Monday, July 30, 2012

New in the Shop: Vintage Style Rosary Bracelet

Vintage Style Rosary Bracelet at Laude Arts and Gifts

The Ave beads in this rosary bracelet are gorgeous Czech picasso beads. These 6mm by 8mm Czech beads are opaque white with transparent amethyst colored glass peeking thru. They look good enough to eat. The Pater bead is a 12mm by 8mm amethyst colored
Czech fire polished bead. The Miraculous Medal, crucifix and toggle clasp are antiqued brass. This bracelet can be made longer by 1/4 inch but can not be made smaller without reworking the bracelet. This would be better served by a custom order. It is important to note that I take my photos with a macro~close-up lens. The beads look bigger in the photo than they are in real life. Please refer to the written description for an accurate measurement of the beads.  Please click here to learn more about this bracelet and please visit my shop, Laude Arts and Gifts to see more of my rosary bracelets and rosaries.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

New in the Shop: St Kateri Rosary

St Kateri Rosary at Laude Arts and Gifts
 The AvĂ© beads in this rosary are striking 8mm Chinese Turquoise beads. These beads are natural turquoise from the Hubei mines in China. They have been stabilized to preserve the stone. The Pater beads are 10mm black onyx beads. They provide a beautiful contrast to the turquoise Ave beads. The center honors St Kateri and the back is inscribed with her name. Both the center and the crucifix are silver colored metal. This is a new center, but it has a vintage look to it. I just love the way it feels in my hands.  Please click here to learn more about this rosary and please take a minute to browse in my shop, Laude Arts and Gifts, to see my other unbreakable rosaries.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

St Kateri Tekakwitha - Lily of the Mohawks

Portrait of Kateri Tekakwitha
As a convert to Catholicism, I have to admit that I haven’t felt drawn to many saints.   Perhaps it is my Protestant background that taught me that we only need to pray to what I affectionately like to think of as “The Big Three”…Father, Son and Holy Spirit.   During my conversion, which took place largely at LaSalette Shrine in Attleboro MA, I discovered the presence of Our Blessed Mother and I learned that she had been a mother to me long before I ever came to know or believe in her.   But I honestly have to admit that I really didn’t pursue an interest in saints beyond that.

However, I recently learned about Kateri Tekakwitha and she has captured my mind, my heart and my imagination.   Perhaps it is because my great grandmother on my father’s side was a Native American and, because of that, I have always felt a kinship with Native Americans.  Perhaps it is because she is a woman (you go girl).    Perhaps, it is because I perceive her as being different from many of the other saints in that she never became a nun nor did she really advance or become established within the traditional church like St. Therese or St Bernadette Soubrious or St Faustina.   In fact, because she was a Native American, she was prevented from joining any kind of religious organization and was prevented from learning all that she could about Catholicism.   Yet, in spite of these and many other obstacles, her simple faith and deep abiding love of Christ has brought her to the point where she will be canonized on October 21, 2012.

Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced “gaderi dega’wita” in the language of the Mohawks) was originally known as Catherine Tekakwitha.  Her baptismal name was Catherine after Catherine of Sienna.   It is thought that the name Catherine was chosen because it was easy for the Mohawks to pronounce.   Today, she is known by the Indian version of Catherine which is Kateri.  Also, because of her chastity and her choice to be espoused to Christ, she is known as the Lily of the Mohawks.  

Her mother was an Algonquin Indian and a devout Catholic who married a Mohawk chief.   Kateri was born in 1656.  Her exact date of birth is unknown.  She was born in a village close to Ossernenon near present day Auriesville in upstate New York.   When she was about four years old, her village was hit with small pox.  Both her parents and all of her siblings were killed in the epidemic.   Kateri survived, but her eyesight was seriously damaged and her face was terribly scarred and disfigured by the disease.  It is thought that Kateri was given the name Tekakwitha which means “she who bumps into things” because of her faulty eyesight.  After that, she was taken in by two aunts and an uncle who was the chief of the Turtle Clan that Kateri belonged to.

Oldest Portrait of Kateri circa 1690
In 1667, Kateri had her first encounter with the Jesuit priests who were to have a strong impact on her life.   They had entered the village where she lived in order to work out a peace treaty with the Iroquois.   They began to teach the villagers about Jesus and Christianity.   Her uncle was strongly opposed Christianity and forbade her to have any contact with the Jesuits.   However, Kateri was enthralled with their teachings and attended Catechism in spite of her uncle’s resistance.   In April of 1676, her friend and teacher, Fr Lamberville, baptized her on Easter Sunday.   After that, Kateri suffered a great deal of rejection and abuse from her clan because of her faith.   Six months later, at the age of 20, she left the village and moved to a Jesuit mission where she lived for the few remaining years of her life.  

