Events at the Experience Boutiques: Lenten Watercolor Journals

Events at the Experience Boutiques: Lenten Watercolor Journals

A big thank you to Maria Franklin for organizing and sharing her experience of this wonderful event! 


How wonderful to be able to share my reflections on this day – both Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday.

The new My Saint My Hero classes bring women together looking to deepen their faith and enjoy creative fun within the intimate space of our Experience Boutiques – It’s part of the blessing revolution beginning to take shape in the community!

For two days last week we were able to offer 20 women the opportunity amidst our busy lives, to slow down and learn about the meaning of Lent with Fr. Charbel of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Wilmington. He spoke about being attentive to our own patterns and triggers that distance us from God. While shaking a water bottle with dirt in it, he attempted to look through the cloudy murky water; he could not see through it. However, when he sat the bottle down, the dirt settled to the bottom allowing clear vision through the bottle. I grasped the meaning of this imagery: that the busier I am the harder it is to see through and really examine my life. I must be still – only then will I see clearly to take inventory of my ways, reactions and intentions. I realized my need to slow down and make a commitment devoting time to Jesus this Lent.

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. James 4:8

We then painted our own beautiful journal covers guided by the talented local watercolor artist Suzy Cyr. Each of us left ready to begin our own “journaling pilgrimage”, learning ways to create a daily routine to meditate, write and reflect on our lives and open our hearts to hear His word….

Speak Lord your servant is listening. 1 Samuel 3:10

I was fortunate to be part of these evenings offered; laughing, learning, and stretching not only our artistic abilities but together also stretching our faith encouraging each other to walk closely these next 40 days with Jesus.

BE AWARE OF HIS PRESENCE THROUGHOUT THESE NEXT 40 DAYS!

Blessings,
Maria Franklin

The Ultimate Romantic

The Ultimate Romantic

Gaudete Sunday

In the weeks leading up to this week of Advent we’ve focused on our misery, the darkness we live in, the need for our redemption, and the desire of our hearts to be rescued by a Savior.

This week, however, just as the colors of the candles on the Advent wreath, our reflections take a turn, from longing to rejoicing. Gaudete! This week is all about the joyful hope that springs from our faith that He, our Savior, is indeed coming among us! The reading today (Song of Songs 2: 8-14) is absolutely gorgeous.

“Hark! my lover–here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills.”

Our Lord is the Ultimate Romantic

” My lover speaks; he says to me,
“Arise, my beloved, my dove, my beautiful one,
and come!”

When was the last time you allowed Our Lord to romance your heart? To allow yourself to be washed by His merciful love, let His love heal your heart, fill the voids and chase away the darkness of fears, doubts, and sin? He longs for you today,

“O my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see you,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and you are lovely.”

Do Not Be Afraid

Do not be afraid of such love, for your heart was designed for it. That longing in your heart was put there by God Himself for Him to fill. His love is beyond our comprehension and stronger than death, doubt, or any fear. But He waits for you, until you open the door of your heart, even just a crack, because of His love and respect for you. He desires you to desire Him.

This Christmas He is born for you. He comes as a tiny, helpless babe so you can let down your guard. He calls to your heart and yearns to be nestled in your arms. Let this love melt away any hardness and draw your heart to Him in gratitude.

Blessings of Joy


This article was originally written for and published on uCatholic as part of their Advent Reflection Series.

Advent Wreath: The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together

Advent Wreath: The Family That Prays Together, Stays Together

Today’s post and photos comes to you from our Brand Curator, Madi. A big thank you to her for sharing her experience and reflections with us! 

Awaken Beautiful

Advent

Advent, which began on Sunday, is the beginning of the new year in the church. The word itself means coming. Oh the beauty of new beginnings, the freshness of new seasons. How beautiful is it that we have a church that starts its new year in winter, a season of darkness and nature taking its course to journey to new life. It’s so like Jesus to do that, to give us newness in the old, to come in the darkest night, the darkest time of the year, and bring His dazzling light in the form of a child in a manger in Bethlehem.

