daily reading you will have read the entire Bible. Most Catholics don.t know that to be the case and only think of what they hear each Sunday only.  But each Sunday of time has a week attached to it though each of these seasons.  

Additionally the Liturgical seasons have distinctive colors, Green, Purple, Red, Pink, White. If you walk into any Catholic church you would know what season it is based on vestment color. The Green vestment is the most prevalent and applies to ordinary time. The Pink Vestment is For the third week of Advent. The Purple Vestments are worn during penitential or atonement seasons of Advent and Lent. White Vestments are for the Liturgical Calendar periods of Christmas and Easter Seasons. And lastly there is Red vestments which are not indicative of a period of time but the blood of the martyrs. On a Feast day of a Martyr, the priest will wear red vestments during mass as well as the cardinals who are bishops who have vowed to die for Christ if the situation arises.  

The Liturgical seasons are:

Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent and Easter

Men's Rosaries ( 1 )

When you are looking for a special gift for a man, mens rosaries might be just perfect.  Rosaries are used in the catholic church to count the number of Hail Mary’s that are said, while saying a prayer of the same name, either silently or vocally.  The use of the rosary beads allows the person to keep track of the number of prayers they have said while meditating on one of the many mysteries as the fingers move along the beads.  Rosary beads are also used in many other religions.

Like other rosary beads, mens rosaries often have a medal of a saint at one end, then the beads, which are often strung together by chains, and a crucifix at the other end.  The difference with men’s rosaries is that they are often made with beads that are slightly larger, to accommodate the larger male hand.  They come in difference lengths of beads.  On longer strings, there is usually a larger bead after every 10th bead, separating the different mysteries that are being meditated upon.  Sometimes there are also smaller beads, like Japanese seed beads in between each of the main beads.

Mens rosaries are often made of wood which can sometimes be coloured black or brown.  The metals used to make the rosary vary from silver to pewter to gold as well as other metals.  The beads can also be made of cocoa, gemstone or crystals, as well as special glass and marble, and onyx, as well as many other materials.  There are many different qualities of rosary beads and they are available at all price points, depending on your budget.  If you like, you can also customize the rosary from some suppliers by choosing from medals of various saints as well as various designs of crucifixes.  For example, you could choose the patron saint of their birthday or profession which would add a really nice personal touch.

You can also choose the style of crucifix that you would like on your mens rosaries.  For example, you could choose a small wooden cross with the figure of Christ on it, or a Celtic cross if that would be more appropriate.    There are many other crucifixes available as well, including the four roses crucifix and the peace crucifix among others.  The choice is really up to you and your preferences.

It is said that traditionally, rosaries were made up of ropes with knots in there.  These lengths of rope served the same purpose as today in counting and reciting the Rosary.  Mens rosaries are great gifts to give at any time of the year, whether it is for a birthday or for Christmas.  It is an item that will be well cherished and for a practising Catholic, well used.  Rosaries are widely available through traditional stores as well as through online merchants on the internet.  There are some truly beautiful rosaries available on the internet, as many merchants supply rosaries that come from all the far reaches of the world and you should easily be able to find one that is of good quality and unique.  Most online merchants have secure checkout facilities as well as fast delivery.

 

Miraculous Medals ( 4 )

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The Miraculous Medal comes from the origin of Zoe Labore, later known as St. Catherine who happened to be a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. The Virgin Mary appeared three different times on July 18, November 27, and a short time after that for her last appearance to St. Catherine in 1830. The first time Mary showed her self to St. Catherine she was asleep but was woken by her ‘Guardian Angel’ and she told her to go to the chapel where Mother Mary was. For many hours they talked and Mary said to Catherine, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.” When Sister Catherine saw the Blessed Mother on the second appearance she said that the Mother of Jesus was standing on a globe as well as holding another globe in her hands. She had these rays coming from her fingers that appeared as precious stones as rings. These wonderful rays are told to be symbols of graces given to all who ask. She also said that around the Figure of Mother Mary was a oval shaped frame with the words “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”; and the letter ‘M’ was in the back along with a cross and under that was the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, the former was surrounded by the crown of thorns and the pierced by a sword.

 

            Sister Catherine was told to make a medal that looked like the one in her vision as a promise of grace would be given to those that were to wear it. She confessed what had happened to her and explained all of the appearances to the confessor, they together worked together to accomplish Mary’s instructions. 47 years later she revealed receiving the Medal. The church approving the medals, they were made in the year 1832 and handed out in Paris. The blessings were bestowed upon those who wore the medals almost immediately. People began calling this medal the “Miraculous” Medal because of the many miracles from patience, forgiveness, repentance, and faith. This medal is nothing that has to do with superstition or magic of any sort. It is simply a testimony of trusting in your faith and prayer.

 

St. Catherine is enshrined in the same chapel that she visited with the Blessed Mother. She is in a glass coffin and is uncorrupted. The Miraculous Medal has become a staple of faith for Catholics all over the world. Many believe in the power of the medal and how the feel the grace that God bestowed on their life from wearing the medal. Often people that wear the Miraculous Medal have a great faith in the devotion to the Blessed Mother and frequently part of the devotion is wearing the medal.

 

In addition to the Miraculous Medal the believers also wear a brown scapular as well. This is meant to strengthen the devotion to the Blessed Mother, bringing far more graces.

Mothers Day Gifts ( 0 )


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Mother’s day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May and is set aside to honor our Moms. But how did this holiday come to be. In the United States there it was imported from the British holiday called Mothering Sunday and celebrated as part of the 4th Sunday of Lent. In the 16th century children once a year on Mothering Sunday would go to mother’s church which reunited parents with their children that day. Although there was little documentation it was believed these children were working for someone and away from home. Some were woman who were slaves and this was the one day of the year that they could return home and see their families.

Despite the fact that the holiday is now secular, there are churches that go back to the Christian roots of the holiday and pay homage to Mary, Our Spiritual Mother. May is also designated by the church as a month devoted to Mary and extra attention is paid to Mary. There are definitely Christian roots in this holiday though.

The holiday was imported to the United states by Julia Ward Howe after the civil war. Howe is a well know social activist and was an American Abolitionist. But her most famous accomplishment is the penning of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. In 1870 Howe wrote the Mothers day Proclamation and it was one of the early mentions to celebrate Mother’s Day in the United States. The proclamation is is still included in a Unitarian Hymn. She encouraged this holiday because of her displeasure with the Civil War and the death and hardship woman had to endure. And it was also her basic tenant that woman needed to step up and help shape the society on all levels including the political level.

Her idea for mother’s day was inspired by Ann Jarvis who was trying to improve sanitation at work. She called her crusade Mothers Work Days. She was able to get women during the Civil War to work towards better sanitation conditions. When Ann Jarvis died her Daughter, Anna Jarvis worked to getting a memorial day for women started and was successful in Grafton West Virginia. On May 10ths 1908 the first Mothers Day was held. It was in the church that Ann Jarvis had taught. Originally it was a Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church. Now the building is the International Mother’s Day Shrine and a National Historic Landmark. The other 45 states also began celebrating this holiday and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson declared the first Nation Mothers day for Mothers whose sons had died in World War I.

Ironically the young lady who wanted to honor her own mother and started the whole concept was so upset with the commercialization of the holiday that she started to become an opponent to it. However, Mothers Day continues to be one of the most successful US holidays. It is a great opportunity to get your mom a Mother’s Day Gift to thank her for being your Mom.

Nativity Sets ( 24 )

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Nativity sets are a stirring reminder of the humble beginnings of the Christ child, and Christians the world over celebrate the birth of Jesus by displaying then in their homes. Christmas Nativity sets can be as elaborate in detail as one chooses to make them, or they can be a simple representation of Jesus’ surroundings on the night of His holy birth.

