Sunday, December 16, 2012

Wreath II : Meeting 4

Our fourth meeting of the year was held on December 16, 2012.

The Poppy - Loyalty 

Memory Verse - "I will maintain my Covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you."
~Genesis 17:7

This beloved saint was born and lived in Syracuse, Sicily. Lucy was the daughter of very noble and rich parents. Her father died when she was very young. Young Lucy secretly promised Jesus that she would never marry so that she could be his alone. She was a lovely girl, with beautiful eyes. More than one young noble set his heart on her.

Her mother Eutychia, begged her to marry a young pagan named Paschasius, whom she had chosen for Lucy. But for three years Lucy would not agree and was able to hold it off. Lucy then thought of a plan to win her mother over. Her mother suffered from hemorrhages and Lucy convinced her to go to the shrine of St. Agatha and pray for her recovery.  When God heard their prayers and cured her mother, Lucy told her of her promise to be Christ's bride. Her grateful mother finally allowed Lucy to follow her vocation.

Paschasius was furious at losing his bride to be. In his bitter anger, he accused her of being a Christian. He threatened her with the frightening torture of being blinded. But Lucy was even willing to lose both her eyes rather than belong to anyone but Jesus. And that is just what happened. Many statues show St. Lucy holding her lovely eyes in the palm of her hand.

Jesus rewarded Lucy for her heroic love. He worked a miracle and gave her back her eyes, more beautiful than ever. The pagan judge tried to send the saint to a house of sinful women. He hoped that Lucy might be tempted to give up Christ. But when they tried to carry her away, God made her body so heavy that they could not move her even with a team of oxen. Then she was surrounded with bundles of wood which they set on fire, but the fire went out. In the end, she was stabbed and became a martyr for Jesus in the year 304.

Opening Prayer

Story of St. Lucy

Votive holders

Beautiful Gifts from Mrs. Hampton

Our next meeting will be on January 27, 2013. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Wreath II: Meeting 3

Our third meeting of the year was held on November 18, 2012.

The Yucca - Courage 

Memory Verse - "I command you: be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go." 
~Joshua 1:9

Margaret Plantaganet (now, Blessed Margaret Pole) was born in England. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. King Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole who was a brave soldier and a friend of the royal family. They had five children and Margaret also privately helped raise the king's son Henry VIII. Years later, Sir Reginald died leaving Margaret a widow.

The young Henry VIII became king, he called Margaret the holiest woman in England. He was so impressed with her that he returned some property her family had lost in the past. He also made her a countess of Salisbury. Henry trusted her so much that Countess Margaret was appointed the governess of Princess Mary, his and Queen Catherine's daughter.

But then Henry tried to marry Anne Boleyn although he was already married. Margaret told the king that what he did was wrong. This upset the king very much and he made her leave the court. The king was even more upset when one of Margaret's sons, a priest (and who later became the famous Cardinal Reginald Pole), wrote a long article against Henry's claim to be head of the Church in England.

Henry was out of control. He had become cruel and hateful. He threatened to get rid of Margaret's whole family. Henry sent people to question Countess Margaret to prove her a traitor. They questioned her from noon until evening but could not find any fault with her. She had nothing to hide.
Then Margaret was wrongly accused and kept under house arrest at the castle of a nobleman. She was later moved to the huge tower of London without even a trial. During the long winter months, she suffered very much from the cold and dampness. She had no fire and not enough warm clothing.
Finally, on May 28, 1541, when she was seventy years old, Blessed Margaret was led out of the tower to the place of execution. She was tired and sick, but she stood tall and proud to die for her faith. "I am no traitor," she said bravely. Margaret was beheaded on Tower hill and died a martyr for her faith in Jesus.

Coloring sheets of the yucca

Shields to show bravery and courage

Ladies in Waiting - just like Blessed Margaret Pole

Turkey shaped fruit/pretzel platter since it's close to Thanksgiving

 Our next meeting will be held on December 16th.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wreath II : Meeting 2

Our second meeting of the year was held on October 28, 2012.

The Tulip - Joy/Mirthfulness 

Memory Verse - "Come let us sing joyfully to the Lord; let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation."  ~Psalms 95:1

St. Clare was born in a little town called Assisi, in Italy. She was a beautiful girl who lived at the time of St. Francis of Assisi. Before she was born, when her mother was praying one day for the baby that was soon to be born, she heard a voice saying "Woman, do not worry, you shall have a daughter and by her life, she will bring God's light to the world."

Clare had so much pity for the poor, that quite often she would secretly give her food to them and go hungry herself. She spent time praying faithfully to Jesus everyday. If she did anything wrong when she was with her friends she would immediately do penance so that Jesus would be happy with her again.

When Clare was eighteen, she heard St. Francis preach. Her heart burned with a great desire to imitate him. She also wanted to live a poor, humble life for Jesus. So one evening, she ran away from home and went to the church where St. Francis and his Friars (disciples) lived. In a little chapel outside Assisi, she gave herself to God. St. Francis cut off her beautiful hair and offered her a rough brown habit (long dress that nuns normally wear) and left her in the abbey to stay with the Benedictine nuns. Her friends hated this work she was doing for God and her parents tried in every way to make her return home, but Clare would not. Soon her fifteen-year-old sister Agnes also joined her. Other young women wanted to be brides of Jesus, too. Before long there was a small religious community.

Under the guidance of St. Francis, Clare started an order of nuns called the "Poor Clares." St. Clare and her nuns wore no shoes. They never ate meat. They lived in a poor house and kept silent most of the time. Yet they were very happy because they felt that Jesus was close to them. Once an army of cruel soldiers came to attack Assisi. They planned to raid the convent first. Although very sick, St. Clare asked to be carried to the window. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed right where the soldiers could see it. Then she knelt and begged God to save the nuns. "O Lord, protect these sisters whom I cannot protect now," she prayed. And a voice within her seemed to say: "I will keep them always in my care." Suddenly, a great fear came over the attackers and they ran away as fast as they could.

St. Clare was sick for twenty-nine years before she died on August 11, 1253. But she was always joyful because she was serving the Lord. Some people worried that the nuns were suffering because they were so poor. "They say that we are too poor, but how can a heart which holds the infinite God be poor?"

Hearing the story of St. Clare of Assisi

Decorated cross cookies

Playing a game of fitting correct letters over the virtues of love, chastity and obedience.

Our next meeting will be held on November 18th.