One way to prepare this Advent is to dive into traditions and prayer with the family. This season is such a sweet time of traditions, preparation, hope and the chance to start anew. 

Blessings of Joy

The Advent Wreath

Our My Saint My Hero Experience Boutique hosted an Advent Experience this past week. We gathered around the table in community to make Advent Wreaths, something we’d love to share with you in the hopes that you too can find renewal in the season with your family. If you wanted to make your own simpler Advent wreath, all you’d need  is faux eucalyptus garland around a gold wreath candle holder and Advent candles.

Why Have an Advent Wreath?

Our dear friend, Father Kalu, shared with us the meaning of this beautiful tradition, emphasizing “the family that prays together, stays together” (Father Patrick Peyton). He explained that there are four candles in an advent wreath, one lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas. Each candle symbolizes the four centuries of waiting before Christ’s birth. On the first, second, and fourth Sundays of Advent, the purple candles are lit, symbolizing prayer, penance and the royalty of Jesus. On the third Sunday, the pink candle is lit, symbolizing the joy of the Lord.

The Advent wreath is a beautiful opportunity for prayer as the candles are lit, especially together with the family. You could reflect on Scripture together or pray over a different person each week. Amongst the women that were there, we shared glory stories of the Lord’s faithfulness in prayer within our families – it is hard, vulnerable, and attacked, but the fruits of this prayer together are so worth it all. 

Let’s gather together this season, friends, and begin again this Advent season to prepare a way for the coming of our Savior. Let’s light the world up today with His love, especially amongst our families.

The Greatest Love Deuteronomy 6:5 Bangle Collection

Every Time a Bell Rings…

Every Time a Bell Rings…

Awaken Angel Chime Necklace

Somewhere Over the Rainbow…

When was the last time a certain song played over the radio and it was like you were instantaneously transported back to a specific time or place in your life? Perhaps it brought you back to your college days? A fun dance off or karaoke moment at a party? That first date? The first time you drove alone in your very own car? A flood of emotions stirred within you and all these memories and feelings seemed to be so present, right there in front of you. It’s a strong yet involuntary reaction that can change our mood and affects us. Certain sights, smells and sounds that are powerfully linked with our memories have the incredible ability to move us and remind us of certain times, things, and people.

Awaken Angel Chime Necklace - Church Bells

“For more than a thousand years, church bells have rung out throughout the world to call Christians to prayer. At midday and a few minutes before every mass, bells ring out from tiny villages, to mission churches, to the skyscraper-filled cities. Bells also ring inside the churches – at the sacred moment when Christ becomes present again. And now, with this necklace, a bell rings for you too.

Your personal story is a unique and essential part of a much bigger story. You are a vital part of God’s divine plan. You are a beautiful chime in the harmony of life. Listen to the ringing of the bell, imagine all the other bells, and smile: the Good Shepherd will never let you wander beyond the reach of His care.”

-Fr. John Bartunek, LC ThD (RCSpirituality.com)

Awaken Angel Chime Necklace

Awaken and Listen

The ringing of bells makes us stop and listen, if only for a moment, and it tells us that God is present very near, within ear shot. It is a sweet invitation to come visit Him, or in the least think of Him, and that in itself is a prayer, a simple “I love you” to Him.

Wear this necklace and let the gentle chime remind you that you are never alone. God sends you his company of angels and saints. His providence guides you through every struggle, sorrow, victory and joy. When you hear this chime, allow it to awaken your senses to the presence of the angels and saints.

Awaken Angel Chime Necklace

You Are Not Alone

The chime of a bell will always remind me of the classic Christmas film, It’s A Wonderful Life.  “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings”. Know that as often as you hear the chime of this bell around your neck, your Guardian Angel is beside you, protecting you, guiding you, and is your very own faithful friend from heaven. Find comfort that the Archangels: Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel, are your advocates. With the feast day of the Archangels on September 29th, and the Guardian Angels on October 2nd, we are surrounded with reminders that these powerful allies are ever present to help us on our journey to heaven.