 

Many nativity sets start with a standard display of seven key figures. Of course, the central figure is that of the Christ child. As the saying goes, “Jesus is the reason for the season”, and the Christ child is the reason for the nativity scene. This is why the manger where the child resides is placed at the center of the nativity set. The manger itself typically remains empty until the morning of Christmas. The stable surrounds the manger, and a figurine of the Virgin Mary is placed to one side of the manger. Jesus’ father Joseph is sometimes placed on the opposite side, but in some nativity sets he can be found placed away from the manger and looking away from the Christ child with a figure of an old man (representative of Satan) at his side. This is intended to symbolize the trait of human doubt and Satan’s role as man’s tormentor.

 

Other components of the nativity set will include the three wise men, and accompanying angels and animals. If you view your nativity set as being laid out in three gradually expanding circles, the first circle would include the manger and its figures, the second would display the wise men and the shepherds who preceded them, and the third circle would be occupied by angelic displays and various animals in the nativity scene. Typically, the shepherds would be placed in closer proximity to the Christ child than the Three Kings. This indicates a reflection of Biblical accounts that note the shepherds visited the baby Jesus before the three wise men. Animals displayed are typically camels, sheep, and oxen. Some choose to display the camel figures with the three wise men to signify the great distances they traveled to pay their respects to the King of Kings. Most nativity displays will feature the angels hovering above the stable. If that is not practical due to the limitations of space, it is perfectly acceptable to place the angels inside the stable with the holy family. If your nativity set is an outdoor display, it will naturally have more room for ancillary figures and details. If your scene is comprised of more delicate and costly pieces, an indoor display will no doubt be more appropriate.

 

There are an endless variety of ways to arrange your nativity set. Remember that each and every piece has its own significance, and the arrangement of those pieces should be done in such a way as to communicate the appropriate degree of reverence for the holy occasion of Christ’s birth. It is important that each family member have an understanding and appreciation of each piece’s role in the nativity set. That will help ensure the tradition continues into their families as well.

Our Lady Statues ( 2 )

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Our Lady statues actually refer to our Blessed Virgin Mary. There are many different statues available and each one shows a different scene from Mary’s life, or has a different meaning it all depends on what your personal preference is and what you would like the statue to represent. Our Lady statues come in many different sizes, for out door and indoor use, as well as many different materials such as hand carved wood, metal, pewter and plastic.

 

Our Lady statues can make a very religious statement in any catholic’s home or garden and they are a way to show your faith and devotion as well as making a very interesting and nice centre piece for you home that will be the envy of your friends and family and any who visit your home. Our Lady or the Virgin Mary is a term which carries the belief in the virginity of Mary as well as her continuing role within the church and within the lives of Christians all over the world. Mary is often referred to as Our Lady, Mother of God and the Blessed Virgin. Mary was the first Christian saint and the mother of Jesus and was deemed to be a compassionate mediator between suffering and mankind, her son Jesus was seen as King and Judge.

 

Some earlier Our Lady statues show representations of Mary as the Throne of Heaven which show Mary and the child Jesus crowned as royalty and these statues are still available today in replicas for you to keep in your own home, you can also get Our Lady statues showing Mary and Jesus together as well as Mary on her own. The Madonna and Child is also a very popular representation of Our Lady as it shows Mary seated and suckling the child Jesus as he turns his head to look at the spectator.

 

In Gothic and Renaissance formulas Our Lady statues show the Virgin Mary sitting with Jesus on her lap or in her arms. Some of the statues that we see today and are available to the public come in many different representations of Our Lady, from Mary with Jesus to Mary standing alone with a halo above her head; it is entirely up to you which statue you would choose to have in your home and what you would choose it to represent.

 

One popular Our Lady statue which you can purchase in sizes ranging from 12 inches to 18 inches is the Annunciation Mary statue. This is the revelation to Mary by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive a child which would be born the Son of God and this such statue shows Mary beautifully hand carved from wood and swathed in intractably detailed robes gazing into the distance, you can see the look of wonder and joy on her face and the Annunciation is one of the most frequent subjects of artists representations and they are one of the favourite statues among Christians. You can find out more about Our Lady statues from the internet and they are available from all good Christian stores.

 

Outdoor Decor ( 4 )


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Everyone knows someone that has a nice yard. Whether it be the person on the block that pays meticulous detail to their home and yard, with perfect outdoor fall flowers or the one with the backyard retreat. No matter what the motiff, outdoor decor can make your home have outstanding curb appeal or become a summer getaway every weekend.

Outdoor décor can be simple items, a planter full of spring flowers. It can be a flag flying in a lazy summer breeze or it can a nativity scene in a yard with the first winter’s snow gently dusting its roof. But how do you determine what to put in your hard to make these scenes. What do you do for spring to make your yard come alive. Or in fall to give the warm earthy tones that remind us of that brisk cool fall air.

There are very easy and creative ways to decorate a yard. A simple bail of hay, a relatively inexpensive item that can sit in your flower bed makes a great stage for pumpkins or outdoor resin pilgrims that will allow for a wonderful fall festival type display. Often as the leaves are raked and fall gives way to winter you will see neighbors coming out to put Christmas lights no their homes. Or electric candles in their windows. This tradition was from the 15th century when the Irish would put candles in their windows to let a road weary traveler know that it was okay to come to that house because they too where Catholic. You now see homes without door lights decorating homes and making Christmas time a wonderful time of year.

Other outdoor decorations include outdoor Christmas displays. Often you will nativity sets, or yard art like Santa kneeling over  and a baby Jesus, thematically bringing the two ends of Christmas together. Santa is the secular icon and Christ the Spiritual one. Scene’s like this as outdoor decorations conjure fond memories and bring excitement and anticipation for Christmas.

Other year round outdoor decorations can include saint statues. These are often  Blessed Mother or St. Francis statues. Often you will see these statues in yards all year long. They depict common themes, including our lady of Grace, and St. Francis usually with some animals or deer.  They are common items that people may use in their yards to have a more spiritual yard or one more conducive to prayer or they may have the blessed Mother to help watch over their property and help keep them safe. Some have fountains or bird bathers, while others are just simple stone or resin statues. Other themes include angels, another common garden decoration.

Outdoor décor is an expression of its own. As you drive though neighborhoods you can tell much about the owners of each in how well they have their homes decorated. You can tell the spiritual homeowner or the homeowner that loves season home decorations and those who just love Christmas.

Outside décor reflects the feelings of the homeowner. The care the outside of the home receives is a definite indicator of the heart of the inside of the home.

Patron Saint Medals ( 12 )


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There are many different saints in Christianity and each saint usually is depicted by their own saints’ medals. These are medals which show the saint usually doing what it is that they are named after on a medal which can be worn around the neck, or you can also get bigger medals which can be hung on the wall as decorations.

Saints medals are very important to Christians because each saint is named as something important which they have don’t during their time, and each separate medal is used to represent a different saint and a different type of protection.

 

The saint Christopher is one of the more popular saints’ medals. Christopher is the patron saint of travel and on his medal he is often shown carrying a small child across a river, which was later discovered to be the baby Jesus. This is where Saint Christopher got his name as the saint of travel and many people wear his medal when they are travelling to protect them against accidents and so forth. Some Christians who do a lot of travelling will often hang a slightly larger saint Christopher medal from their rear view mirror to protect them and their vehicle and passengers.

 

The miraculous medal is also a very famous and a very popular saints medal which is often worn by many Christians. This medal depicts the blessed virgin Mary on one side of an oval shaped medal and on the other side it shows the cross with the letter M near the bottom which depicts Mary looking up to her child on the cross. This saints medal was saint to help protect many people and to bring any who wear the medal blessings. Christians all over the world still wear these saints medals today to help to give them blessings- there are also groups dedicated to the miraculous medal which you can join.

 

You can also get Saint Michael medals who is the patron saint of chivalry and wearing his medal will help you to stay brave in the face of danger. Saint George medals can be bought and he is also the patron saint of chivalry, as well as Saint Patrick medals.

 

There are many saints medals available to purchase and each one is said to do something different, from the saint Christopher medal which protects travellers, to the miraculous medal which brings blessings. Saints medals can also make brilliant gifts for loved ones, as Christmas and birthday gifts, or even first communion gifts. Wearing a saint medal will not only make a lovely addition to your religious jewelry collection, but they will also help to show your faith in Christianity and keep you safe when you need it.

