Thursday, September 30, 2010

Angels and Saints

I love Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life, but he's not an angel - he's a saint. Humans and angels are two different types of beings; people don't become angels after they die. A friend of my mom's stopped me on the way out of her funeral and said, "Now your mom's an angel," and I replied, "No, she's a saint." But if saints aren't angels, why do we have angels who are saints? (I don't know the answer to that.) In the story of Tobit, Raphael did take on definite human form. Gabriel became "human" enough to be understood by Zacharia and Mary. But as far as I know, Michael (who most often gets the "St." in front of his name) didn't have to take on human form in order to fight Lucifer.

I'm writing this between the feast of Michael, Gabriel and Raphael on September 29 and the memorial of the Guardian Angels on October 2. Unless my caffeine-deficient brain is forgetting someone, those are the only two official commemorations of angels on the liturgical calendar. The Liturgy of the Hours provides so much specific material for October 2 that it looks like a feast instead of a memorial, but, then, there's no "Common of Angels" to refer people to, so everything has to be provided on that date. .

To celebrate this time between the two angel days, I've made a rosary using a center that has two full-color pictures: St. Michael on one side and a guardian angel on the other. The colors used throughout the rosary coordinate with the backgrounds of the sky in the two pictures. (Note: These photos link to the full listing for each rosary.)


Speaking of saints, I've just sold another St. Gerard chaplet. I've lost count of how many of those I've sold (not that I make much money on them - I pretty much sell them at cost). The stories about St. Gerard don't give a clear reason for his becoming the patron of safe pregnancy and delivery, as well as of becoming a mother in the first place, but the job evidently keeps him pretty busy. As someone who's never really been into that kind of prayer, it fascinates me that these are so popular. I think a large part of the explanation is that in most cases the chaplet is being bought for someone else. It's a way for a friend to show compassion toward someone who needs support.

I haven't been particularly good at keeping these chaplets in stock. After I sell one it often takes me awhile to list another - and then as soon as I list it, it's bought. I've tried to do better this time, so here's the one I've just listed. Because I use leftover beads for these, each one is different. The one I just sold had faceted peridot glass beads. This one has yellow hearts of pressed glass:

I'm leery of promoting/selling something that could be taken as superstitious or theologically questionable. Following is the "disclaimer" I put at the bottom of the page whenever I list a St. Gerard chaplet: 

A note on praying to the saints:
Praying to the saints isn't magic, and it doesn't mean we can't pray directly to God. We simply ask the saints to pray for us and with us, as we would ask any Christian friend. Prayer doesn't "change God's mind," but in some way we don't completely understand it makes us partners with God in bringing about God's will, whatever that may be.


The third piece I took photos of today is also saint related. Its center has a full-color picture of St. Patrick on one side and St. Brigid on the other. It's my first step in rebuilding my collection of Irish-themed rosaries after that's dwindled to one. Following the St. Gerard chaplets, these are my best sellers, so it doesn't make much sense to leave the selection so sparse. This one's actually a repeat rather than a one-of-a-kind; I've already sold a few of these over the past year:

1 comment:

  1. Trudy,

    As always I love to read the background to your rosaries. I always tell people I pray while I bead my rosaries and chaplets. But I always try to make a one of a kind rosaries that no one else has.

    Please keep sharing the back ground on the rosaries. I enjoy reading them