The Awaken Angel Chime Necklace

The bell is inscribed with the My Saint My Hero logo; a cross and the intertwined letters A & M for Auspice Maria, meaning “under the protection of Mary.” This represents the saints as they walked under the protection of Mary and in union with Christ. The chain has seven crystal stones representing the seven archangels.

Designed with love, may you be blessed by the community of love and prayer at My Saint My Hero. Your purchase enables us to use the power of giving to help transform lives and make the world a better place.


Benedictine Blessing Bracelets

The Gratitude Blessing Bracelet

The Gratitude Blessing Bracelet

God has something to say to you today, at this very moment.

He is with you right now. In fact, He never stops thinking about you: You really matter to Him.
This is the heart of Jesus Christ’s revolutionary message. But today’s world is so noisy, so disoriented, so crazy that His message is getting lost.

The two colors of this bracelet represent how God has woven us together, and how our prayers keep us connected to Him and to each other.

The Deep Meaning Behind the Benedictine Cross

In Christian tradition, the Benedictine cross is one of the Church’s most powerful signs of divine protection. It was created in the mid 600’s as a symbol of the spiritual truths that enabled St. Benedict and his many followers to resist evil and do good. “The Holy Cross be my Light,” is written in Latin on the front of the cross, which is used all over the world to help spread Christ’s Kingdom of love and light. Wear this ancient symbol to help protect your soul, your loved ones and your home from anything contrary to God’s love.

Father John Bartunek, LC ThD
RCSpirituality.org

Made with love in the small pilgrimage town of Medjugorje, Bosnia and Herzegovina; may you be blessed by the prayers of those making each piece and the love and prayers of My Saint My Hero. Your purchase enables us to use the power of giving to help transform lives and make the world a better place.

A Beautiful Way to Say, “Thank you!”

Our Gratitude Blessing Bracelet is a gift, a card, a sentiment, and a blessing all in one that is beautifully packaged and ready for you to personalize. It is a gift with meaning that is fit for anyone who you want to remind that they are a blessing, that they matter to you, and that they are God’s gift to the world!


Benedictine Blessing Bracelets

Benedictine Link

Benedictine Link

Benedictine Link Bracelet

Wear this bracelet as a reminder that God has given you a mission to make the world a better place and you can choose to fulfill that mission by using your hands to do good. Choose from antique silver or gold.

The Benedictine Cross

In Christian tradition, the Benedictine cross is one of the Church’s most powerful signs of divine protection. It was created in the mid 600’s as a symbol of the spiritual truths that enabled St. Benedict and his many followers to resist evil and do good. “The Holy Cross be my Light,” is written in Latin on the front of the cross, which is used all over the world to help spread Christ’s Kingdom of love and light. Wear this ancient symbol to help protect your soul, your loved ones and your home from anything contrary to God’s love.

The Significance of 5

Each bracelet has five Benedictine medals. This number has great meaning in our faith: It represents five wounds of Christ at His Passion, the five mysteries of the rosary, and it symbolizes God’s grace towards His people. Whether you meditate on the Cross, the rosary, or the grace God freely gives – may this bracelet be a tool to bring your heart closer to Jesus and remind you of His great love for you.

Benedictine Link Bracelet

Uniquely Designed

This bracelet was designed in Italy by the renowned Ghirelli Rosary Company. Ghirelli is the official rosary for the Vatican and is the rosary the pope has handed out to the dignitaries and guests of the Vatican since the time of St. Pope John Paul II. May you receive the blessings from Italy as you wear your bracelet.


Reflection on card provided by Fr. John Bartunek, LC ThD (RC Spirituality.com)

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Hail Mary, Full of Grace

Hail Mary & The Rosary

It was quite fitting that the day before Mother’s Day, we celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s apparitions in Portugal. Her message was simple: pray the Rosary daily, offer sacrifice for sinners, complete the consecration and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, complete the First Five Saturdays Devotion, and wear the Brown Scapular.

