We're Mailing Out the Gifts From Rome and We Were Surprised About the Survey Results
So many of you decided to take us up on the FREE SOUVENIR OFFER we make every time we go to Rome and the Vatican. The gifts are finally on their way to those of you who sent us a SASE – Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, as suggested.
ABOUT THIS GIFT FOR YOU:
Look forward to getting this truly special souvenir – this is one of the best we’ve ever sent, if not the very best. Rob found the medals he is sharing with y’all only steps away from Saint Peter’s Square & Borgo Pio ( Rob’s favorite street that offers so many nice items for sale ).
The Pope Francis Pectoral Cross, as it is now often called, is the gift we are sending to you. We rarely send out medals that are not painted but are making an exception this year.
The cross features a shepherd who is draping a lamb over his shoulders. The lamb represents the person who is lost, who is left out, lonely, disregarded and cast aside. The Gospel of Luke offers a Parable of the Lost Sheep. It speaks of the shepherd who is guarding 100 sheep yet one goes astray.
The shepherd decides to leave his flock of 99 sheep to find the one sheep who has lost its way. Hence, the title of story being The Parable of the Lost Sheep. Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) wore this medal to remember the folks who are left alone, and sometimes even purposely leave themselves alone. The medal offers the message that we should all look after and be kinder toward the downtrodden, perhaps the family member who is “the black sheep of the family,” the person who just can’t seem to do anything “right.”
Maybe it is the neighbor who is difficult to live next to, the apartment dweller who infringes on the other tenants, the co-worker who is not doing their fair share. You get the idea.
The medal has the lost sheep and the shepherd. On our painted medal, we usually paint one sheep black, as we do with the Good Shepherd medal. Above the shepherd is the dove representing the Holy Spirit. This medal we are sending out has something very nice on its other side too! Something we have not seen before. Of course, it shows that it is imported from Italy, like all of our medals. This Shepherd’s Cross has extra flair.
Antonio Vedele is the man who first drew the design. The craftsman who made the medal was under his tutelage. For the first time ever, we have discovered a Pope Francis Shepherd’s Cross medal that credits the original artist! The name Vedele is boldly imprinted into the medal!
The medal we are sending also has some explanation – if you can read Italian or Latin - and it’s a very simple type of necklace. A thin piece of strong, sturdy string, much like the strings from the crosses we have sent out to y’all from our visits to Assisi in years past.
We are very excited to be sending this gift out to you. When you wear, display, show, or share it with friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, try and remember to squeeze in a thoughtful message and share the Parable of the Lost Sheep. We all need to be reminded to look after those against whom we hold a grudge.
Once again, we’ll mention Sister Hildegard, in the show “Outlander.” This is probably the 100th time we have done it! When the character “Clare” is so mad at her husband, “Jamie,” that she could “spit bullets” at him, “Sister Hildegard” looks straight into her eyes and instructs Clare to “cast all the sins asunder and throw grievance to the sea.” The message is a beautiful suggestion. Try to do that every day. And if you are able to do it all day, every day, please reply and tell me how.
I hope you like this little gift from Rome. This is absolutely one of Rob’s most favorite “Giveaways” of all time. And if you’d like one and didn’t get around to sending in that SASE, you can find the cross for sale on the SaintsforSinners ~ SaintsforHope – website. We will sell them unpainted until the time we have some painted ones ready for sale. At that point, we’ll stop selling the unpainted version.
ONE LAST THING
Rob ran an ad. It pushed the envelope. He went out on a limb, trying to push a round peg through a square hole. Some of the reactions were not pleasant, at all. No one besides rob has any culpability.
If you are annoyed with rob for running the unconventional ad campaign that has been completed, we/he/I humbly ask you to cut some slack and throw us a pass for being disappointing. Rob had an idea. He grew it. He put it out there. He tried to reach some lost sheep in truly unconventional ways. The ad certainly did not “Preach to the Converted” nor did it “Sing to a Choir.” There is no deep regret, and instead, comforting knowledge about trying your best. Sometimes you do not succeed and your best laid plans fall apart. Or, your idea is simply misguided from the beginning.
If you try your best with good intentions, in your heart of hearts (“Cor Cordium”) you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I tried my best.” And when it’s all said and done, that is all you can ever do.
*In our newsletter last week, we asked, “Is it OK to wear a Rosary as art, or as a pretty piece of stylistic fashion?” And the results were very interesting because it was basically, by a tiny margin, an answer that "Yes, it was okay to do it," but it really was a close call, 55 % YES, 45% No.