You can find out more about saints medals on the internet if you run a quick search on one of the popular search engines and they are available to buy from all good jewelry stores as well as on the internet. So what are you waiting for, get your saints medal today!

Prayer Garden Statues ( 12 )


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Prayer garden statues are life sized statues which can be placed in your own garden as a place for you to give prayer to the representations of the statues. Prayer gardens have been created all over the world and are a place of worship for Christians where they can see all of the saints and important people of Christianity and worship and prey to them. You can create your own sanctuary in the form of a prayer garden, a place where you and your family can gather and show your devotion and faith, or simply as a place where you can go to prey without being disturbed.

 

You can do this by adding prayer garden statues to your garden. These statues come in many different sizes and representations and are made out of weather wearing material such as wood and pewter and are safe to leave outside. You can choose to have prayer garden statues which represent the Blessed Virgin Mary and there are many different types of Mary statue which you can buy for your garden. You can have a simple statue of Mary swathed in her traditional robes, or you could invest in the Madonna with child Jesus, or Mary kneeling and preying, the choice is up to you and it is entirely up to your own personal preference.

 

You can also purchase prayer garden statues of Jesus Christ in many different forms, from Him as a child to showing his crucifixion or a simple prayer garden statue showing Jesus with his hands clasped as if in prayer. There are many different representations which you can purchase for your own prayer garden.

How about a collection of your favourite saints to keep you and your family safe and protected from harm? You can choose to add Saint Michael, Saint Christopher, Saint George and many more to your collection, each one representing something different to complete your prayer garden.

 

You do not have to have a large prayer garden, if you do not have your own garden then how about creating a miniature version in your home? You can purchase smaller prayer garden statues that can be suitable for indoor use and then place them in a quiet room of the house where you can go to visit to give prayer to your faith. Prayer garden statues can make a brilliant addition to your home or garden, but if you think that you don’t have enough room for your own prayer garden, and then why not visit one which is local to you where you can view the prayer garden statues on public display?

 

You can find information on prayer garden statues on the internet and from all good garden stores. All you have to do is run a quick search on the internet and you will find yourself with many good links to websites which sell and give you information on prayer garden statues. So what are you waiting for? Get your own prayer garden statues today and impress your friends with your faith and devotion!

RCIA ( 5 )

What to become Catholic? Join RCIA? This is a phrase you may see in your church bulletin. But what is RCIA a program that is somewhat unfamiliar to long time Catholics. So what is RCIA and where did it come from?

Most people are shocked to find out that RCIA has been around since the beginning of the Catholic Church and dates back to the Twelve Apostles. Okay so it wasn’t called RCIA that’s the 20th century name that was applied to the program. RCIA stands for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.  So where did this name come from.

There are three sacraments of the Catholic church that are initiation sacraments. They are Baptism, Eucharist and Confirmation. To become Catholic, those are the three sacraments an adult would need to receive. Children who are raised Catholic receive these sacraments over time. Baptism is done as baby. Eucharist is at approximately the age of 7 or second grade. And then Confirmation which is usually received within the teen years but that age fluctuates between dioceses. The Bishop decides what the proper age for his dioceses is.

Anyone over the age of consent, usually 7-9 years old who are not catholic but wish to become catholic must go through the RCIA process.

Back after Jesus died the Apostles went out to convert as many people to Christianity. However, Christians were persecuted and thus it made it very hard to do this. So what would happen is the people who wished to convert lived in community with the church. They lived together.  They worked together. They study scripture and learned the ways of the church together. And after the end of a year they received the sacraments.  This practice stayed in place though the 15th century.

In the 15th century there was a shift in policy because of the large number of Christians. There were no more floods of people coming to the church only children that were done as infant baptism.  From the 15th century though 1988 the process remained this way. Most Pre Vatican II converts came in through a weekly meeting with a priest.  But during Vatican II there were procedures put In place that wouldn’t be unpacked until 1988

Vatican II required people converting to Catholicism to return to the ways of the early church with a year of studying with the church. In 1972 there were procedures put into place to start and RCIA process. There was no real program defined just a general idea that each church could make their own as long as the core curriculum was covered.

Many of the churches ignored this because without structure it would be difficult to bring about the changes Vatican II said. There were staffing concerns and as time moved on the lack of religious put the program in the hands of the laity. But there was many reasons why it was ignored. So in 1988 the Bishops stepped in and said the program will be adhered to and in effect stopped all private preparation for sacraments.

Since that time most parish have an RCIA program. A simple call to their office will allow any prospective person who wants to convert to join in a program that dates back to the time of Christ.

 

 

RCIA Gifts ( 3 )

RCIA is the process that adults who are called to conversion to the Catholic church participate in. the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) dates back to the early Catholic church where communally the people who would live and study together for over a year until they were allowed to receive the sacraments of initiation: Baptism, Eucharist, and Confirmation. RCIA Gift ideas can span any of the three sacraments.

 

Understanding the process of the RCIA allows for you to better understand what might be an appropriate gift. First decide if Baptism was part of the process. That may affect the gift. A dove pendant might be a good choice.  As part of the RCIA process one unique gift was to have the sponsor make the baptismal candle the elect will receive on the night of their baptism.  Some can be very elaborate and ornate.

 

There is also the Eucharistic aspect of the ceremony as well. Depending on the person there are pendants of a chalice that make great RCIA Gift ideas as well. The can be warn as a reminder of both the power of the Eucharist as well as the reminder of the power of the day as well.

 

Confirmation is also received and there are also symbols of the spirit. Again a dove is a common symbol for the spirit and makes for a great gift idea as a pendant. 

 

As a child, both Baptism and Confirmation have God Parents/Sponsors to walk this journey of faith.  As a sponsor, picking a gift would be to pick one that lasts a lifetime.  Jewelry, Bibles, Crosses and figurines are often great gift ideas from the sponsor.  Additionally one of the nicer RCIA gift ideas is a patron saint medal.

 

As the candidates walk through the process they are asked to choose a saint as their confirmation name. Often that saint is someone who inspires them or that they have something in common with.  Patron saint medals make great RCIA Gifts. They serve the person as a reminder of the day as well as to help the intercession of their saint into the aspect of the life that they choose to live.

 

There are many RCIA Gift ideas. Over the course of the RCIA program candidate and sponsor get to learn each other and picking the right RCIA gift is much easier. Sometimes home décor items make great gifts because the persons home does not have the outward reminders of the Lord around them. These are helpful symbols, which aids in staying focused. These home items are very well received hen they fit the home décor.

 

Crosses and Crucifixes are another set of great gift ideas. They can be given as a pendant or as a standing cross or wall cross.  There are even RCIA version crosses.  They make break gifts ideas.

 

Lastly the Miraculous medal has been attributed with many conversions and seems to be one of the best gifts you an give a person that is coming in to the church on Easter Vigil. It embodies the true spirit of the RCIA  and will help the candidate on their life journey.

Religious Gifts ( 7 )

Choosing the right gift for anyone can be a daunting task sometimes. If, however, you know the person’s religious or spiritual beliefs, you are in luck. Religious gifts are always welcome because they affirm deep beliefs and can be handed down to children and grandchildren. Whatever their religion, there will be a symbol or object that represents some aspect special to them. There is a huge array online to choose from and save you the task of thinking of the perfect gift.

 

Religious gifts for Christians are easy to get online and come in a great variety. Jewelry is the most appreciated and there is a huge selection of crosses, crucifixes, charm bracelets, brooches, rings and earrings. They come in gold, silver, platinum, wood and ceramic and are decorated with gemstones real and manmade. They come in delicate filigree and heavy metal for young girls and young men. They are fashionable, beautiful and will make a true believer very happy. There is jewelry made especially for the young and fashionable. Heavy silver or steel crosses, usually large in size, are considered the right fashion statement for a surfer, biker or rock star life style.