Kateri loved the Eucharist and would spend hours kneeling in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.   During these times, the people in the chapel would draw close to her because they said her face changed, became beautiful and full of peace.   They also reported that they felt close to God when Kateri prayed.   One of her favorite devotions was to make little crosses out of sticks and to place them in the forest.  They served as stations to remind herself to take a moment to pray.   When she was unable to go to the chapel, she would make her own chapel by carving a cross into a tree and praying before it.  

Encouraged by a sister in the faith, Marie-Therese Tegaiaguenta, Kateri practiced mortification of the flesh and severe penances.   These included self-flagellation, cutting, sleeping on a bed of thorns, burning herself with hot coals and prolonged fasting.   Her spiritual director and the Jesuits in general, tried to discourage these practices, but Kateri and Marie-Therese persisted in offering these sacrifices for their sins and the sins of their people.   When the Jesuits denied the two women the permission to form a convent for Native Americans, they formed an unofficial group of lay women who dedicated themselves to Christ.

Kateri had been pressured by her clan and later by some of the people in the mission to get married.   Finally, her spiritual director, Fr. Cholenec, asked her what she truly wanted.  Her response was: “I have deliberated enough.  For a long time, my decision on what I will do has been made.  I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary.   I have chosen Him for a husband and He alone will take me for a wife.”  Therefore, in 1679, Kateri took a vow of perpetual virginity.  

Icon of St Kateri Tekakwitha
The poor health she suffered all her life, exacerbated by the severe penances she practiced, finally led to her death in 1680 at the age of 24.   Her final words were: “Jesus, I love you.”  Shortly after she died the scars which had disfigured her face so terribly for most of her life disappeared completely and her face became beautiful and her skin completely smooth.  This is considered to be the first miracle associated with Kateri.

There are many miracles that have been attributed to Kateri after her death.  One of the first miracles attributed to her was the healing a young boy from small pox.  She is also credited for healing many people from their various illnesses.   On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI signed and approved the miracle needed for Blessed Kateri's canonization.  This miracle involved a young boy who had been suffering from flesh-eating bacterium after receiving a wound in a sports event.  When all medical procedures performed on the boy failed, his parents claim to have prayed to Jesus Christ through Tekakwitha for divine intercession. The boy had already received his Last Rites from a Roman Catholic priest before the miracle took place.

In 1943, Kateri was declared venerable and she was beatified Pope John Paul II in 1980.   On October 21, 2012, Kateri will be canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XVI.  She is the Patron Saint of ecology, nature and the environment.  Her tomb can be found at St. Francis Xavier Mission in the Mohawk Nation at Kahnawake, near Montreal Quebec. 


Blessed Kateri, Model Ecologist
Kateri’s Pathway to Sainthood

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How to Pray the Chaplet for St Kateri Tekakwitha

St Kateri Chaplet at Laude Arts and Gifts
The chaplet for Kateri Tekakwitha was originally designed to help people pray for her to become a saint.   Since her sainthood has been obtained and she will be canonized on Oct 21, 2012, we can now use her chaplet to pray in thanksgiving for God’s answer to our prayers.  We can also use it to pray for the environment that Kateri loved so much.

The chaplet for St Kateri is comprised of 24 beads in three different colors.  The first eight beads are brown.  Brown is the color of the earth and the predominant color of the environment that Kateri loved so much.  The next eight beads are red.  The red symbolizes love.  “Love runs red in the red blood of all mankind, transcending race and color.”  It also symbolizes the great love that Kateri had for our Blessed Mother.   The next eight beads are clear crystal.  The Native Americans believed that the crystal clear lakes and streams were the tears of the Great Spirit and therefore, the crystal beads symbolize God’s tears.

Order of Recitation

  1. Kiss the Cross and make the Sign of the Cross with it saying:  In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.   Pray in thanksgiving for Kateri becoming a saint.

  1. Recite an Our Father on each of the eight brown beads.  God the Father gave us this world in perfect order.  Ask St Kateri’s intercession before God to set this earth, our minds, our bodies, and all of our problems in order again. 
  1. Recite a Hail Mary on each of the eight red beads.  The red beads symbolize the great love that Kateri had for Our Blessed Mother.   Ask Kateri’s intercession to Mary to form this kind of love in all of our hearts, and to lead us all back to Christ.

  1. Recite a Glory Be on each of the eight crystal beads.  May the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, through Kateri’s prayers, restore the beauty of our waters, skies, forests and air- the ecology of our entire world.

