Archives for June 2010

Catholic Military Gifts

We all owe anybody who has served time for our country more than we could ever offer. If you have a loved one who has given their time and effort to protect our country’s freedom than they certainly deserve a nice gift from you. Whether you are shopping for a father, mother, son daughter, or friend you cannot go wrong with piece of Catholic military jewelry. There is quite a variety of different Catholic military gifts to wear that honors our troops. Jewelry for the Navy, the Army, the National Guard, the Coast Guard, the Marines, and the Air Force are all available in many different forms and makes. Options for these different divisions of national protection include dog tags, crucifixes, Miraculous medals, and patron saint medals. If you choose to get your loved one a medallion the piece can definitely be engraved to add a nice touch to the gift and make it unique to its owner.

A very nice gift choice that your loved one will absolutely cherish is a walnut crucifix. They make these crucifixes specialized for the Marines, the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force. The crucifix is wooden and was hand carved and made special for this purpose. On top of the wooden cross lays a sterling silver version of Jesus. The detail that went in to the creation of the sterling silver Jesus is outstanding and really adds to the beauty of the piece. The medallion on the cross underneath Christ is what makes this a great gift for somebody who has served time. The sterling silver medals that are on these crosses are made with the crest of whatever military division you would like on there out of the options stated above. This really adds to the meaning of this crucifix and can be a big deal for somebody who has served time.

Any patron saint medal always makes for an excellent gift when you are shopping for anybody. The thing is that you aren’t just shopping for anybody though, you are shopping for a very important person who risked their life to defend a country. That is why there are only two patron saint medals you should consider for anybody who has served time for our country. Saint Michael and Saint Christopher both have medals with their image on them that are specifically made for somebody who was in the armed forces. Are you wondering why Saint Michael and Saint Christopher? Well, let me clear that all up for you. Saint Michael was the archangel who took a leadership role for heaven when Satan attacked and tried to wreak havoc all over them. Heaven, of course, was victorious in their endeavors and fought them off. This is why Saint Michael is known as the great protector. Saint Christopher unknowingly carried Christ through a very dangerous river to safety. Christopher helped a small boy, who he did not know at all cross a river. He carried the boy and felt an unreal weight on his shoulders. This was later revealed to be the weight of all the world and its troubles, also known as what Jesus feels every day. Jesus told Christopher who he was when they crossed the river and disappeared immediately. Any member of the armed forces is out there bearing the weight of our country on their back every day they are away from home. This is similar to Saint Christopher so that is why he is also a great patron saint medal to pick up for somebody who has served.

Miraculous medals are always very beautiful, and are special to receive in any situation. The specialized military Miraculous medals are no exception to that rule either. With several different versions of this medal to choose from you can pick out a medal that best suits your loved one. All of military Miraculous medals feature some form of red, white, and blue and can be engraved if you so wish.

These products are all excellent ideas for a gift and you should not hesitate to get one for your loved one who has served time for our great country. This article should help you on your way to finding the perfect gift for whoever you happen to be shopping for. If you didn’t find something here, a site that has a great military gifts section is The Catholic Gift Shop.

Rosary Beads: Choosing the Right Ones for You

Rosary beads and rosaries are made for various reasons. Some are just made as plain rosary beads for those who wish to have a regular set of them, while some others are made for specific purposes. Many rosaries are made because they are intended to be given as a gift for a certain occasion, like the celebration of an important sacrament in a person’s life. Some others are made in remembrance of Mary, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or a special patron saint. Also, you can find rosary beads that are made specifically for women or men. A popular rosary set made for women are the numerous different versions of bracelet rosary beads that are out there right now. No matter what the case may be there is one thing that is for sure, which would be that there is a rosary out there for everybody. If you are unsure of which set might suit you, there are many different options to consider.