 

There are also religious gifts for children, including, personalized books and coloring books for Christian children, and nativity sets for children to arrange, while hearing the story of the birthday of Jesus as well as commemorative plush animals for confirmation and baptism. There are patron saint medals, Bibles, books, rosaries and icons especially for children. Children’s furniture with sayings painted on it as well as wall hangings. They are designed to attract children as well as teach the values of faith. There are pendants that combine your favorite sport with your faith, to bring your religion into every aspect of your life and cute carpets with the themes of Noah and the animals, the Garden of Eden, Bible stories and God is love.

 

The same is true for Jewish friends and family. Religious gifts of jewelry are easy to get, well crafted and beautiful. The Star of David is the most popular crafted in hundreds of styles from crystal, gold, silver and many more. Candles especially for the Shabbat and Chanukah as well as Kiddush cups, tablecloths and knives make good gifts. For children there is a colorful carpet with the Hebrew alphabet around the oval. There are many sites online that offer ideas for giving to your Jewish friends.

 

There are gifts available that represent many other religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and many more.  Gifts for Muslims include music, prayer rugs and  prayer watches. There are companies online that carry these special religious gifts. A few examples are statuettes of Ganesh and other gods as well as puja thalis, and wooden incense boxes. You can get special gift boxes of traditional sweets and flowers to send for Diwali. Almost all religions have devotional T-shirts and other clothing that make wonderful gifts for anyone. Child or adult will appreciate apparel that sends the right message. Your gift giving problem is solved.

 

Religious Jewelry ( 9 )


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There are many categories and uses for Jewelry. One of the most prolific is the use of Jewelry for Religious nature. There are many different types of religious jewelry. Most often when you think of Religious jewelry you might think of a cross or crucifix pendant. Most Christians wear their crosses to show they are a Christian and to remind them of their faith. Catholic often have them Blessed and wear their blessed crosses.

Other types of religious Jewelry are rosary bracelets. This is a more recent invention. Rosary Bracelets span all type price ranges and usually are one decade of the rosary linked together to form a bracelet. What would be considered the center of the rosary usually dangles like a charm. The bracelets can be made from glass or semi precious medal beads and may use base metal, which is lower cost or the more expensive sterling or gold metals for the links the cross or the center.

Patron Saint Medals is another form of religious jewelry that people often ware. They wear this small medallions on their necks generally. The saint the person chooses to wear may have some significance to the person’s life. Patron Saint Jewelry often is a reminder to the person wearing.  Patron Saint Medals are often called sacramental. Base Metal pendants make great gifts for church groups. For example church groups often give St. Cecilia Medals, where she is the patron saint of musicians.

Many also choose to have cross earrings. This is another way to wear a cross without the chain. You will see both men and women with cross earrings. Often cross earrings can be given as a gift for a sacrament, meaning cross earrings make a wonderful First Communion Gift. Its can be worn on the day of the even adding a finishing touch to any child’s first communion dress and accessories.

Lapel pins are another form of Religious Jewelry. Often Holy Spirit Jewelry can be a lapel pin. There are many symbols that you may see worn on a lapel. Also a Monstrance pin is a great gift for staff and church members in groups like RCIA sponsors, Catechism teacher.

Rings are often worn as reminders to the cross. There are rings designed as cross but one of the most popular religious rings is a claddagh ring. It is an Irish wedding and depicts a heart and a cross. Also the religious wear rings or are given rings at their ordinations. Even the Pope has a ring, as many already know.

In all these types of jewelry many of these are also available with birthstones embedded to them. The rosary bracelets can be made out of birthstones. This is another way to personalize the religious jewelry which makes for it to be a great gift for any occasion.

There is a wide span of religious jewelry available and in most cases it because one of the most treasured gifts one can give because it not only signals about the event or the relationship. But, because it is rooted in faith strengthens it meaning.

Religious Wall Decor ( 7 )

There are many ways for a home owner to express themselves and their faith. Home decor ideas often reflect the people that there. Pictures adorn walls and spaces. Some are pictures of kids growing up or life events. There are many ways to project yourself and decorate your spaces.

 

There are many wall ideas including plaques. Many have scripture verses on them. Some are just inspirational and have prayers like the famous Irish blessing or the serenity prayer. These plaques have flowers or in some cases just a pattern or color splash that helps match any home decor.  Many have wood frames and the verses are matted to stand out and help fit into the room décor.

 

Picture frames are another wall décor item. There are many frames available that mark events in a child’s life such as first communion, confirmation even graduation. These are often crystal type frames that highlight the event in the frame.  These wall décor items can also be gift items. Popular items like this are grandparent frames or even sponsor gifts for things like RCIA and confirmation. These are great ideas that serve as gift ideas as well as a way to express faith.

 

Wall rosaries are another way to express your uniqueness as a home decor idea. These are usually 4-6 foot long rosaries that have large beads. They are sometimes wood, sometimes crystal. They are very large and it makes a great centerpiece for discussion. They can be draped over a small doorway or put on a wall with several tack nails that will allow you make several points out of the rosary for better display.

 

Wall crosses are another great religious wall decor items. First you have to decide if you want a cross or a crucifix.  Either way you can find ornate crosses. Some are just simple wrought iron or wrought iron with stained glass. Some are Celtic type crosses. Often they are sold in threes or multiples so that you can make an array on the wall of the crosses. Often they come in threes because of the three crosses of Calvary.

 

Other uses of Crosses and crucifixes are over doorways or entries into rooms. In some homes you will see a crucifix over every light switch.  St. Benedict Crucifixes are quite appropriate for this. These are crosses designed to help exercise evil from an area. They are ornate crucifixes and make beautiful religious wall Decor expression and serve a great purpose.

 

Crosses for children’s rooms are also popular. Most are either pink or blue.  And can be given as a gift for baptisms as well as provides an introduction of faith at a very early age. This will last the lifetime of the child and give them a discussion point. Some of the more popular crosses are made of brass and have the image of a toddler kneeing affixed to the cross.  There are also porcelain type crosses that also are made for babies and small children

 

 

There are many ways to express your faith with wall decor items or provide a thoughtful gift that will last a lifetime.

Rosary Beads ( 7 )


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The rosary is a prayer that has its roots in the early church that has remained relatively unchanged since the 14th century. Despite many differing opinions, it is assumed that St. Dominic of the order of the Dominicans helped transform the rosary into what it is today.

It is believed that St. Dominic was given  the Rosary directly from The Blessed mother. And according to Blessed Alan de la Roche it was done though revelation and was handed down though the Dominican order.  It was believed that it was given to help in the fight with the Albigensians that St. Dominick was engaged in.  

The Albigensians were a group that lived in the south of france during the 12th century. Their beliefs were heresies, belief that are in violation of the canon.   They believe in two Gods who are in opposition to each other. They also did not agree that the church has any authority.  They also do not believe in the resurrection. .  St. Dominic used the rosary as away to confront the heredities and bring the Albigensians back to central church.

The Early Church was often threaded by these heresies.  In response there was often Councils to solve the heresies as they arise.  St Dominic was dispatched to help deal with the Albigensians who were growing in numbers.  

The  history of the rosary it is difficult to trace. There is very limited documentation And though time, the Popes were the biggest advocate of its use. Despite the inability to say with certainty the role of St. Dominic directly there is no doubt of the role of the Dominican devotion to the rosary.

The  12th century rosary contained 150 prayers ,matching the 150 Psalms the residents of a town could hear the monasteries pray. Only a few could read so they would mimic what they would hear using initially the .Our Father. as its base. It then moved to the Hail Mary’s in 3 groups of fifty and was assigned what we know as the Joyful, the Sorrowful and the Glorious Mysteries or events in Christ’s life. 

Eventually the beads were assigned the actual Hail Mary prayer we pray today, making it that by the 16th century the Rosary is what we know it to be today with the one addendum of Pope John Paul II making the last change adding the Luminous Mysteries to the fold on the anniversary of his 25th year of being Pope.

