Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Contemplating Catholic Symbols

Catholic art is basically made to be contemplated, its symbols conveying deep truths about salvation.  Whether with holy cards or Holy Icons, there is much to be gained from meditating on their imagery.

One of the beautiful things about being a Catholic artist is getting to combine meditation with production.  Whenever I set out to make a new piece, I like to investigate the stories behind the pictures -- to learn more about the meaning behind their symbols.  Thus, I am contemplating the images even as I am producing them.

Take, for example, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  I wanted to understand the significance of the roses around Mary's heart, and this is what I learned...  Mary’s roses represent her purity and her status as Mystical Rose of heaven.  It is said that when Mary was assumed, a bed of roses appeared where her body had been.  When she revealed herself to St. Juan Diego as Our Lady of Guadalupe, she caused out-of-season roses to bloom.  And when she appeared to St. Bernadette at Lourdes, she had a rose upon each of her feet.

Then, there's Our Lady of Ostrabrama.  Mary humbly bows her head, her hands crossed piously before her chest.  Her halo emanates rays like the sun, and twelve stars encircle her head.  She appears as she does in Revelation Chapter 12.  She wears one crown, while tiny angels place a second crown atop the first.

I drew this copy of the famous Icon while looking at a postcard reproduction of Our Lady of Ostra Brama, which translates: Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn.  The original image is a Lithuanian Carmelite Icon, located in the city of Vilnius.  The history of the piece is just as fascinating as the image, and it adds depth to the meaning of its symbols....

“Gate of Dawn” was the name of the southeastern entrance to the city.  The original painting hung there in a niche, even before there was a chapel. In the intervening years, it has survived invasions by Russians, anti-Catholic Swedes and Nazi Germans; two devastating fires; and being shot.  Our Lady is the Queen who can't be deposed!

In 1927, Pope Pius XI gave the image the additional title Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy).  Then, in 1935, St. Faustina’s first commissioned Divine Mercy Jesus painting debuted in the southeastern chapel next to Our Lady of Ostra Brama.  The two images associated with mercy were revered together, Mother and Son.

And that is how my framed postcard of Our Lady is displayed on my desk: next to a framed Divine Mercy Jesus print.  80 years later, these two images are reunited!  I never would have known there was a connection between these images if I had not wanted to delve deeper into their meaning.  And that is why I am so thankful to be a Catholic artist!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The beauty of collage

They say that drawing is the basis of art.  I don't know if they are right, but I do know that my personal art exploration began with doodles I made while lying on the floor of my bedroom.  I was three years old.

Many years have passed, and I still enjoy the immediacy and simplicity of drawing.  But I have also come to revel in the excitement of translating a drawing into another medium.  For the past few months, I have been exploring the medium of collage.  I have a cutting machine that follows the exact contours of my drawings, so it is easy to try out different colors and textures of paper.

These are a couple of pieces currently available in my Etsy store.  The first is entitled Immaculate Conception.  Here, Mary is cut out of navy blue vinyl.  The scene is mounted on white cold press paper, and the paper is mounted on brown corrugate.  I adore this combination of color and texture, and it obviously did not occur to me until I had translated my original drawing to collage!

You will recognize this image as the Immaculata, with Mary standing on a crescent moon.  She crushes the head of the serpent, as foretold in Genesis Chapter 3.  Twelve stars circle her head like a crown, as they do in Revelation Chapter 12.

The second piece is entitled Holy Mother and Child.  I used multiple paper types to differentiate the flesh, fabric and halos.  The entire image is mounted on red cork.  The contrast between the hot press paper, the glitter-paper and the cork is pleasing.  The primary colors work nicely together, and the red could be seen to foreshadow the Passion.  This is a possibility that was not remotely apparent when I began with a black and white drawing.

I love the tender moment between Mary and the Infant Christ.  He nuzzles her forehead, and she gently holds His little arm.  Their two halos overlap, almost becoming one....

The little child makes me think back once more to the three-year-old boy who sat on his bedroom floor and made drawings of the pictures in his head.  Guess what?  He's still happily working!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Gifts of Love for Child Jesus a free Advent Fridge Magnet Printable

Preparing the manger is the practice of preparing a soft bedding in the manger for the Christ Child by using little wisps of straw as tokens of prayers and good works performed through the penitential season of Advent. This is originally a French custom that quickly spread to other countries. Every night the child is allowed to put in the crib one straw for each act of devotion, good work or sacrifice performed. "Thus the Christ Child, coming on Christmas Day, finds an ample supply of tender straw to keep Him warm and to soften the hardness of the manger's boards" (Francis Weiser,Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, 1958). 

With this theme in mind to get a heads up here is a free magnetic printable of the Christ Child for your fridge door with a wreath of flowers around him.