Rosary beads that are made in honor of patron saints can be a great choice to consider when shopping for yourself or somebody else. You can always get them a set made after the patron saint they share their name with, or you could get them one made for their favorite saint if you know theirs. A prime example of a patron saint with her own rosary set would be Saint Anne. Saint Anne was married to a man named Joachim, and their marriage had been a long one. The only issue for them was that they had never produced any children, and this saddened them because they wanted so badly to have one. They endured much ridicule from people in their town for their troubles as well. Mary and Joachim got news from an angel one day that they would be having a child, which they would. Their child was a girl by the name of Mary. And yes, this is THE Mary we all know, the mother of Christ. Mary would be raised by Joachim and Anne to love the Church and lead a religious lifestyle. Saint Anne’s rosary set is gorgeous, it consists of blue beads all the way around and a silver cross and chain. Mary is featured with Anne on a medal on the rosary to show that it was made in her honor. This is a great example of a patron saint with a wonderful life story who has her own rosary. There are a plethora of saints just like Anne who have their own medals, so you just have to get out there and look for them.

If somebody you know and love is receiving a sacrament of the Church, a great gift idea would be to get them a set of rosary beads that have to do with the sacrament. This is definitely a thoughtful gift that they will appreciate. There are rosary sets for Baptisms, Reconciliations, First Holy Communions, and Confirmations. A gift that would be great for a First Holy Communion would be a rosary set that comes inside of a Holy Communion Box. The beads themselves are black with a silver chain. The chaplet medal includes a visual of the Eucharist and the goblet of wine that are used at Mass, and the entire rosary set comes in a beautiful wooden box. This is just one of many rosary sets created specifically for different sacraments.

The last kind of rosary set that I will give you a heads up on would be the bracelet rosaries I mentioned earlier. These make great gifts for women, and can be worn casually or out to an important ceremony. They come in many different forms and can be very flashy or very plain. Three particular types that come up a lot are pearl rosary bracelets, sterling silver rosary bracelets, and a combination of the two. The pearl bracelets are sophisticated and may be a bit much if the woman you are shopping for isn’t into getting all dressed up. The sterling silver one is very plain and could be worn by anybody on a more daily basis. The last set, being a mixture of the other two, is like an hybrid that really works all the time no matter the situation. So no matter who you are shopping for, you should be able to find at least one set of these bracelet rosaries that fits into what you want.

Now this list is surely not the be all, end all for rosaries, but it makes a good start. Hopefully you have found something you liked after reading all of this, and if not then it was still a good start to show you what you may have been neglecting when thinking about rosaries. Now get out there and find that perfect set of rosary beads!

Celtic Gifts for All Ages

Looking for a great gift to give that will be great at anytime of the year for literally anybody? Well, the gift you are looking for is definitely a Celtic gift. Whether you are shopping for the parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, kids, or family friends they will be grateful to receive a Celtic gift without a doubt. There are many different kinds of Celtic gifts to choose from so it can sometimes to be difficult to determine which Celtic gifts will be good for who. This shouldn’t be something to stop you from buying Celtic gifts though because with a little help you will be able to find that perfect gift for whoever you are shopping for. Here are four ideas to get you started when searching for a Celtic gift for your loved ones.

1.) Gold Frosted Celtic Rosary – The only age group that this gorgeous rosary set would not be ideal for would be young children, simply because it is too delicate and nice for them to be trusted with or appreciate. For anybody else this rosary would surely make an awesome gift. The beads on the rosary are bright green and the chain and rest of the rosary are gold. Saint Patrick is featured on the chaplet piece of this rosary, and the usual Irish/Celtic icon of the hands holding a heart are also seen. The cross on the end of the rosary is gold and has much detail involved in it making this piece so awesome.

2.) Boys/Girls Shamrock Cross – Seeing as the Gold Frosted Celtic Rosary would not be a good idea for a younger child, if you are shopping for them you still need a good gift idea. This shamrock cross would make a great present for either a young girl or boy. There are two versions of this cross for whichever of the two you are shopping for. The cross itself is white with green patterns and shamrocks decorating it. On the center of the cross there is a girl, or boy, kneeling in prayer made out of silver. This piece would go great in any child’s room as a decoration on either a wall or a shelf.

3.) Cherry and Gold Celtic Crucifix – This piece is made of very nice cherry colored wood. Over the top of the wood there is a golden piece full of Celtic designs. These designs really add to the true beauty of this piece. The final touch on this great piece is the silver Christ that lays on the top of the crucifix. The combination of the colored wood, silver, and gold really make this piece a worthwhile addition to anybody’s home. This would make a great gift for a grandparent or parent.