 

 

Faith-full carries a wide variety of Rosary Gifts Sacramental Gifts and Clothing  Seasonal and Holiday Gifts,  Church Goods and Supply, Gift Ideas and Inspirational Home Décor If you can not find what you are looking for call 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Memphis, Tennessee, Baltimore, Maryland, Irving, Texas, Amarillo, TX, Brownsville, Texas, Grand Prairie, TX, Pasadena, Texas, Fort Worth, Texas., El Paso, Texas., Charlotte, N.C, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Seattle, Washington, Boston, Massachusetts, Denver, Colorado, Louisville-Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Sacraments ( 0 )


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The Catholic Church since its inception has set itself aside from all other organized religion by being a sacramental church. As a Catholic you will often hear of the sacramental church and if raised Catholic as a child had these sacraments bestowed on you as grew up as both a person and a Catholic. The seven sacraments can be traced to Jesus himself. He gave each of these sacraments us and the Apostles upheld them during the formation of the early church.

Each of these sacraments has special rites and rituals associated with them and we will be giving a brief overview of each of the sacraments.

The first sacrament is Baptism, the sacrament of water. Jesus himself was baptized by John the Baptist and was submerged into the Jordan River. It was a Trinitarian Baptism meaning In the name of the Father, In the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit.  The symbolism of the water is used to wash away original sin, sin that was committed by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. This sacrament is the basic tenant of all Christian religious with the exclusion of a few. The baptisms that are not recognized are not Trinitarian in form. Among unrecognized baptism are Mormon, Unitarian, and Jehovah.s Witness.

The second Sacrament is Reconciliation. It is probably the most over looked sacrament. In recent years this sacrament has made a huge come back thanks the urging of Pope John Paul II. Since Vatican II it advocated the use of the sacrament for mortal sin. The Church does ask you go once a year.

The Third Sacrament is Eucharist or Communion. This sacrament was handed to us by Jesus during the last supper. There is much that is and can be written on this particular sacrament but the root is the real present of Christ in the Eucharist. It is the one doctoral teaching of the Catholic Church that sets it apart all other churches. Jesus is present at each and every mass. It.s a profound thought

The Fourth Sacrament is that of the Holy Spirit, or Confirmation. Baptism by fire. This gives each Candidate the opportunity to reconfirm his Baptismal vows and speak for himself. Where many view this as a finalization, the reality is it is actually the start of the person.s life in the church.

The Fifth Sacrament is Matrimony or Marriage and of course his one is pretty self explanatory.

The Sixth Sacrament is Holy Orders. This is the sacraments that people entering religious life participate in. 

The Seventh and final Sacrament is Anointing of the Sick. This sacrament has evolved some again with the help of Pope John Paul II. He opened this sacrament up and redefined it a bit so that sick could participate in this and not one that was dying, which is what the previous understanding of it was. If you are having surgery, or are ill, suffering with cancer and alike you are very welcome to be anointed.

This is a very brief description of each sacrament.

Baptism | Confession | Communion | Confirmation | Marriage | Holy Orders | Annoiting of the Sick | RCIA

Faith-full carries a wide variety of Rosary Gifts Sacramental Gifts and Clothing  Seasonal and Holiday Gifts,  Church Goods and Supply, Gift Ideas and Inspirational Home Décor If you can not find what you are looking for call 281-852-9909 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Washington DC, Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee, Las Vegas, Nevada. Portland, Oregon, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Tucson, Arizona, Long Beach, California, Atlanta, Georgia, Fresno, California, Sacramento, CA, Corpus Christi, TX, Plano, Texas, Garland, TX, Laredo, Texas, Lubbock, TX.

Saint Anthony Statues ( 2 )

Saint Anthony is an interesting figure in Catholic history.  He was born in 1195 in Lisbon and was named Fernando at birth to a prominent family and entered the St. Augustine monastery at the age of 15.  He studied, preached and travelled for many years before being declared a Saint, after his death, by Pope Gregory the IX.  Saint Anthony is most known as the saint of lost and stolen things, including direction in life, and many a Saint Anthony statue graces homes and religious places.  He is also known as the matchmaker saint and there are interesting rituals performed to this end.

One of the reasons Saint Anthony is known as the patron saint of lost and stolen articles is that apparently because of an incident in Saint Anthony’s own life.  As the story is told, he had a book of psalms that was very important to him taken by a novice who decides to leave the religious community they were in.  After praying for the return of his psalms, the novice who had taken the psalms returned them to Anthony, and rejoined the religious order he had left.  There are many other stories of St. Anthony, for example of him reading psalms to the fishes, and he is also known as the patron of sailors, travelers and fishermen.  Many boats have a Saint Anthony statue on board. There is a sense of wonder and awe associated with St. Anthony and the stories of his travels, his acceptance of poverty, and the miraculous events that have befallen prayers made upon him. 

A Saint Anthony statue can have several depictions.  Usually the statue has Saint Anthony holding the Christ child as a baby.  Often he is also holding an open bible as well.  Sometimes there are also flowers, especially lilies, and occasionally he is depicted as reading to the fishes.  In most of the statues, St. Anthony is wearing the robes of a priest, bare feet and sandals.

There are some beautiful statues of Saint Anthony available.  If you are looking for a Saint Anthony statue, you will find them readily available on the internet as well as through specialty garden stores.  If you are looking for a large statue that you can put in your garden, they are made from anything from marble to resin and stone composites and many materials in between.  There are some beautiful statues made in Italy and in other countries.  There are also smaller statues available and they are quite exquisite.  You will treasure them for many years.

The internet has brought us a worldwide marketplace and this means that you know have access to craftsmen and artists around the world.  Most online merchants have wonderful pictures of their products available as well as delivery services to virtually anywhere.  Shopping on the internet is a lovely way to do business and extremely convenient.  You may well find a very unique and valuable Saint Anthony statue that you will treasure and pray to for many years that will bring you luck and direction as it has for many people through time.

Catholic Medals Gifts stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, Christmas decorations, and church goods. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

Saint Michael Statues ( 0 )

St. Michael is a very interesting and powerful saint who is also known as an archangel or head of all angels.  He is known for many things, including fighting off Satan, as well as being the angel of death who carries off souls to heaven and  the commander of the army of god who is the guardian of the church and the angel of healing.  He is the patron saint of police officers, paramedics and emergency workers and a Saint Michael Statueoften adorns many places of healing.  St. Michael is also mentioned in the scriptures and can be found in the Book of Jude, the Book of Daniel, and in the Book of Revelation.

If you are looking for a Saint Michael Statue, you will find that that are many sizes and versions available.  Often he is depicted with rather large wings and holding an unsheathed sword.  You will also find many depictions of him without wings, defeating Satan, or perhaps with his sword holding down a serpent.  He is usually carrying a shield as well. The statues can be rather small, from six to nine inches, or larger and designed to be placed in entranceways or on desk or table tops.

Many of the versions of the Saint Michael Statue that are available are incredible detailed.  Sometimes the statues are hand painted with many beautiful colours and made of resin.  These often sit on either a polished wood or marble vase.  You can also find statues that are carved out of marble and alabaster, or cast bronze as well and these are usually unpainted.  They are all beautiful and sometimes price is the determining factor.  They are available in all price points and so there is something for every budget.

A Saint Michael Statuemakes a marvellous gift for anyone and even more so if they are an emergency service worker or someone who has been ill or is in the hospital.  St. Michael reminds us of the power and glory of god, and of the special service that is played by any emergency worker.  If you are looking for a gift for a rite of passage, or even Christmas or a birthday, you can’t go wrong with one of these statues and your gift will surely be very treasured for a long time to come.

When you are looking for a Saint Michael Statue, you will find them readily available in special religious stores as well as on the internet.  There are many online suppliers offering these statues these days, and prices are very competitive.  You will be able to find statues made out of genuine Italian marble and handcrafted by masters, as well as ones that are more widely manufactured or reproduced.  Of course you will pay a little bit more for handcrafting or for hand painting, but you will be guaranteed a unique and authentic article.  No matter what you choose, it will be well received.  A St. Michael statue is a very appropriate gift for anyone, whether they are religious or not.

