This week's Saints, There's Something About Marys, Katrina Crosses
Celebrating this week's Saints! Just to name a few: Juan Bautista, the Memorials of mother and son, Saints Monica and Augustine of Hippo, Saint Juniper “Father Serra,” and Saint Raymond Nonnatus!
Those are the hand-painted saint medals we have available who are celebrated this week. Also included is Our Lady of Czestochwa, one the Blessed Virgin Mary “saints.” Her celebratory day is today, August 26th. She is featured on our “Sister Site,”
along with all of the other Blessed Virgin Marys we have available. And any other Mary we knew, like my Mom, Mary Teresa, and my sister, MaryEllen, or Saint Mary Magdalen, or even a man, Saint Mary Clement Hofbauer. There’s something about the name Mary, which is, to me, the most beautiful of all names. Maybe my Mom just told me that as a kid, but I believe it still.
Because this is the week of the Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we’re reminded of Saint Juan Bautista, whose Feast Day is August 29th. It’s the same date the flood waters came and destroyed much of New Orleans, only on August 29, 2005. It’s hard to believe it has been 14 years since that flood washed everything away. So much has changed here in New Orleans. Now, in retrospect, we can see that many good changes came about since those darker days.
Most of us chose to rebuild and renew, in spite of the warnings when people said “Those New Orleanians are just living in a swamp.” We basically either agreed or ignored the commentary. We went about rebuilding our communities.
There’s nothing too special, unique, or noteworthy about rebuilding or starting over. It’s just what we do, as a society. Simply resolving to overcome, as millions have done before.
The “Chumbawamba” song, “Tubthumping,” comes to mind:
Saint Monica, the mother of the rambunctious Augustine, never let herself get defeated. Or, her son, Augustine, for that matter. Monica chased Augustine across 3 continents until she got him to settle down, “shape up and fly right,” as they used to say. Both Saint Monica and Saint Augustine’s Memorials are celebrated this week.
Add to the mix the artist, formerly known as “Blessed Father Serra.” Saint Junipero Serra voyaged out to the far west, converting thousands into a Christian way of life, extolling virtue and kindness as the theme.
And then there’s Saint Raymond Nonnatus. His Feast Day is this week too. Saint Raymond is known as one of the many saints reminding us that every life has meaning and is just as important as the next.
Mindful of the aftereffects of Hurricane Katrina, and aware that it will be a tough day for some to hold in remembrance, I’ve been busy! As a way to celebrate the past, present, and future, this week, I’ve been repurposing.
Instead of just cleaning up all those flood medals I kept and keep jabbering to you about, I grabbed all the saint medals and crosses that we have stored. They are the saint medals that were not quite suitable for delivery.
The paint might be chipped. The glaze may have blurred. The heating period was too short or too long. The paint might have been inferior. Or maybe we simply had a bad day crafting and the medals are not as beautiful as we like. So, they did not get mailed. And not thrown away.
I took those medals, unworthy of being sold to customers, or offered as merchandise for retail stores, and did some repurposing. I painted more wooden crosses and attached the medals. A picture is below:
We will eventually be offering these repurposed crosses and medals. They’re symbolic because they show that, despite best efforts, things don’t always work out as planned. I can’t throw medals away so now we have one-of-a-kind hand-painted crosses adorned with still more crosses and/or medals. To me, they’re representations of resiliency. I’ll keep making them. One day, I’ll be offering them somewhere, somehow, some way.
That’s all for this blog post. You must be happy I’m not going to be cluttering you with e-mails as often. Don’t be too happy - I’ll be sending more Newsletters out, come “Hell or High Water!”