4.) Saint Patrick Key Ring – If somebody you know loves Saint Patrick or is extremely Irish than this keyring is for them. Unlike the rest of the gifts that are on this list this keyring can really be given to a person of any age group or gender. A kid would love to get this as a gift because it is cool, and an older person would love this too because of Saint Patrick and the Irish heritage that lays behind this piece. Saint Patrick is shown on the key ring of this chain and it is well decorated with shamrocks as well. This is the most versatile gift on this list and you should really consider getting it for anybody that you know.

Eucharist Is Not Understood, Laments Pope : Says Well-Celebrated Mass Is Best Catechesis

I was interested to find that Pope Benedict XVI has been speaking at a convention in at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the convention is called the ecclesial convention of the Diocese of Rome. The main point of the three day long affair has been said by the Pope to be, “‘If They Opened Their Eyes, They Would Recognize Him and Proclaim Him.’ The Sunday Eucharist Is the Testimony of Charity”. Apparently the Pope believes that many Catholics do not truly understand that great sacrament of the Eucharist, and what it truly should mean to all of us Catholics. This article found over on took the translation of the Pope’s address and changed it into terms more simple for us to comprehend. It is a worthwhile read so check it out and let me know what your thoughts are!

ROME, JUNE 17, 2010 ( The doctrine of the Eucharist — and its relevance for believers — is not sufficiently understood and must be a catechetical priority, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this Wednesday when he went to the Basilica of St. John Lateran to address participants at the convention for the Diocese of Rome.

The Holy Father told his diocese that a “more profound knowledge of the mystery of the Body and Blood of the Lord” is a necessity for the communities of Rome.

“At the same time,” he added, “in the missionary spirit that we wish to nourish, it is necessary to spread the commitment to proclaim such Eucharistic faith, so that every man will encounter Jesus Christ who has revealed the ‘close’ God, friend of humanity, and to witness it with an eloquent life of charity.”

The Pontiff went on to give a reflection on the Eucharistic mystery, considering Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary and how it is memorialized. He acknowledged that “sacrifice” is no longer a popular word.

“However, properly understood,” he said, “[sacrifice] is and remains fundamental, because it reveals to us with what love God loves us in Christ.”

Entering a reality

Benedict XVI affirmed that Mass itself, “celebrated in the respect of the liturgical norms and with a fitting appreciation of the richness of the signs and gestures,” fosters and promotes Eucharistic faith.

“In the Eucharistic celebration,” he said, “we do not invent something, but we enter into a reality that precedes us, more than that, which embraces heaven and earth and, hence, also the past, the future and the present. This universal openness, this encounter with all the sons and daughters of God is the grandeur of the Eucharist: We go to meet the reality of God present in the body and blood of the Risen One among us.”

It is because of this, the Holy Father affirmed, that liturgical prescriptions are not mere “external things” but “express concretely this reality of the revelation of the body and blood of Christ.”

Hence, he contended, the best catechesis on the Eucharist is the Eucharist itself, well celebrated.

Individual altars

Later in his address, the Bishop of Rome noted how the Eucharistic celebration must lead to charity.

“Feeding on him we are freed from the bonds of individualism and, through communion with him, we ourselves become, together, one thing, his Mystical Body,” he said. This surmounts the differences of profession, class and nationality to form “one great family, that of the children of God.”

“When we receive Christ,” the Pope added, “the love of God expands in our innermost self, modifies our heart radically and makes us capable of gestures that, by the expansive force of good, can transform the life of those that are next to us. […] A celebrated Eucharist imposes on us and at the same time renders us capable of becoming, in our turn, bread broken for brothers, coming to meet their needs and giving ourselves.