Catholic Medals Gifts stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, Christmas decorations, and church goods. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

Saints ( 14 )

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The Catholic church has people who are designated Saints. So what does that mean. And why or how do they come to the conclusion that they are Saints. The Saints are a group of people that by their actions, including martyrdom, are known to be in heaven without any doubt. The Saints go back to the first Pope, Peter. The list includes the twelve apostles and St. Paul. Those are the earliest Saints know.

There are three levels a saint must pass though on the road to sainthood. They are Venerated, Beatified, and Blessed and the process can stall at any point, leaving the person locked at that level indefinitely.  

As with all things in the Catholic church there is a process in how the saint is elevated to blessed and to saint. The first requirement to being a Saint is to be dead. It makes sense because after all if you are not dead you cannot be in Heaven.

The heroic virtue element is necessary or martyrdom. A martyr is a person who has died for being Christian, died because of their belief in God and in essence died for the faith. In the United States there is not much dying for the Faith going on. However, there is plenty Martyrdom going on in China, Africa, the Philippines and South America and even Iraq. There have been news stories on how of late on the persecution of Christians in Iraq and how the priests in that area are being slaughtered. This would be modern martyrdom.

Heroic Virtue are the virtues we were all taught in school. They are faith hope and charity and prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude. If you think about the saint you will easily find at least one of these virtues. Take St. Vincent DePaul being the Apostle of Charity. We should all strive to meet these virtues in our own life’s and the Saints do give us a model for us to follow of how to implement these virtues into our own lives.

Once its determined that the person has lived his life in this manner, it is important that they let the Bishop know that they think this person is worth of Sainthood. You also need a large group to also make these requests as well as the willingness to pay for process called canonization. A modern example of this taking place is Bishop Fulton Sheen, many of his followers are working diligently to get him to be considered for the Sainthood, but in addition to working on it relentlessly, they also are accepting donations to help offset the cost of the process. One the bishop agrees with the group that the person is worthy of sainthood, the church begins its investigation of the person’s life and reviews it down to the last little detail to make sure they qualify.

From the bishop, once he has documented the person’s life and their virtue, he then sends a recommendation to Rome to the part of the Vatican called the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. They review all the information collected and do their own investigation to see if the person can either qualify as Martyr or having a life of heroic Virtue. If the person meets this bar, they are then named Venerable. This is the first stop and the person may remain on this level for centuries.

The next level would be to send this person to the Pope. The pope would again have to review to see if there was evidence of heroic virtue. But to reach the level of Beatification, the person has to have a miracle attributed to them, either in action or in prayer. The miracle has to be certified as not being able to explain though science or doctors. It can be a cure of cancer or a recovery from a car accident. Once  the cure or miracle has been confirmed and it has been determined that you it cannot be explained though modern technology, the person is then elevated to the status of Blessed.

What the designation of Blessed means is that the person is one step from canonization. The requirements for Canonization is to have another miracle performed by the person. The second miracle has another review to make sure the Vatican wants to elevate the person to sainthood. The canonized saint is then added to the to the liturgical calendar.

St. Francis Statues ( 0 )

St. Francis is one of the most popular and endearing saints in the Catholic Church. He is the patron saint of Italy the environment, animals and also symbolizes Mother Nature and the care we should take of the planet on which we live. To him, the earth and all its inhabitants are one family and needed to care for each other. He is also the patron saint of Italy.

 

St. Francis was born in 1181 to a wealthy Italian merchant and his French wife. He was born when they were traveling in France, and because that trip was so commercially successful, his father called him Francesco, or Francis, instead of his given name which was Giovanni di Bernardone in honor of St. John the Baptist. As a young man he lived a dissipated life with his rich friends seeking pleasure. One day, in the market place he saw a beggar. This meeting had a life changing impact on him. He gave the beggar everything he had, suffering censure and ridicule from his friends and family. For the next four years he joined the military, was captured and had a severe illness, all of which turned his thoughts towards introspection.

 

He wanted to live in secluded places nursing the sick, especially lepers, near Assisi. In the Church of San Damiano he had a vision where Jesus told him to repair His house. St. Francis thought this meant the broken down church so he got some money and renovated it. He begged for a couple of years and continued to restore churches. After hearing a sermon in 1209 about going to Jesus with nothing, he vowed to live life poor. He chose not to become a priest and gradually got 11 followers. They lived simply and in 1209 went to Rome to ask Pope Innocent III to recognize their order of lesser brothers.

 

The Pope was a bit reluctant, but told them if they attract more followers they could reapply. They were allowed to have their heads shaved. They gained many more followers including his sister and brother. In 1213 St. Francis was given a mountain which soon became his favorite place to pray. He traveled to Egypt and met the sultan Melek-el-Kamel. His devotion so impressed the sultan that long after his death only the Franciscans were allowed by the Muslims to stay in the Holy Land.

 

Something else that St. Francis did that is still practiced today is to create the nativity scene. In 1223 he celebrated a midnight mass near a mountain side near the small town of Grecio, where he created for the first time the scene Jesus’ birth. The use of the manger was begun here with an ass and an ox near by as well as angels, baby, Joseph and Mary who were played by town people. In 1224, St. Francis received the five wounds of Jesus, which bothered him the rest of his life, but were a sign of his total devotion. He was pronounced a saint the next day by Pope Gregory IX. He died in 1230. He believed prayer should be in ones own language so he wrote poetry and prayers in the Umbrian dialect of instead of Latin.

 

Catholic Medals Gifts stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, Christmas decorations, and church goods. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

St. Joseph Statues ( 4 )

Mary, the mother of Jesus was betrothed to Joseph of the House of David according to Christian tradition. Joseph knew Mary’s child was not his, but to protect her from possible death for being a social outcaste, he married her and protected her and the child. It is believed he knew that Jesus was not an ordinary child and considered it God’s work to raise the boy. He taught Jesus carpentry and mathematics. He brought his family to Jerusalem for Passover and fled to Egypt from King Herod the Great. His is not mentioned at the time of the crucifixion and it is believed he died before that. A statue of St. Joseph represents perfect fatherhood.

 

St. Joseph is the patron saint of fathers, working men, and real estate agents. It is said if there is a statue of St. Joseph buried near your for sale sign, you house will sell quickly. This practice started years ago when some European nuns buried a St. Joseph medal on property they hoped to get for convents. Gradually the practice changed from medals to statues and from buying to selling. It should be buried upside down so the feet point towards heaven. If it faces your house it will sell, if it faces the neighbor’s house that one will sell. For people with apartments the statue is buried in a flower pot. After your home has sold, the statue should be taken to your new home. You can buy special statues online just for this purpose.

 

There are many sites online where you can get a kit for selling your house with a statue of St. Joseph. There are at least six different versions of this kit and possibly more. There is a kit with a silver oxidized St. Joseph medal that can be buried or worn, a deluxe double statue kit with a medallion plus an additional mini sized statue to keep with you, the simplest kit with a statue and prayer card, a kit with only a pocket statue to always keep it with you, the original kit with prayer card and statue and the miraculous double novena St. Joseph kit with a St. Jude statue who is the patron saint of impossible causes. This is for the really hard to sell house.

 

There is always a statue of St. Joseph in the nativity scene. Usually on the left side as you face the stable. Some Christmas decorations only show Joseph, Mary and Jesus, with a star above. A statue of only him almost always shows him holding the baby Jesus, but some show him with his carpentry tools.

 

Sicilian-Americans revere St. Joseph because they believe he saved Sicily during a time of famine. He is said to have brought a good crop of Fava beans and a good catch of fish. Even today, on St. Joseph’s day, some raw beans are set before a statue of St. Joseph and visitors take one as a lucky charm. They are called St. Joseph beans and are also part of the culture in New Orleans where Sicilian fishermen settled.