      5.    Make the Sign of the Cross as above.

The Litany of St Kateri Tekakwitha also known as the Litany of Kahnawake

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.
Jesus, hear us. Jesus, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Holy Catherine Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Holy young virgin, pray for us.
Spouse of Christ, pray for us.
Daughter of Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Lily of purity, pray for us.
Consoler of the Heart of Jesus, pray for us.
Courage of the afflicted, pray for us.
Leader of the true faith through the love of Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Servant to the sick, pray for us.
Great servant of God, pray for us.
Spiritual sister, pray for us.
Guardian of chastity, pray for us.
Reliever of the temptations of the flesh, pray for us.
Imitator of our Lord in prayer, pray for us.
Deliverer of the persecuted, pray for us.
Virgin of patience, pray for us.
Virgin of penance, pray for us.
Virgin most obedient, pray for us.
Virgin most humble, pray for us.
Virgin, Blessed Catherine Tekakwitha, pray for us.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy, daughter of the Mother of God, that we find Christ through you, Catherine Tekakwitha.
Let us pray. Catherine Tekakwitha who made her mother the Immaculate Mary, Mother of God, and has given herself as the spouse to Christ. Catherine Tekakwitha lead us on the road to Heaven and without ever abandoning us during this travel, as God the Father had guided you in your voyage without ever abandoning you. Through you with your eternal spouse, Jesus Christ. Amen.

My Treasury of Chaplets by Patricia S. Quintiliani
Blessed Kateri, Model Ecologist

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Sneak Peak

Mater Dolorosa Rosary at Laude Arts and Gifts
I just want to give you a sneak preview of the rosary I will be listing for the first time tomorrow morning.  It is a beautiful Mater Dolorosa rosary made from red coral and man made rock crystal.   This unbreakable rosary measures 31 1/2 inches long with a silver colored Byzantine crucifix.  Please click here to learn more about this rosary and please visit my Etsy Shop, Laude Arts and Gifts, to see more of my unbreakable rosaries.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

How to Pray the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary

Rosary of the Seven Sorrows at Laude Arts and Gifts

This rosary is particularly meaningful to me because it allows me to enter into the sufferings of Our Blessed Mother and by so doing; she is able to enter into mine.   I can not tell how or why this happens, but that it does happen and is one of the deepest mysteries of our spiritual life.

Because it has almost as many beads as a regular rosary, the Seven Sorrows chaplet is also known as the Seven Sorrows Rosary. Another name for this rosary is the Servite rosary because it originated with the order of Servites.

Because the book: My Treasury of Chaplets by Patricia S. Quintiliani does an excellent job of explaining how to pray the Seven Sorrows rosary, I have shamelessly lifted her description word for word.   This can be found on pages 183 – 190 of her book.  I am putting it on my blog for the convenience of people who may not own this book and who may not have access to it.  The only changes I have made is to simplify the language and make it more readable for the modern English reader.   Nevertheless, it is important to me to acknowledge my dept to Ms. Quintiliani. 

The Seven Sorrows or Seven Dolors rosary consists of a ring of seven groups of seven beads separated by small medals or decorative beads. A further series of three beads and a medal are also attached to the chain (before the first dolor) and these are dedicated to prayer in honor of Mary's Tears, as well as to indicate the beginning of the chaplet. Traditionally, the beads are of black wood or some other black material indicating sorrow.  But now, the beads can be any color.  The seven groups of seven Hail Marys are recited in remembrance of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, namely:

  1. The prophecy of Simeon
  2. The flight into Egypt
  3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the Temple
  4. Mary meets Jesus carrying His cross
  5. The crucifixion
  6. Mary receives the body of Jesus from the Cross
  7. The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb

Three Hail Marys are added in remembrance of the tears Mary shed because of the suffering of her Divine Son.   These are said to obtain true sorrow for our sins.   Following is the concluding prayer
       V. Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin
       R. That we may be made worth of the promises of Christ. 


Lord Jesus, we now implore, both for the present and for the hour of our death, the intercession of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Thy Mother, whose holy soul was pierced at the time of Thy passion by a sword of grief.   Grant us this favor, O Savior of the world, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. Amen.

Prayers for the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of Mary – The Long Version
With meditations by St. Alphonsus Liguori

            V. God come to my assistance
            R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

            Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; as it was in the beginning, is                 now, and ever shall be world without end.  Amen.


My mother, share your grief with me,
And let me bear your company
To mourn Jesus’ death with you.

Meditations on the First Dolor

I pity you, O afflicted Mother, on account of the first sword of sorrow which pierced you, when in the Temple all the outrages which men would inflict on your beloved Jesus were presented before you by Saint Simeon, and which you already knew by the Sacred Scriptures; outrages which were to cause Him to die before your eyes, on an infamous Cross, exhausted of His blood, abandoned by all, all while you were unable to defend or help Him.   By that bitter knowledge, then, which for so many years afflicted your heart, I beseech you, my Queen, to obtain for me the grace that during my .life and at death, I may ever keep the Passion of Jesus and your sorrows impressed upon my heart.