“Because of this, a Eucharistic celebration that does not lead to meet men where they live, work and suffer, to take to them the love of God, does not manifest the love it encloses. To be faithful to the mystery that is celebrated on the altars we must, as the Apostle Paul exhorts us, offer our bodies, ourselves, in spiritual sacrifice pleasing to God in those circumstances that require dying to our ‘I’ and constitute our daily ‘altar.'”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

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Catholic Jewelry That Even Men Will Love

You are looking to pick up a nice gift for a man in your life, and you cannot possibly think of anything that he would like to receive. Well, no matter the affair may be there is a quality present that you can give to a man of any age that he will love. This gift would be a nice piece of men’s Catholic jewelry. While this can be a great gift for any man you need to keep in mind that there are some pieces of men’s Catholic jewelry that will be much better than others for certain people. This is where the following list can become very handy. It is full of jewelry that any man would love to wear and will certainly cherish for many years to come. So let this list aid you on your search to find that perfect gift for the man in your life.

1.) Saint Michael Medal – Saint Michael is one of the best known and most beloved patron saints out there. That is why his medal would certainly be a thoughtful gift to give. Saint Michael is known as the great protector because he led heaven against the devil when he threatened the safety of heaven. This is why many Saint Michael has numerous patron saint medals in his honor instead of just one. It makes complete sense that medals for the Navy, the Marines, the Coast Guard, the Army, and the Air Force all have images of Saint Michael on them. This medal would be a great gift for any man, but would certainly hold more value for somebody who has served time for our country. Engraving this medal would also be a great call so you can make it a one of a kind piece.

2.) Saint Christopher Medal – Does the man that you’re shopping for love sports? If so, a nice Saint Christopher patron saint medal may be just the gift for you to give. Saint Christopher is featured on multiple different patron saint medals, but the most popular of them all are the sports medals. These medals include sports such as hockey, tennis, soccer, golf, and basketball. So if the man you are shopping for is a sports enthusiast Saint Christopher would be a sweet medal for you to purchase. Also, if the man you are shopping for does not really like sports that much you can still get him a patron saint medal of Saint Christopher. There are also many different forms of his medals that do not incorporate sports at all. Overall, Saint Christopher medals are very popular and there is surely one that you can find that would make that ideal gift you have been looking for.

3.) Men’s Gage Cross – This cross is very stylish and may be a bit too much for some conservative older men. However, if your shopping for a youngster this cross is exactly what you have been looking for. It is made of sterling silver and is very intricate in its design. Younger men will definitely enjoy this medal because of how cool it looks, and it is something they can wear any day with any sort of clothing.

4.) Eastern Crucifix – This crucifix would make a great gift for a man that is very religious. This crucifix has much more meaning behind it than the everyday crucifix you tend to see. Jesus is shown on the cross on this medal, and it has a head and foot rest attached to it. The foot rest looks like it has been altered from its original state, and this is because when Jesus was really on the cross he was in so much agony that he moved the foot rest in his struggles. A fun fact to share with the person who is receiving this gift is that the foot rest is moved towards the left because that is the side of Jesus that the one criminal who asked Jesus to remember him when he reached heaven was. The detail in this piece will without a doubt amaze a truly religious man and make for a top gift.

Harry Potter – New Theme Park Set to Open

Today I was reading a nice article over in the Yahoo News section about the brand new Harry Potter theme park that is set to open this month in Orlando, Florida. Dubbed “The Wizarding World” the park is starting off as a new section of Universal Studios, and it holds three Potter-themed rides. The rides are set to be called the Flight of the Hippogriff, the Dragon Challenge, and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Along with these attractions there are also various shops, based off places found in the novels, that will be open for the public to enter and enjoy. The Hogwarts Express, Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeyduke’s, the Owl Post Office, The Three Broomsticks, and Hogwarts itself are all featured in the new parks attempts to recreate the Harry Potter world. Any avid Potter fan would be more than thrilled to get the chance to visit this park, as it sounds like Universal has worked extraordinarily hard on this project.

All things about the park aside, what really drew my interest was a stream of comments that had turned into a big debate. One commenter was claiming that, “Harry Potter is about a world of black magic, spells, witches, wizards, demons, etc. EVERYTHING the Bible clearly tells us to stay away from. Why would anyone want to give their money to something like this?”. I had to laugh out loud when I read this. The Harry Potter series is a children/teen book series and has nothing to do with anything evil. J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, is a Christian, who would surely never produce anything that would go completely against her faith like this ridiculous commenter claimed. The responses to this comment were, of course, absolutely hilarious. One commenter asked if the person who was against the Potter series if, “she would like to go find a witch to burn?”. This whole conversation got me thinking though, had I been overlooking something in Harry Potter? Was it really somewhat sacrilegious to be reading and thoroughly enjoying these books? The answer I came up with was absolutely not.