 

Catholic Medals Gifts stocks a vast inventory of religious jewelry, religious statues, patron saint medals, religious gifts, religious home decor, Christmas decorations, and church goods. If you can not find what you are looking for call us at 281-852-9909. Our home office is located in Houston, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Raleigh, North Carolina, Santa Ana, California, Anaheim, California, Islip, New York, Wichita, Kansas, St. Louis, Missouri, Tampa, Florida, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Ohio, Toledo, Ohio, Aurora, Colorado

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statues And Figurines ( 9 )


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Statues and figurines are small replicas of people or events that people use around their homes. Often you will find these items of no more than a foot tall and can sit on a table top or inside a kitchen window.  They become show pieces, heirlooms and reminders even of our childhoods.

Statues and figurines can be made of clay and were often set up to tell a story in the early days. They were hand carved in the early days to tell the story of a God, a mythical character or in later days the lives and struggles of the saints of the Catholic Church. Before written word carving of figurines depicting events were a way for people to chronology events in history. Whether it be Chariots going  across the sky or feeding Christians to the lions the events were captured in drawing and in figurine as far back as there is a story of man.

Through the ages, saint statues were carved to help us recall the person. It allowed a summary of their life to be put into a lifelike carving so that we can know their story. For example the depiction of Jesus hanging on a cross is a very common recollection. The story of Mother Seton is often told with her sitting teaching children. 

An addition to clay statues were often hand carved and painted from wood. It was not uncommon to see a nativity set carved out of driftwood or to see a hand carving of the three wise men. Often these carvings were out of olive wood because of how hard a wood it is and how well it come across as a wood carving. It also is a wood native to the holy land, rarely found outside of that region of the world. Finding olive wood nativities have become more common now, but years ago they were a rarity. In the United states it was more common to see Statues and Figurines carved from Oak or even drift wood. This made an interesting presentation. Some driftwood makes for rough edges giving each statue a more unique form. Beyond the hand carving, they are at times hand painted. Antique santas are  commonly seen carved from wood and hand painted in Red and gold for impact.

Resin has become the item of choice for the modern statue maker, although the days of hand molded statues are all but gone. Instead the statue makes pours the liquid resin into a mold that was designed to form the saint or the person he is trying to depict. The resin Is then molded into the form or shape and then oven carved or hand painted to form the person the statue is about. Resin make for a more lasting item because its less likely to break or chip.

Religious statues and figurines often provide a way to focus during prayer as well as add a great talking piece to any home. Often guests ask the about the statues. They are a great home décor item as well as a way to have spirit filled home.

Thanksgiving Decor ( 1 )

Thanksgiving is the first holiday of the season and usually a time when family and friends enjoy a very large meal centered on turkey. There are so many traditional items that go with the turkey, including stuffing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and yams with melted marshmallows and many more, as each family has their own recipes. Thanksgiving décor is part of the occasion. The cook may be responsible for the decorations or they may designate someone else, but the centerpiece of the feast table is the main decoration for Thanksgiving dinner.

 

One of the most popular Thanksgiving décor is the cornucopia. It symbolizes the life giving food, received from the earth, which is the first item to be thankful for. The pilgrims needed it for survival and the Native Americans gave it. Strategically placed in the middle of your table, this is usually made of woven straw but could be a plastic imitation. Small pumpkins, gourds, cranberries and grapes with red and green apples should fill the cornucopia and spill out in an attractive array on the table cloth. Dried leaves and flowers can be used to fill any gaps and artfully arranged so it looks attractive.

 

In most of the US the weather is cooling down by Thanksgiving and being outdoors is not always feasible. It is nice to bring into the home the vegetables and leaves that give us the vibrant reds, oranges and browns that typify the season. Garlands of autumn leaves is a favorite Thanksgiving décor. They can be threaded on yarn or string, with an occasional gold or silver sprayed leaf to add a special festive touch. These garlands can be strung over windows or wound around pillars. They are simple to make and add a lot of festive atmosphere.

 

If your Thanksgiving décor includes children, let them be a part of the fun. Instead of a table cloth, use butcher paper to cover your table. Let the children draw, with crayons, place mats, and name cards as well as some turkeys, pumpkins, corn and whatever they want. If this is successful, you can be bolder next year and buy a white table cloth and some acrylic paint. With or without guidance, let the children paint placemats, name cards and any other decorations they want including a beautiful center piece. When the paint dries it will be washable and can be used for many Thanksgivings to come. It could even become a family heirloom.

 

Place cards are something usually only used, in the home, at Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas. These could also be made by the children or they could be made by you. Place cards can be fun and taken home as a souvenir, for example, tiny pinecones could hold a slip of paper with a name on it or autumn leaves can have names written directly on them and glued to a folded piece of cardboard. Thanksgiving décor need not be as elaborate as Christmas time but it has a special cache that only comes once a year.

 

 

The History of Thanksgiving ( 0 )

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Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated mostly only in America and Canada. America celebrates Thanksgiving on every fourth Thursday of November and Canada celebrates Thanksgiving every second Monday in October. Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated by all as almost every work place will be shut down and in America and it is possible that some people will even get Thursday off and the follow Friday, Saturday and Sunday for an extended long weekend. Thanksgiving is also the start of what is called the holidays in which people will start getting prepared for Christmas.

Thanksgiving was brought about to celebrate the pilgrims who landed in Provincetown on the mayflower and then eventually settle in at Plymouth, Massachusetts for a new life. A year after long struggles of starvation and death from not having the proper resources things were starting to get better. The pilgrims have made a bond with the Native Americans who thought them a lot about how to live off the land.  Due to the friendship that was bonded and the food that has been harvest and hunted the pilgrims and the Native Americans sat down to a big feast that would soon become known as the holiday that we have been celebrating for over 300 years, Thanksgiving.

The pilgrims enjoyed many different foods and in an amount of food that was usually not available to them through the first very hard months of their finding of their new home. But through the warm months of the summer the pilgrims managed to stock pile enough food to get them through the winter that they decided to have the big Thanksgiving feast. When the Native Americans came together they combined their foods and had a feast that included at least five deer, bass, cod, turkey, water fowl, harvest that consisted of wheat, corn, barely, some peas and probably more. With plenty of food left over the men could now use their energy in strengthen their homes into better shelters to make it to the next winter.

The first Thanksgiving was really a celebration of knowing that the pilgrims were going to make it through the winter and many more. This was surely the stepping stone to the organization of the government the Mayflower compact and the stepping stone to organization in the colony. Soon after as the colony grew they would be able to start sending food back to England and start trading goods for other resources that the colony would need.

To America and Canada Thanksgiving means a day of feast to remember when and how are countries were founded. On Thanksgiving the traditional food that is served is of course Turkey, usually followed up with mash potatoes, corn, stuffing, and many other side dishes. For dessert; there are many different deserts that people will severe but the most famous desert for thanksgiving is probably pumpkin pie. Usually earlier in the day there will be a parade that will show Santa Clause off for the first time to get kids excited for Christmas and later in the day after all the food is eaten their will usually be some traditional football games on for the guys to watch.

 

The Vatican ( 0 )


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The Vatican is the geographical head of the Catholic Church. Its is 109 acres in the middle of Rome that is its own sovereign nation that is home to the Pope. The estimated population is 813 that live within the wall of the city state. And, the government is an ecclesiastical government with the Pope at the head of it. The Vatican was giving its sovereignty in 1929 and reaffirmed in 1984.

The history of the Vatican and it being the primary residence of the pope dates back to the 5th century. It was in the 5th century when Constantine had St Peter’s Basilica built.  Prior to this the pope lived in the Lateran Palace until the 14th century at the time of the Babylonian captivity in france. At that point the Papacy to Rome and the Vatican became home of the Pope. This is usually dated to 1377.

The Vatican is the keeper of the traditions of the Catholic Church as well. They set the liturgical policy for the church. This covers how the mass is celebrated; the words that are spoken. It has put for the missal for the readings of the church for the given day. It makes changes to improve the way things are done or clarify the existing ones. An example of this was the change Rome made in how extra ordinary ministers arrive at the altar during the distribution of communion. It was previously that they would approach and help the presiding priest and deacon pour the Precious Blood into the challises. Rome, as it is colloquially known changed the process to extra ordinary minister not approaching the altar until the priest had already readied the chalices and the patents. This is just one example of the changes that the Vatican can make.