The idea is similar The printable is useful for  kids to motivate to be kind to each and to offer up good works as we do for advent and each good works get one flower moved up to Child Jesus to finally create a full wreath! Great motivator and you will soon have sibling rivalry on who get the more roses for advent...

How to:
1.Download the free printable here.

2.Use one magnetic sheet from Staples to print it out using 8 by 10 inches link here is you want to buy it. 

3.Cut it out carefully separating the Christ Child and the roses.

4.Motivate them to offer up their good works each day and restart once wreath if formed!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Catholic movies to watch

With no great movies nowadays to watch I saw this list - when you have down time do watch!
Top Catholic Movies on Lives of Extraordinary Men and Women in NETFLIX
1.Padre Pio: Miracle Man (2002)

2.Saint John Bosco: Mission to Love (2004)

3.Saint Rita (2004)

4.Mother Teresa (2003)

5.Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (2005)

6.Molakai: The Story of Father Damien (2000)

7.The Reluctant Saint (1962)

8.Maria Goretti (2003)

9.Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)

10. Miracle of Marcelino (1955)

11.A Time for Miracles (1980)

12.The Scarlet and the Black (1983)

Top Catholics Movies that are Pro-Life in NETFLIX

1.Bella (2006)

2.Follow the Stars Home (2001)

Top Catholic Movies that are Mystical but True Stories in NETFLIX

1.Staircase (2003)

2.Song of Bernadette (1943)

3.The Passion of the Christ (2004)

Top Catholic Documentaries in NETFLIX

1.The Cheese Nun (2002)

2. Witness to Hope: The Life of Pope John Paul II (2002)

Top Catholic Movies in Television Series in NETFLIX

1.Father Brown Television Series (1974)

2.G.K. Chesterton: Apostle of Common Sense (2005)

Top Catholic Dramas in NETFLIX

1.The Tree of Wooden Clogs (1978)

2.The Bicycle Thief (1948)

3.The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)

4.Diary of a Country Priest (1950)

5.The Ninth Day (2004)

6.The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965)

7.On the Waterfront (1954)

8.The Maldonado Miracle (2003)

9.Lilies of the Field (1963)

10.The Keys of the Kingdom (1945)

11.Babette's Feast (1987)

12.The Quiet Man (1952)

Top Catholic Historical Movies, Top Catholic Pre-20th Century Period Stories in NETFLIX

1.A Man for All Seasons (1966)

2.The Robe (1953)

3.I am David (2004)

4.The Mission: Special Edition (1986)

5.Quo Vadis (1951)

6.One Man's Hero (1998)

Top Catholic Epics in NETFLIX

1.Ben-Hur (1959)

2.The Ten Commandments (1956)

3.El Cid (1961)

Top Catholic Scary, Suspenseful, Thrillers in NETFLIX

1.The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

2.I Confess (1953)

Top Catholic Movie in Sports and Athletics, based on Real Life Story in NETFLIX

1.Chariots of Fire (1981)

2.Rudy (1993)

3.Cinderella Man (2005)

4.Without Limits (1998)

5.Prefontaine (1997)

6.Running Brave (1983)

7.Facing the Giants (2006)

Top Catholic Christmas Movie in NETFLIX

1.It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

2.The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)

3.The Fourth Wise Men (1965)

4.The Star of Bethlehem (2007)

5.A Time for Miracles (1980)

Top Catholic Comedies in NETFLIX

1.The Trouble with Angels (1968)

2.The Sound of Music (1965)

3.Henry Poole is Here (2008)


If you have Catholic family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or guests visiting, choosing from the Top Catholic Movie in NETFLIX will compel them to thank you endlessly for a great choice. Do not be surprise if you will enjoy it too.

Friday, June 15, 2012

chaplet of st michael


(shared by Father Robb J)
O God, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Then one 'Our Father' and three 'Hail Marys' are to be prayed after each of the following nine salutations

1. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Seraphim may the Lord make us worthy to burn with the fire of perfect charity. Amen.
2. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Cherubim may the Lord grant us the grace to leave the ways of sin and run in the paths of Christian perfection. Amen.
3. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Thrones may the Lord infuse into our hearts a true and sincere spirit of humility. Amen.
4. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Dominions may the
Lord give us grace to govern our senses and overcome any unruly passions. Amen.
5. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Powers may the Lord protect our souls against the snares and temptations of the devil. Amen.
6. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Virtues may the Lord preserve us from evil and falling into temptation. Amen.
7. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Principalities may God fill our souls with a true spirit of obedience. Amen.
8. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Archangels may the Lord give us perseverance in faith and in all good works in order that we may attain the glory of Heaven. Amen.
9. By the intercession of St. Michael and the celestial Choir of Angels may the Lord grant us to be protected by them in this mortal life and conducted in the life to come to Heaven. Amen.
+ + +
Next, one Our Father is to be said in honour of each of the following leading Angels: St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and your Guardian Angel.