I have read the entire Potter series, and will admit that I have even re-read them all. Yes, I’m a nerd let it go. Anyway, the underlying theme is every single one of the seven novels ends up being the triumph of good over evil. Harry sacrifices himself at the end of the series for his friends and the rest of the wizarding world. Hmmm sound familiar to anybody out there? I’m not even close to saying Harry Potter is a Christ-like figure so don’t go off on that tangent with me. I’m just saying that there are similarities to be drawn that can teach some of the same lessons as the Bible. Some other things that Harry does over the course of the series are make friends, try to pass some classes at a school, and deal with people who don’t like him. Sounds like a regular kids or teen book to me. Oh wait, let’s not forget that these books are fictional! They never claim to be real, and they are intended to be a fantasy series that feeds your imagination. Nowhere in the series is a step-by-step program given out on how to do black magic, or how to worship the devil.

Another little tidbit to share here, there have been other great authors in the past who have referenced magic, sorcery, and witches too. Are they all supposed to be Satan-worshipers like the commenter claims Rowling is? William Shakespeare often eluded to magic and witches in his work, and based Romeo and Juliet off of Roman mythology. J.R.R. Tolkien had a wizard as a main character in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. Another children’s book, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis has a witch as a central character in it as well. Does the inclusion of magic, wizards, and witches by these authors place them amongst the “Satan-worshiping”, “Black Magic” ranks of J.K. Rowling?

It shocked me to see such ridiculous individuals out there calling arguably one of the best children’s book series of all time something that is against the Bible. The book never once teaches anybody how to do evil things, it is a fictional work, and it has a central theme of good vs. evil. On top of that it got kids, teens, and adults alike all to gain an interest in reading, and with all the new electronics and other distractions today that is not an easy task to accomplish.

Seamus O’Reilly is a featured author at the best online store for all your Catholic needs, The Catholic Gift Shop. At the store you will find patron saint medals, Catholic rosaries, Confirmation, Christening, and Baptism gifts for anybody you know. However, The Catholic Gift Shop is not only limited to these items they have much, much more to offer as well. The Catholic Gift Shop is the site to visit for all of your religious needs!

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Women’s Catholic Jewelry You Should Buy!

Finding the right gift for a woman in your life can be a difficult task to accomplish. Whether it be for her birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or some other kind of celebration, you don’t want to be lame and be one of the crowd giving somebody you care about an envelope with a card and some money inside. Sure this isn’t the worst gift ever, but is it really the best you can do? If you know that the woman you are shopping for is religious, why not consider some really nice Catholic jewelry. Women tend to really like jewelry, and if she is Catholic then you are in luck. What kind of women’s Catholic jewelry should I be getting for her? Well that is where a few pointers will come in handy, and lucky for you I’ve got a handful of them right now.

1.) Saint Christopher Patron Saint Medal – While Saint Christopher is a man, he still can be one of the favorite patron saints of women as well. Saint Christopher’s medal would be an awesome one to get if you have an athletic girl that you are shopping for. Saint Christopher is the patron saint of athletes so he has medals that are made for girls who play volleyball, basketball, figure skating, gymnastics, and cheer leading. His medals are very popular amongst athletes.

2.) Sterling Silver Motherhood Four Way Necklace – If you are shopping for a mother than you’re in luck because this sterling silver medal would make a sweet gift for any mom, on any occasion. There is a cross and in the center inside of a circle is Mary. You cannot see features of her but she is there. On the four points of the cross there are also images of Mary. The mother who receives this medal will definitely love it because of the meaning behind the necklace and for its beauty. This gift is a obvious choice when shopping for a mother.

