Thursday, January 31, 2008

The History of Murano Rosaries

A Murano Rosary has is a wonderful design that has an old world Italian charm. But the Murano Rosary is steeped in old world history. Murano Italy, is a suburb of Venice has long set the world standard for glasswork and beads, including Murano Rosary Beads. Murano Italy has become the glassword capital of the world. Murano Beads came to being in the the 9th century. Though teh ages the innoavative crafstmanship has changed to reflect the times the beads were produced giving a percepctive of their long history.

Murano came to prominance because it is large port city and along with Venice, glass became a trading staple, often with its is Asian and African neighbors. This was one of the earliest uses and stories was about how glass was blown into the shape of bottles dating back as far as 1083 and elevated to the glass capital of the world in the 13th century.

In the 1930s there was a distinctive shift in Murano Glass, lead by Ermanno Toso. He changed the focus of the items made to a more modern theme. Murano glass and the island itself has withstood the test of two world wars, and in the 40s was reinvigorated post World War II, making the 1950s one of the more artistically memorable sets of years. Among the artist techniques employed, glass blowers used the technique called filigrana, where the glass blower takes the glass blowing pipe and roll over the canes of glass each a unique striping for the bead. Some beads are straight striped, some are spiral and may then be shaped into balls and teardrop shapes. In modern times the glass created though the 1950s is considered one of the most sought after.

In the late 20th century, the problem of counterfeiting Murano Glass entered the market. Asia was making replicas of the glassware, vases and millefiore, a process where buy an image is placed into the glass rod itself and then becoming part of the blown bead, Prior to 1849, it was called mosaic. Millefiori in Murano beads always contain a very distinctive flower pattern.

In response the Promovetro, or glassmakers consortium, came up with a Murano trademark, a lilac sticker that displays a cana de soffio or glass blowers pipe and the Italian words, Artistic Glass Murano so that it is difficult to copy. This was registered with the European Union.

In 2003 it was necessary for the city of Venice to once again make a new Trademark designed by the French artist, Mathieu Thibautto. This allowed for Murano glass stay exclusive and making counterfeits lacking in the quality and history that Murano glass beads have come to represent.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quick Review on Sacrements

As a Catholic you will often hear that the Church is a sacremental church. And as a cradle Catholic I had each sacrements bestowed on me as I grew. Now being taught by nuns, I am not sure if it got truncated view or what but I have had to do alot of learning about each sacrement. One thing I did learn is this, all seven sacrements call be tracted to Jesus himself. I found that to be an awesome piece of information.

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

A Christian and in turn a Catholic Baptism must be Trinitarian in form. So what does that mean. What it means is the first sacrement, Baptism must be done In the name of the Father, In the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is the sacrement of water and starts with God and the first person of the Trinity. er. Jesus himself was Baptized by John the Baptist and was submerged into the Jordan River. Jesus had a Trinitarian Baptism. The symbolism of the water is used to wash away original sin, sin that was commited by Adam and Eve in the garden of eden. This sacrement is the basic tenent of all christian religious with the exclusion of a few. The baptisms that are not recognized are not Trinitarian in form. Amoung unrecognized baptism are Morman, Unitarian, and Jehova's Witnesss.

The second Sacrement is Reconcilation. You may also hear it refered to as penance. It is probabally the most over looked sacrement. And maybe the most ridiculed. I often here from converts that it was one of he hardest concepts for them to 'get'. In recent years this sacrement has made a huge come back thanks the the urging of Pope John Paul II. The Pope relevated in recent years from when Vatican II it advocated the use of the sacrement for mortal sin. The Church does ask you go once a year.

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

The Fourth Sacrement 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 persons life in the church.

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

The Sixth Sacrement is Holy Orders. This is the sacrement that people entering religious life participate in.

The Seventh and final Sacrement is Annointing of the Sick. This sacrement has evolved some again with the help of Pope John Paul II. He opened this sacrement 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 annointed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What's in the Name of Jesus

This week I was given a task to teach on 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.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Basic Introduction for our Rosary Religious Gift Site. Why we set this up.

I'm a 41 year old cradle catholic. I grew up attending 12 years of catholic school and wanted desperately to go to Seton Hall for college. Bad grades and a messed up financial aid system found me attending a NJ State School. It all worked out in the end as all things do with the Lord.

Even though college and my early 20s, I always tried to make sure the Lord was in my life and I tried to make a point to attend mass. I wasn't always sucessful where i often had to work during when mass was scheduled. Eventually I got a normal job and returned to being a Sunday pew potato. You know the person that is there every Sunday but never participated past that mass. The churches are full of pew potatoes.

About four years ago life has stablized for me and one Sunday morning I had gone to 7:30 mass and the deacon was giving the homily on stewardship. I will say you could tell that they Holy Spirit had taken the situation well into hand. It was so clear. As he finished he said and now there is an opportunity the RCIA needs sponsors. So the rest as they say is history.

I have found that although i went to 12 years of catholic school, I was wildly under educated in my faith. At first i thought it was because I must of slept thought theology because after all it was always our first class of the day. But as i got more into parrish life i found that I infact didn't sleep thought it and even Pope John Paul II said there was a whole generation of post Vatican II catholics that were not properly catechisised. And I was part of that generation.

So I've been on a journey of sorts to educate myself in my faith. I continue to work with the RCIA. I have switched parishes and there is a huge religious education program at my new parish. Infact they have built and entire online mp3 download catalogue of the lectures they have. I'm fortunate that our parish is well off enough to employ a full time adult education director.

Now while on this journey, I did forget the part that I moved to Texas and there was very few places to buy catholic religious articles, rosaries, or even Catholic Bibles. For the first several years I just thought it was a Texas thing. But my customers have told me that they too have trouble finding local stores that carry large selections of statues or other religious gifts. I often now use the internet to find the book or the inspirational decor for my home.

So that's when I had the idea for our website. I was rapidly learning that I was not the only one who couldn't find a religious store. My customers also tell me that as well. I am continuing to find unique religious gifts for our site. And in the mean time i'm going to be adding stuff as I learn it to in hopes to help others in my boat who just don't know.