            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe are repeated after each Dolor.

Meditation on the Second Dolor:

I pity you my afflicted Mother, for the second sword which pierced you, when soon after His birth you beheld your innocent Son threatened with death by those very men for whose salvation He had come into the world, so that in darkness of night, thou were obliged to fly secretly with Him into Egypt.   By the many hardships, then, which you, a delicate young woman, in company with your exiled Child, endured a long and fatiguing journey through rough and desert countries, and during your residence in Egypt, where, being unknown and a stranger, you lived for so many years in poverty and contempt.   I beseech you, my beloved Lady, to obtain for me the grace to suffer in your company with patience until death all of the trials of this miserable life, that I may thus in the next life escape the eternal punishments of Hell, which I have deserved.

            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

Meditation on the Third Dolor:

I pity you my sorrowful Mother, on account of the third sword which pierced you in the loss of they dear Son Jesus, who remained absent from you in Jerusalem for three days.  No longer seeing your Beloved by your side and not knowing the cause of His absence, I can well imagine, my loving Queen, that during those nights you did not sleep and only sighed for Him, Who was your treasure.  By the sighs, then, of those three days which for you were so long and bitter, I beseech you to obtain for me the grace that I may never lose my God, that so, always clinging to Him, I may leave the world united to Him.

            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

Meditation on the Fourth Dolor:

I pity you, my sorrowful Mother, for the fourth sword which pierced you in seeing your Son condemned to death, bound with cords and chains, covered with blood and wounds, under the heavy weight of the Cross which He carried on His wounded shoulder, going as an innocent Lamb to die for love of us.  Your eyes met His, and His met yours; and your glances were as so many cruel arrows which wounded your loving hearts.  By this great sorrow, then, I beseech you to obtain for me the grace to live in all things resigned to the will of my God and to carry my cross cheerfully in company with Jesus, until my last breath.

         Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

Meditation on the Fifth Dolor:

I pity you my afflicted Mother, for the fifth sword which pierced you, when on Mount Calvary you beheld your beloved Son Jesus slowly dying before your eyes, amid so many torments and insults, on the hard bed of the Cross, where you were unable to give Him even the least of those comforts which are granted to the greatest criminals at the hour of death.  I beseech you by the agony which you, my most loving Mother, endured, together with your dying Son, and by the sadness which you felt when, for the last time, He spoke to you from the Cross and bade you farewell and left all of us in the person of Saint John to you as your children; by that constancy with which you saw Him bow down His head and expire, I beseech you to obtain for me the grace from the crucified Love to live and die crucified to all earthly things, that I may spend my life for God alone and thus one day enter Paradise to enjoy Him face to face.

            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

Meditation on the Sixth Dolor:

I pity you my afflicted Mother, for the sixth sword which pierced your heart when you saw the sweet Heart of your Son pierced through and through.   He was already dead and had died for those ungrateful creatures who, even after His death, were not satisfied with the torments they had inflicted upon Him.   By this cruel sorrow, which was completely yours, I beseech you to obtain for me the grace to dwell in the Heart of Jesus, wounded and open for me; in that Heart, I say, which is the beautiful abode of love, in which all souls who love God repose; and that, living there, I may never think of or love anything but God.   Most sacred Virgin, you can obtain this for me; from you do I hope for it.

            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

Meditation on the Seventh Dolor:

I pity you my afflicted Mother, for the seventh sword which pierced your heart on seeing your Son already dead in your arms, no longer fair and beautiful as He was when you received Him in the stable of Bethlehem, but covered with blood, livid and all lacerated with wounds, so that even His bones could be seen.  At that time, you said, “My Son, my Son, to what has love reduced You!”  And when He was borne to the sepulcher, you accompanied Him and placed Him with your own hands in the tomb; and bidding Him your last farewell, you left your loving heart buried with your Son.   By this martyrdom of your beautiful soul, obtain for me, O Mother of Fair Love, the forgiveness of the offenses which I have committed against my beloved God, and or which I repent with my whole heart.   Please defend me in temptations and assist me at the moment of my death, that, saving my soul through the merits of Jesus and you, I may one day, after this miserable exile, go to Paradise to sing the praises of Jesus and of you for all eternity.   Amen
            Our Father, seven Hail Marys, and the Strophe

            V.  Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin,
            R.  That we made be made worth of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray

O Lord, at Whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword of sorrow pierced through the sweetest soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary, grant that we who commemorate and reverence her Dolors may experience the blessed effect of Your Passion, You who live and reign, world without end.  AMEN.

Please click here to view this rosary in my shop, Laude Arts and Gifts.