3.) 14 KT Heart and Cross Charm – To start things off, this medal comes in a pre-packaged box that is perfect for giving a gift; all you will need is a bow or a small amount of wrapping paper to throw on that box and you are in gift giving mode. This medal would make a great gift for any woman because it is shaped like a heart and it has a cross on the inside of the heart. So it has a feminine touch but is still religious. This piece of jewelry is not too flashy, but is also still nice enough to be worn out to Mass or dinner.

4.) Angel With Open Heart Necklace – This medal features a sterling silver heart that holds a young girl guardian angel inside of it. This would be an awesome Confirmation or Communion gift, and for that matter you could just give it to a loved one for no apparent reason. Any young girl will be sure to cherish this piece because of the young guardian angel that is on it. Even an adult may enjoy this necklace as well.

5.) Victorian Crucifix – This necklace is not another typical crucifix that you find anywhere. It is made of sterling silver and is very complex in its design. The cross itself has a very complex pattern that really makes this piece unique, and on top of that you can see a lot of different details about Jesus that most other crucifixes simply would not have. This piece is a lot different from many crucifixes and that is why is would make a great gift.

Some of the Best Catholic Jewelry Boxes

Have you been putting your treasured items into a desk drawer or leaving them out in the open? This might be something that is unwise to keep doing. The solution to all of your problems could be a jewelry box. Jewelry boxes come in many different shapes, sizes, and makes. A particular favorite though has been Catholic jewelry boxes that depict scenes from the Bible. Many of these Catholic jewelry boxes also have God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit shown on the front of them. They tend to play some kind of music you would hear from Church when you open them, and they can be nice to own or give as a gift to a loved one. Now that you know all about these boxes you have a lot of options to consider before you actually purchase one. Here are some ideas that might help you on your way.

1.) Guardian Angel Jewelry Box – If you need to give a Baptism, Communion, or Confirmation gift to give a loved one you should really consider getting them a Guardian Angel Jewelry Box. The box would work as a gift to any loved one, but a child about to receive a religious sacrament would be best because of the intricate scene that inhabits the front side of the box. Surrounded by golden trim, the scene shows two young children who look scared trying to cross a very old, unstable bridge. The bridge is over a big waterfall and the children look to be in grave danger, but floating above them is their guardian angel. This scene is truly heartwarming and comforting.

2.) Ecce Homo Jewelry Box – The Ecce Homo Jewelry Box has a great velvet inside that will take care of all of your favorite belongings you plan on keeping safe in there. Extremely fragile objects will be completely safe inside of the jewelry box so you can rest at ease. It is made out of the finest oak and has a nice finish on the outside. The top of the box is the best part because of the beautiful picture that is there. Jesus is on the front with a crown of thorns on his head. This was right before he was put on the cross and he is in deep suffering. He is looking upwards though trusting God that this is what needed to happen. It is truly a stunning scene. When the box is opened you will be able to listen to “Ave Maria”.

3.) Immaculate Conception Jewelry Box – This is another musical box and is also filled with the softest velvet to keep your valuables safe. A mother would be glad to receive this for a gift on either Mother’s Day or after she has a child. The Virgin Mary is on the front of this box and she is surrounded by children. This signifies her as the Mother of all Catholics, and she is on a cloud in the picture showing that she looks over all of life.

4.) Holy Family Jewelry Box – The Holy Family Jewelry Box would make a really awesome gift for new parents or a couple being married. The scene on the front has Jesus, Mary, and Joseph on it all in prayer. Their heads are surrounded by halos and they all look extraordinarily tranquil and calm. Joseph has a large number of flowers held in his left hand, and in front of Jesus there are more flowers. Jesus is a young child in this picture, which is another reason why this box is so great. There are not too many depictions of Jesus as a young child, most are just him as a baby or him as an adult. This box plays music when it is opened, and is truly a great jewelry box.

History of the Miraculous Medal

Saint Catherine Laboure was shown the plannings for the Miraculous Medal, also called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception, through one of the many holy visions that she had a on regular basis. The particular vision that brought the world the Miraculous Medal took place in Paris, France in the year 1830.

The visions that Saint Catherine saw on such a frequent basis were typically of different saints or of God. She even sometimes saw Jesus, but that was on a less regular basis than the other visions she received. In 1830, Saint Catherine saw Mary for the very first time though and this is the vision that brought us the Miraculous Medal.

