Monday, July 30, 2012

St. Maria Goretti - A Beautiful Rose

"A pure heart is a beautiful rose" - St. John Marie Vianney

This July marks the 110th anniversay of St. Maria Goretti's death - the ultimate sacrifice in the name of purity. Former president for Catholics United for Christ, Mr. James Likouds' reflection on St. Maria Goretti as a saint for our times resounds with truth, "In many of his addresses, Pope John Paul II has noted that the 20th century has been perhaps the bloodiest and most murderous century in the history of mankind, giving the Church the most martyrs in her 2,000-year history. It should be a matter of profound reflection that the 20th century may be said to have begun with the martyrdom in 1902 of a young girl, Maria Goretti–not yet 12 years of age–who did not hesitate to give her life for the virtues of virginity and chastity so cherished by the Catholic Church."

In a world so quick to reject the principles of chastity in every corner of life, we are given the example of a small child to fortify our courage. Let us always strive to foster a love and emulation of St. Maria Goretti's purity in our own lives and especially in the lives of the youth of today.  

"Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth, with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen."
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father, etc.
St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

In Christ,

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hoop Scoop: A St. Louis Landmark

This week's hoop scoop brings a St. Louis Gothic-revival Landmark to our workshop frames in anticipation for St. Francis de Sales' Summer at the Oratory on August 19th.

It's worth a trip to St. Louis, Missouri to see for yourself - beautiful stained glass windows by the famous Emil Frei, a High Altar comprised of over 50 feet of exquisite beauty, and a liturgy so rich in the traditions of the Church as to further sanction St. Louis' link to the Eternal City by the name, "Rome of the West".

This virtual tour should tempt the eye, if the description above hasn't already!

Visit the Oratory for 10am Mass on August 19, 2012 and follow the crowds afterward to take part in the annual Summer at the Oratory - an afternoon filled with hometown BBQ, games, prizes, silent auction, and more!

When? August 19, 2012, 11am-7pm
Where? 2653 Ohio Ave, St. Louis, Missouri

And keep an eye out for this design, embroidered on... can you guess?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hoop Scoop: Marian Vestments

This week, our needles are busy stitching with blue and metallic gold. Working with lovely white damask pre-cut fabric pieces sent to us from a talented seamstress, these pieces will soon take shape into Latin Rite Marian Vestment sets to be worn by TWO newly ordained priests.

This collection of embroidery pieces came to a whopping 125,964 stitches! That's about 2,078.406 feet of thread!!!!

In honor of these Marian vestments, let's take a peek into the practice of the honoring the Five First Saturdays Devotion, at which these vestments will one day soon take their place at the foot of the Altar. Have you ever heard of this devotion? It all started one day in 1917 Fatima, Portugal...

Our Lady Herself asked for us to make reparation on this day especially saying, "Say to all who, for 5 months, on the first Saturdays, confess, receive Holy Communion, recite the Rosary, and keep Me company during 15 minutes while meditating on the 15 mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to my Immaculate Heart, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with all the graces necessary for the salvation of their souls."

Have you made your First Saturdays?

Stay tuned for final product posts as these treasures come to life!!
See you then!

Mary Serafino

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New to the Shop: Fleur de Lis Throw

The fleur de lis.

Mini Fleur de lis two-tone design

A favorite symbol in the Catholic Embroidery family and a confirmed favorite amongst Catholics around the globe. Not only is it a symbol of Our Lady, representing a lily of purity, it is commonly held as traditional symbol of Catholic France. Tradition holds that an angel appeared to King Clovis and presented him with a lily -- fleur de lis -- to honor his purification upon his baptismal day. This day became the birth of the First Daughter of the Church - France, who has since produced such saints as St. Joan of Arc and St. Louis the King (also remembered in symbolism with the fleur de lis).

Check out our new Fleur de Lis Throw in two timeless styles, complimenting most home decor with an all-over fleur de lis pattern. Warm and cozy, this throw is a great addition to the home, office, or car. Machine wash and tumble dry care make for a family-friendly addition to any home.

Fleur de lis Throw

What is YOUR favorite Catholic symbol?

Sincerely in Christ,

Friday, July 6, 2012

Hoop Scoop: Franciscan Crest

It's a Franciscan kind of week, isn't it?

To add to our San Damiano design, we'd also added a Franciscan crest to further represent the simple and sanctifying spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi in our design gallery. This crest was designed from scratch, incorporating many important "Franciscan" elements in just one design...

  • The crossed hands represent the pierced hand of Christ and the stigmata-born hand of St. Francis, both piercing of which are stitched in red thread with gold metallic outlines. 
  • St. Francis adopted the Tau cross as his own personal crest after learning of it's Old Testament correlation through the teachings of Pope Innocent III. This cross can be seen above the crossed hands in our crest. 

Fore more information on this design or it's application on our signature products, visit our website:

Sincerely in Christ,

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Project: Heirloom Baptismal Gown

Last weekend, on the commemoration of the conversion of St. Paul, a new little soul became a Child of God and heir to the kingdom of heaven.

It was an honor to be a part of the occasion by embroidering the initials and date onto the heirloom gown. This monogram joins those of his sisters, embroidered throughout the years while the gown itself boasts plenty of room for more in years to come!

Congratulations G.J.R.! 

Sincerely in Christ,
Mary and the Catholic Embroidery Staff

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hoop Scoop: San Damiano Cross

Our designer has been hard at work in the creation of new designs to add to our gallery in the coming months. This month brings the addition of two Franciscan designs, the first of which is our own simplified version of the San Damiano Cross:


Our beloved Saint Francis did not start out life as a fiercely devout and pious man. His early years were spent indulging in the extravagances available to those born to money and privilege. As he approached adulthood, however, he found himself in crisis, searching for deeper meaning in his life.

This inner conflict led him to the deserted church of San Damiano in his hometown of Assisi. It was here, praying before the San Damiano Crucifix, that Francis first heard the Word of God. "Francis, go and rebuild my house, which is falling into ruins."

When Francis heard these words, he responded by quickly taking up a collection to restore the churches of Assisi, which were in disrepair. Through his efforts, many chapels and churches were rebuilt.

Francis eventually realized that God was not merely asking him to restore chapels, but to rebuild His Church around the world as a community. Francis responded with decisive action. He embraced a life of poverty, prayer and service, and began to preach the Word of God.

The San Damiano Cross is an "icon cross," meaning it contains not just a depiction of Christ, but icons of various people and scenes relevant to the story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. The Cross is in the Eastern style and was crafted in Umbria, Italy (the region where Assisi is located) in the 12th century. It is made of painted walnut and measures 75 inches high, 47 inches wide, and slightly less than 5 inches thick. The original Cross is now located in the Basilica of St. Clare in Assisi; a replica hangs in the San Damiano church.

History of the San Damiano Cross from the Franciscian Fathers Website

Coming up later this week... Our signature edition of the Franciscan Crest in stitches!

Sincerely in Christ,