O glorious prince St. Michael, chief and commander of the heavenly hosts, guardian of souls, vanquisher of rebel spirits, servant in the house of the Divine King and our admirable conductor, thou who dost shine with excellence and superhuman virtue deliver us from all evil, who turn to thee with confidence and enable us by your gracious protection to serve God more and more faithfully every day.
Pray for us, O glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Church of Jesus Christ, that we may be made worthy of His promises.
Almighty and Everlasting God, Who, by a prodigy of goodness and a merciful desire for the salvation of all men, has appointed the most glorious Archangel St. Michael Prince of Thy Church, make us worthy, we beseech Thee, to be delivered from all our enemies, that none of them may harass us at the hour of death, but that we may be conducted by him into the August Presence of Thy Divine Majesty. This we beg through the merits of Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.


St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and thou, O Prince of heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin of souls.

Pope Leo XIII was just finishing Mass. As he turned to walk away from the Tabernacle, he collapsed. Those present were afraid for his life, thinking he was dead. When he came to, he shared what he had experienced in a vision. (This event precursed by 33 years - to the day - the sun dancing in the heavens at Fatima.)
He heard noise in front of the Tabernacle . It was a confrontation between Jesus and Satan. Satan told Jesus if given time and enough power, he would destroy the Church. Jesus asked in return, 'How much time and how much power?' Satan's reply was one century and more influence over those who would follow him. The Holy Father said he heard Jesus say "So be it." And the 20th century was given to Satan as a time of testing. The Holy Father was so shaken he began to combat this vision with many things. 3 of which follow:
1 He wrote
2. He gave
3 He wrote
4. and he said:
'The Rosary is the weapon that will defeat Satan'

Lord, have mercy on us. + Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. + Christ, 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 Mary, Queen of the Angels, - pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, - pray for us.
repeat after each invocation:
'Most glorious attendant of the Triune Divinity - *Pray for us'

Standing at the right of the Altar of Incense*
Ambassador of Paradise* - Glorious Prince of the heavenly armies*
Leader of the angelic hosts* - Warrior who thrust Satan into Hell*
Defender against the wickedness and snares of the devil*
Standard-bearer of God’s armies* - Defender of divine glory*
First defender of the Kingship of Christ* - Strength of God*
Invincible prince and warrior* - Angel of peace*
Guardian of the Christian Faith*
Guardian of the Legion of St. Michael* - Champion of God’s people*
Champion of the Legion of St. Michael*
Guardian angel of the Eucharist*
Defender of the Church* - Defender of the Legion of St. Michael*
Protector of the Sovereign Pontiff*
Protector of the Legion of St. Michael*
Angel of Catholic Action*
Powerful intercessor of Christians*
Bravest defender of those who hope in God*
Guardian of our souls and bodies*
Healer of the sick* - Help of those in their agony*
Consoler of the souls in Purgatory*
God’s messenger for the souls of the just*
Terror of the evil spirits* - Victorious in battle against evil*
Guardian and Patron of the Universal Church*
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 glorious St. Michael, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Sanctify us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, with Thy holy blessing, and grant us, by the intercession of St. Michael, that wisdom which teaches us to lay up treasures in Heaven by exchanging the goods of this world for those of eternity, Thou Who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.
Relying, O Lord, upon the intercession of Thy blessed Archangel Michael, we humbly beg of Thee, that the Holy Eucharist in whose presence we kneel, may make our soul holy and pleasing to Thee. Through Christ Our Lord.
R. Amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Handmade copper wire wrapped five decade Catholic Rosary featuring the Blessed Mother Mary center

Handmade copper wire wrapped five decade Catholic Rosary featuring the Blessed Mother Mary center
Handmade copper wire wrapped five decade Catholic Rosary featuring the Blessed Mother Mary center. The Paters are coffee colored and harmonize the russet/auburn pearl Ave beads. Each Ave bead-set and Pater bead-set are individually wire-wrapped in 22 gauge copper wire. The centerpiece is handmade by the artist and is a one of a kind piece consisting of an image of Our Blessed Mother, centered in an antique cabochon pendant. The crucifix is a four-way cross and is two sided (see pictures). Being a wire wrapped rosary, this rosary is long, measuring a total of 37 inches. This rosary will last a lifetime and can be passed from generation to generation. 

To view this rosary go to

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Catholic Movie Watch

Tow movie to watch on Netflix!

A Child Called Jesus(Un Bambino di nome Gesù)
19872 EpisodesNR
Produced for Italian television, this drama envisions the childhood of Jesus Christ, combining evidence from Bible passages with conjecture. Re-creating Jesus' life through age 12, the miniseries explores a period when the family moved near Egypt. Close to Jesus: Thomas about the life of St Thomas.