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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Santos Carver

I know many of you have visited our little shop of patron saints. I wonder how many of you have stayed a little longer and perused the rest of etsy. It's an interesting place of handmade and homemade, vintage things and supplies for people who make handmade and homemade items. It is also a community of craftsmen and artists.

I had mentioned here on the blog that St. Francis of Assisi fell over in the garden and broke. Last year he fell over and his head cracked off. We glued it back on. This year when he fell, his bowl with a little bird on it broke. He's holding his bowl, looking down at it, and now that it's broken he appears to be looking sadly at his broken bowl. It's really pathetic, especially when you realize his head is barely on.

One of the kind artists at etsy, "Santos Carver" contacted me and offered to make us a new statue for our garden. Having seen this man's work, I said no. Wait...that came out wrong....

St. Francis of Assisi is a cheesy hollow plaster thing that's painted all grey. I picked it up at a craft store at the end of the summer when items that sell for $20 are going for fifty cents.

This man at etsy is an artist. He carves wood. Apparently, while he's carving some miracles occur and the wood comes alive.

He insisted that we have one of his works. It came on Friday, a box in a box in a box for safe keeping. It's alive!

Pictures will not do it justice! He has somehow managed to keep the main body of the statue rather rough while bringing out the wood grains as though they were paint. The hues are beautiful and soothing. You must click on the pictures here to get a good look!

But the hands and face! Mary's face seems to glow. Exquisite and smooth, the expression is inspired.

Words won't do her justice, either.

We were also impressed that the little wooden cross came separately wrapped and fastens with a little wooden rod. No metal, all wood. There is a little glass window there behind Mary's head, so she appears to have a halo of light. Ingenious!

We have been moving Mary all around in the garden to find the perfect spot. She'll stay there until fall when the garden dies back and then move again for winter as the look of the garden changes.

Obviously, we can't thank Santos enough for his beautiful and inspiring work. You can contact him through his shop and have a chat about how great he is at what he does, or leave a note here and I'll be happy to pass it along. But do visit! He does custom work!

Mary is certainly the most beautiful thing in our garden now, which includes the flowers.

We do have a little plaster statue of St. Rita that has been painted. I think whoever made that thing just took a St. Theresa statue or some other nun statue and painted a red dot on her head to show that this is supposed to be St. Rita, who had the stigmata. (Not the whole stigmata, not all five wounds of Christ. She just had the crown of thorns, and not the whole crown, just the one thorn that made a hole in her head.) We also have a garden gnome, a little grey one from Ireland. We pretend he is St. Fiacre.

By the way, if you head over to etsy and sign up there, be sure and tell them heavenhelpus sent you. I get points for that...like S&H green stamps. I think they just started doing that today.


Fran said...

This blog has left me silenced.

Something that hasn't happened since 1963 during an unfortunate (for me) run in with Sister Praxeides.

Deep sigh.

Well there was that brief contemplative discerment, but as you can see.

And yes,this IS me speechless.

I love this blog.

Ferragamo Studio said...

What a lovely blog. So interesting to read, and I really enjoyed hearing about your new statue.

Thanks for a nice read. You have a wonderful way with words and a great sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

I've never commented before, but I'm looking for help. Is there a novena I could say for family harmony, family unity, family peace...SOMETHING for this family?

My family's always been close but lately financial issues (what else?) are threatening to cause deep rifts. I'm thinking St. Joseph is the saint to pray to, but is there anything special I can do?

x said...

Lovely creations on your blog!


Kathlee said...

Anonymous, I'm sure that Sister will have a great idea but I have found that St. Jude is a wonderful help for such "desperate" situations ("hopeless" ones, too). Here's a site where you can learn more about this lovely saint: http://www.stjudenovena.org/prayingthenovena.html.

Blessings to you from someone who knows the trials of family difficulties.


Ouiz said...

That is a beautiful statue!!! Enjoy your garden!

bill7tx said...

Anonymous (peace in family)

Devotion to the Infant of Prague is often helpful in times of financial trouble. "As long as you venerate me, you shall not want." Also, among my mother's things after her death I found a holy card with an image of the Holy Family on it, and on the back a long "Prayer for Peace In Family." I don't have time to type it all in here but maybe if you did a Google search on "Holy Family" and "Divine Infant" you will find a prayer or novena that will help. Finally, St. Joseph is the saint for everything, and there are a number of novenas to him.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...


RadioPie said...

Sister, I have a question about the sacrament of reconciliation. I was baptized last March through the RCIA, so I never needed to go to confession prior. But I now feel the need to do some penance for my sins, but am not sure how to start. I know that the kids in the catholic schools go through some preperation before their first confession. Do I have to do something like that? Is there a big deal about your "first time" - even if you've already been confirmed, etc?

Mary Rose said...

I just discovered this blog. It is simply wonderful on so many levels. I linked to both your blog and the Etsy shop on my own blog today. Your descriptions of the saints left me both laughing and profoundly touched.

God bless you from a prodigal daughter. :-)

Originals by Lauren said...

We visited Italy last year and went to the shrine of St. Francis of Assisi. It is beautiful, not to mention the vatacan. I am so happy to find out all about these patron saints. I am a public school girl, so you are enlightening me.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely statue! She is just beautiful. I may have to email the artist to inquire about one.

I do have a question for you. What does the phrase "gain graces" mean? How does one "gain graces"?

I really enjoy your blog. Thanks for writing it! :)


Anonymous said...

Anonymous, Saint Joseph is a wonderful protector of families, and I am sure he interceded for my family during difficult times.

We're a step-family so officially we should have asked St. Thomas More (especially since I'm a lawyer...)but we always took St. Joseph as our step-parent patron because, you know, he was married to Jesus's mommy.

We had a statue of him in the yard --NOT buried-- and made a family "crest" with his carpenter's tools on it. Every Dad likes to get some respect, especially when people call him "Tio Pepe" and joke about cuckolds. I bet you'll find him touchingly easy to please!

Felicia said...

Such a beautiful Mary :)

Rosebud Collection said...

What a beautiful statue of Mary..
Like the little garden gnome too..

Anonymous said...

Your statue is extraordinary! God bless the artist and his generosity.

BTW, I love to read your blog sister. You can always brighten my day.

Anonymous said...


What kind of glue did you use for St. Francis? Our St. Francis recently fell during a very windy day and his arm broke!

Since my wife paid nearly $50 for him I'd like to try and fix him. He is made of resin.


Anonymous said...

great! I've been wanting an Isaac Jogues statue/plaque for my son, but they're hard to come by.