 “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…of the life of peoples and nations that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.“  – Sister Maria Lucía of Fatima

 

The simple yet profound prayer that is the Hail Mary makes up the vast majority of the Rosary. We recite it 53 times. The Hail Mary is a beautiful prayer to Our Mother in Heaven that ought never to be too far from our lips. The My Saint My Hero Hail Mary Morse Code Prayer Rope is a stunning piece of jewelry that can be worn around the neck or wrapped around the wrist to remind and surround us with the power of this prayer.

The Inspiration for this Piece

If you look at the bottom of the card, you can see the pattern of the bead colors corresponding with the Morse Code shown above.

Truly this inspiration was like a spring overflowing with newness and joy! We wanted a way to transcend prayer into a wearable blessing encoded with prayer. Morse Code carries words through patterns of sound and rhythm -an extraordinary form of communication. This pattern on your necklace resonates within that same coding, through the light blue dots and the hematite dashes. May this rhythm delight your heart and soul.

Morse Code Chart for the alphabet.

 

Not only is the Hail Mary Morse Code Prayer Rope a versatile piece, but one overflowing with meaning, and is especially appropriate for this year as we continue the celebration of Our Lady of Fatima, holding the rosary and our Hail Mary close to our hearts.

May you always be sheltered by Mary’s loving mantel,
Maria

If Angels Could be Jealous of Men- First Holy Communion

If Angels Could be Jealous of Men- First Holy Communion

A Real Presence, A Real Grace

The Sacraments have always personally marked a huge spiritual milestone for me. I remember around the time of my First Holy Communion, when I was about 7 years old, I was really struggling with jealousy. My little sister, at least to my eyes, was the perfect angel and she was always favored over me. I resented that it seemed so easy for her to listen to our parents, and was so nice about sharing, while it was like pulling teeth for me, and I sure vocalized it too. Deep in my heart I knew it was wrong and I desired to be a more loving and obedient girl, I just didn’t know how.

Thanks to my parents’ prompting, I remember writing a card to Jesus before my First Communion to thank Him for the gift of Himself and to ask for a very special grace. I asked that as He entered my heart that He take from me this jealousy. And He did. It was like night and day for me afterwards. I sometimes still felt the pangs of jealousy but now I had the strength, the grace to fight it.

A Transforming Love

Our Lord is truly there in the Blessed Sacrament, always present and His grace can truly transform us and work miracles. Listen as with each beat of His heart He professes His love for you.

“I love you”.

“You are precious to me.”

“I would do it all again for YOU (with your full name) alone.”

“Come, rest in me.”

“Let me heal your hurting…your burdened heart.” He will heal, transform, comfort, and strengthen us if we but come to Him and allow Him.

“If angels could be jealous of men, they would be so for one reason: Holy Communion”.
-St. Maximilian Kolbe

Celebrating First Holy Communion

First Holy Communion is one of the sacraments we especially celebrate this month. We celebrate and rejoice that these little children are receiving a gift not even the angels are privileged to enjoy. It is a reminder for us what a tremendous gift the Eucharist is, and an invitation to keep our hearts like little children!

Our First Communion Rosary and Bracelet Gift Sets, specifically designed for children, are a beautiful way to celebrate this Sacrament of love!  The rosaries are light enough for children to wear/carry, yet sturdy enough to accompany their daily adventures. They are sure to be a gift which keeps giving. Our Lady always leads us to her Son and through each bead, each Hail Mary, she will guide them time and time again back to His loving arms. Be sure to visit our store and order this Blessing gift today!

“I want to encourage everyone to visit- if possible, every day- especially amid life’s difficulties, the Blessed Sacrament of the infinite love of Christ and his mercy, preserved in our churches, and often abandoned, to speak filially with Him, to listen to Him in silence, and to peacefully entrust yourself to Him.” – Pope Francis, Message to the 2016 Eucharistic Congress.

In Him,
Maria

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