The method of how a saint is selected was another process that was modified by Rome in more recent times. Pope John Paul canonized more Saints in recent history adding to the rich tapestry that makes up the Catholic Church.

The Vatican has one of the largest art collections in the world. And has the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michelangelo in 1508-1512,  which is one of the largest paintings in the history of man. The popes that ruled in the Renaissance time worked to amass one of the greatest collections. They built fine galleries for this art.  Additionally Pope Gregory XIII and Sixtus V dedicated to building the Vatican and built the Quirinal, which was a place for the pope. The popes lived there from 1870 to 1946. Presently its is now the royal palace of Italy and where the president of Italy now resides. 

The Vatican also have their own news agency and most all major events are cleared though the Vatican.  The Vatican also has huge library including the transcripts that date back to the Spanish Inquisition. It is believed that this library is one of the largest collections of ancient and medieval writings in may languages.  It has much history and tradition that it maintains within its walls.

 

Valentines Day Gifts ( 8 )

Although everyone knows of Valentine’s Day and most people participate by exchanging cards and notes and other tokens of affections, nobody is really clear on who St. Valentine was or the real history of St. Valentine’s Day.  In historical lore there were actually three saints named Valentine.  One thing that is clear however, is that Valentine’s Day is a part of Christian and roman traditions dating back centuries.

One popular legend in the history of St. Valentine’s Day has it that St. Valentine was a priest and when Emperor Claudius II outlawed the marriage of young men, believing that they were better soldiers when unmarried, St. Valentine continued to wed the young men secretly.  Apparently he was caught and ordered to be put to death. Another story has it that St. Valentine was the one who sent the first valentine while he was in person for having helped Christians escape from roman prisons.  It is said that he fell in love while in prison, probably with the gatekeeper’s daughter, and wrote her a letter before his death that he signed, from your Valentine.

There is also not complete agreement why or how the date of Valentine’s Day became February 14.  Some people who have studied the history of St. Valentine’s Day would have it that February 14 was the official date of the death of this St. Valentine.  There is also discussion that the Christians used this day to try to sway people away from the pagan ceremony called the Lupercalia feast.  This feast was practised in Rome and it was said to be a feast of fertility.  A goat was sacrificed and then the hide was dipped in blood and boys went through the streets slapping women and fields with it, which was said to promote their fertility.  There was also a practice of town bachelors putting their names into a pot, which were then withdrawn and said to lead to marriage.

Officially, Valentine’s Day was made to be February 14 around 498AD by Pope Gelasius, who also outlawed the feast of Lupercalia.  In Great Britain, the history of St. Valentine’s Day is a little bit different and the celebration is said to have started in the 17th century and it quickly spread to North America and other parts of the world.  Originally, handmade cards, letters and tokens were given on this day, which with the advent of the printing press because commercialized at the same time.  At the same time, other images such as hearts and cupids became associated with the event.

While there is dispute on the origins in the history of St. Valentine’s Day, there is no dispute that February 14 is a time for budding romance and coincides with the approach of spring.  There is nothing in history to suggest when chocolates started to be given as gifts, although flowers are very traditional as well.  In addition, as every school child has experienced, Valentine’s cards are readily exchanged, and sometimes a pot full of names is used to determine who exchanges cards with whom.

Wall Rosaries ( 0 )

A wall rosary is a devotional as well as a decorative statement. It shows, for all to see, that you are a member of the Catholic Church and participate in the devotion of the rosary. It is a very large version of smaller hand rosaries that can be hung on a wall. It can be artfully hung and make a beautiful impression and some wall rosaries have beautiful beads and medals that are works of art. It is usually arranged so that all the beads as well as the crucifix and any other medal are displayed.

 

These large rosaries are usually 40 to 80 inches long depending on the number of decades, or sets of beads it has. The beads in a wall rosary can be made out of the same material as a hand held rosary including wood, glass, ceramic and plastic. The beads can be round, oval or cube shaped. There are even glow in the dark wall rosaries that you can see in the night when the lights are off. The whole rosary is much larger with larger beads and medals.

 

Some wall rosaries are very artistically designed and handmade so they are unique. They have a wooden San Damiano Crucifix, which is in itself unusual, and teardrop shaped beads, among other shapes, that are made out of lamp work glass with gold highlights or possibly a papal crucifix with pink Murano glass with gold detail. Some of the beads are exquisite such as cobalt blue Murano, cherry quartz, smoked and turquoise Murano glass as well as aqua barrel glass with a silver detail. If you can hang it where the sun light shines on it, the colors will dazzle you. A wall rosary like this is more expensive, but really worth it because it is like hanging a piece of jewelry on your wall.

 

There is a wall rosary that is stoneware, with each bead and medal carved to your choice. Each bead is carved with the image of Mary and the center piece can be of a saint of your choice including; Our Lady of Lourdes, Divino Nino, Sacred Heart, Lady of Grace, Saint Jude, Diving Mercy and Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is a very unique piece and looks almost like an ancient relic. In your home it will be a center piece and the beginning of many conversations. Another carved rosary is ozolyte. Each bead is carved and the crucifix is very unusual. It is very tasteful and delicate for a neutral colored room.

 

It is also possible to find online instructions on how to make a wall rosary for your own home or as a gift. You will need strong cord, 49 beads that are 1.8 cm diameter and a crucifix. These home made rosaries are usually made with wooden beads and crucifix and any other saint medal you want, but if you follow the directions, you could make it out of any beads and crucifixes you choose. This would be the truly unique rosary and would make a wonderful gift for the right person.

Wooden Rosaries ( 6 )


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Wooden Rosaries have a long history of being a beautiful heirloom type rosary for primarily a man to carry with them.  It is common that the rosaries are brown black Its often to find them carved and made into a specialty rosary. Through time, wood was the primary material rosaries were constructed of. They were easy to whittle into small beads to make into the rosaries.

 

Often wood rosaries are also associated with the Franciscan Rosary. It is constructed of wood beads and is far larger than a regular rosary with 15 decades of beads forming the rosary as opposed to the standard 5. Often you will see Franciscan father’s or monks carrying these rosaries on their belts and they are far longer than a standard wood rosary, with its length often being over 45 inches or four feet.  The wood beads are often tied together with large jute like rope. The twine has beads and many knots tied together to form the rosary. The have fancy knots made to support each bead and keep them separate.

 

Children’s rosaries are often made out of large bead wood. They are strung together with rope or string and painted with bright paint making them very safe for children because of their large beads, that children cannot choke on. With non-toxic paint they make for the perfect solution for children to learn the rosary at an early age but without the safety hazards a standard bead rosary would present.

 

Carved wood bead on a rosary are also a unique expression of faith and a great gift idea for a man. There are many different type carvings in each bead. And in the early centuries, the beads were hand carved to display a rose. Sometimes now you will find that the bead is carved with ornate circles. They are then strung together with a light metal loop to tie all the beads together.  These wood beads are at time soaked in a rose aroma oil to make the beads have a lasting scent of rose, the flower most often associated with the Blessed Mother. These rosaries are  seem to keep their fragrance.

 

Finger rosaries are often made of a wood bead because they can be smaller. A finger rosary is a one decade rosary that has a smaller cross that can be carried in your pocket. The bead makes a more durable rosary and are often constructed with a a rope or Jute twine.  Men and women both often carry these rosaries.  They too retain their rose smell and often are a great gift idea for birthday or  maybe even a stocking stuffer. They are small enough to carry in a wallet or a purse.

 

Wooden rosaries are one of the most lasting symbols of the rosary. They were one of the first types of rosaries and have lasted though the centuries as an enduring symbol. They are long lasing and durable for every day use and can also be ornate for special occasions or gifts especially for boys and men.