The Virgin Mary appeared to Saint Catherine with a white sphere at her feet and a hand covered in rings made of beautiful jewels. These jewels were shining extraordinarily bright and it was truly a sight to see. Mary talked to Catherine saying that the shining lights were all the people who had asked Mary for help through prayer. Mary said that those who asked her for help would receive the grace they needed to be successful in their endeavors. However, some of the stones seemed to not be shining, and Mary explained the reason behind this. She told Catherine that all the people in the world who were suffering and not asking Mary for grace or help were represented by the jewels that were dull and not shining at all. An oval of bright light then encompassed Mary and lettering appeared in the air underneath her. It said, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you”. Mary made sure to state to Catherine that she wished for a medal to be made in this image that Catherine had in front of her. Mary’s intentions were that people would be reminded by the medal to pray to her and ask her for grace.

The Virgin Mary then disappeared and Catherine was left by her lonesome. Catherine saw an image on a table in the room though, and she quickly hurried over to see it. On the table she saw a large M with a cross through it, and below that there were two hearts. These two hearts are the hearts of Jesus and his mother Mary. This image is where the backside of the Miraculous Medal comes from.

Mary wanted herself in the image that she chose to be on the front side of the medal because she just wanted to have a way to get more people to pray to her and ask for grace. Mary just wanted to help people live their lives with as much grace and dignity as possible.

Saint Catherine did just as Mary instructed her to do. She had the medal made with the back as what she saw after Mary had departed, and the front as the image of Mary she had ingrained into her mind. The medal began being sold to the masses and more people became mindful of praying to Mary.

Pope Pius XII found it fitting that Catherine be canonized for bringing the Miraculous Medal to everybody. This took place in July of 1947.

Religious Wedding Gifts You Should Know About

Ever have problems trying to pick out an appropriate wedding gift for the couple, the bride, the groom, or anybody else involved in a wedding? Many people have before, so if you’re searching for some answers you may want to look into a religious wedding gift. Going with a religious wedding gift can really show that you care about the couple and their future together. What is meant by a religious wedding gift? You might want to try out a couple of these ideas because they are sure to be loved by whoever receives them.

1.) Rose Quartz Rosary Wrap Bracelet – The best person to give this gift to would be a bridesmaid, the bride herself, or a mother because it is very feminine. This bracelet is made of light pink quartz beads and golden beads with a cross on the end. It is indeed a rosary but it can be worn around the wrist, and would be a perfect accessory for Sunday mass. A gift box is included in the price of this piece and serves the purpose of storing this great bracelet when your loved one is not wearing it.

2.) Tree of Life Crucifix – This gift could be appropriate for many different people. It would be best suited to give to a father, groom, or best man though. This piece is made of sterling silver and is a necklace that the owner will be sure to love. Instead of a traditional cross with Jesus on it, this piece is a little bit different. Jesus is shown exactly like he would have been if he was on a crucifix, however he is attached to a great tree. The trees branches serve as the cross and this necklace is really cool. The tree that Jesus is on really is shown in great detail and it is really cool.

3.) Wooden Wedding Box – This is one gift that should definitely be given to the bride and the groom together because it is really meant for the two of them. The wooden box is very nice looking and is genuinely hand-made. There is a space on the top of the box to place a 4×6 picture of the couple. The box is perfect for putting wedding memorabilia inside or putting other valuable objects in. On top of the box there are two silver rings to remind the couple of their undying love.

4.) Sterling Silver Claddagh – This claddagh medal is made up of a set of hands, holding a heart, with a crown on it. This has a great meaning behind it and it applies directly to marriage. The heart stands for love, the hands stand for friendship, and the crown stands for loyalty. This medal would make a lovely gift for the bride.

5.) Bridesmaid Heart Necklace – This is simple piece, and you should know who should be receiving it just by the name. This necklace is a sterling silver heart that can be worn on the wedding day, and really on any special occasion. It is very pretty but isn’t anything too much. A great way to make this gift special to all the bridesmaids is to have this gift engraved with their name on it. This way you can still have each of them feel like they got something special made just for them.