Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Patron Saint Quilt is Done!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Quilt Block in Honor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Daughter of Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, Margaret was born on July 22, 1647, at L'Hautecour, Burgundy, France, was sent to the Poor Clares school at Charolles on the death of her father, a notary, when she was eight years old. She was bedridden for five years with rheumatic fever until she was fifteen and early developed a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. She refused marriage, and in 1671 she entered the Visitation convent at Paray-le-Monial and was professed the next year. From the time she was twenty, she experienced visions of Christ, and on December 27, 1673, she began a series of revelations that were to continue over the next year and a half. In them Christ informed her that she was His chosen instrument to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart, instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine Fridays and the Holy Hour, and asked that the feast of the Sacred Heart be established.

Rebuffed by her superior, Mother de Saumaise, in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in the visions, she eventually won her over but was unable to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her community. She received the support of Blessed Claude La Colombiere, the community's confessor for a time, who declared that the visions were genuine. In 1683, opposition in the community ended when Mother Melin was elected Superior and named Margaret Mary her assistant. She later became Novice Mistress, saw the convent observe the feast of the Sacred Heart privately beginning in 1686, and two years later, a chapel was built at the Paray-le-Monial to honor the Sacred Heart; soon observation of the feast of the Sacred Heart spread to other Visitation convents. Margaret Mary died at the Paray-le-Monial on October 17, and was canonized in 1920. She, St. John Eudes, and Blessed Claude La Colombiere are called the "Saints of the Sacred Heart"; the devotion was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after her death. Her feast day is observed on October 17.


This 12" x 12" quilt block represents the Sacred Heart of Jesus. To download the free pattern: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Quilt Block in Honor of Blessed Pope John Paul II

Blessed Pope John Paul II was born Karol Józef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920, in Wadowice, Poland. He was ordained in 1946, became the bishop of Ombi in 1958, and became the archbishop of Krakow in 1964. He was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI in 1967, and in 1978 became the first non-Italian pope in more than 400 years. He was a vocal advocate for human rights and used his influence to effect political change. He died in Italy in 2005. It was announced in July of 2013 that he would be declared a saint in April of the following year.

 This 12" x 12" quilt block is based on Pope John Paul II's coat of arms. "The main representation is a cross, whose form, however, does not correspond to the customary heraldic model. The reason for the unusual placement of the vertical section of the cross is readily apparent if one considers the second object inserted in the coat of arms the large and majestic capital M. This recalls the presence of Mary beneath the cross and her exceptional participation in the Redemption." (

To download the free pattern: Quilt Block in Honor of Pope John Paul II

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Quilt Block in Honor of St. Joseph

St. Joseph was the husband of Mary and the foster-father of Jesus. 

We know he was a carpenter, a working man, for the skeptical Nazarenes ask about Jesus, "Is this not the carpenter's son?" (Matthew 13:55). He wasn't rich for when he took Jesus to the Temple to be circumcised and Mary to be purified he offered the sacrifice of two turtledoves or a pair of pigeons, allowed only for those who could not afford a lamb (Luke 2:24). 

We know Joseph was man of faith, obedient to whatever God asked of him without knowing the outcome. When the angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the truth about the child Mary was carrying, Joseph immediately and without question or concern for gossip, took Mary as his wife. When the angel came again to tell him that his family was in danger, he immediately left everything he owned, all his family and friends, and fled to a strange country with his young wife and the baby. He waited in Egypt without question until the angel told him it was safe to go back (Matthew 2:13-23).

We know Joseph respected God. He followed God's commands in handling the situation with Mary and going to Jerusalem to have Jesus circumcised and Mary purified after Jesus' birth. We are told that he took his family to Jerusalem every year for Passover, something that could not have been easy for a working man.
Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph probably had died before Jesus entered public ministry. 

Joseph is the patron of the dying because, assuming he died before Jesus' public life, he died with Jesus and Mary close to him, the way we all would like to leave this earth. 

A symbol of St. Joseph is carpenter tools, which I have attempted to represent in this 12" x 12" quilt block. To download the free pattern: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Joseph

Monday, December 2, 2013

Quilt Block in Honor of St. Maria Goretti

Born in Corinaldo, Ancona, Italy, on October 16 1890; St. Maria Goretti's farmworker father moved his family to Ferrier di Conca, near Anzio. Her father died of malaria and her mother had to struggle to feed her children.
In 1902 an eighteen-year-old neighbor, Alexander, grabbed her from her steps and tried to rape her. When Maria said that she would rather died than submit, Alexander began stabbing her with a knife. 

As she lay in the hospital, she forgave Alexander before she died. Her death didn't end her forgivness, however. 

Alexander was captured and sentenced to thirty years. He was unrepentant until he had a dream that he was in a garden. Maria was there and gave him flowers. When he woke, he was a changed man, repenting of his crime and living a reformed life. When he was released after 27 years he went directly to Maria's mother to beg her forgiveness, which she gave. "If my daughter can forgive him, who am I to withold forgiveness," she said. 

When Maria was declared a saint in 1950, Alexander was there in the St. Peter's crowd to celebrate her canonization. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1950 for her purity as model for youth.
She is called a martyr because she fought against Alexander's attempts at sexual assault. However, the most important aspect of her story is her forgiveness of her attacker -- her concern for her enemy extending even beyond death. Her feast day is July 6. St. Maria Goretti is the patroness of youth and for the victims of rape.

St. Maria Goretti's symbols include lilies and a sword. For this quilt block, I have included a top view of two lilies and a variation on a sword on the sides. To download the free 12" x 12" pattern, please click here: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Maria Goretti

Quilt Block in Honor of St. Elizabeth, Mother of St. John the Baptist

According to the Gospel of Luke, Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron the high priest (Luke 1:5-7). She and her husband Zacharias were "righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless", but childless. While ministering in the temple of the Lord, Zacharias was visited by the angel Gabriel (Luke 8-12) and told of the impending birth of a son, who would become St. John the Baptist.

According to the account, the angel Gabriel was then sent to Nazareth in Galilee to her "cousin" Mary, then a virgin, espoused to a man called Joseph, and informed her that she would conceive by the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son to be called Jesus. After she was also informed that her "cousin Elisabeth" had begun her sixth month of pregnancy, she travelled to "Hebron, in the hill country of Judah",to visit (Luke 1:26-40).

Luke 1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
57 Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.
58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.
60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.
63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.
64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
That was the last mention of Elizabeth, who is not mentioned in any other chapter in the Bible.

I wasn't able to find a mention of any symbol for St. Elizabeth, only that she was associated with the color green. So, I have set one of the symbols (a shell) of her son (St. John the Baptist) on a field of green.

To download the free 12" x 12" pattern, please click here: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Elizabeth of the Bible

Quilt Blocks in Honor of Saints Perpetua and Felicity

Saints Perpetua and Felicity (believed to have died 7 March 203) are Christian martyrs of the 3rd century. Perpetua (born around 181) was a 22-year old married noblewoman and a nursing mother. Her co-martyr Felicity, an expectant mother, was her slave. They suffered together at Carthage in the Roman province of Africa, during the reign of Septimius Severus.

The Passion of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is said to preserve the actual account of her arrest and imprisonment and her fellow martyr Saturus’ own account of his dreams (chapter ii and chapter xi). According to the passion, a number of catechumens were arrested for their faith and executed at the military games in celebration of the Emperor Geta's birthday (chapter ii). The group consisted of a slave named Revocatus, his fellow slave Felicitas, the two free men Saturninus and Seculdulus, and Perpetua (chapter ii).

 One of the symbols of St. Perpetua is a wild cow, probably because she was sent into the arena to face a rabid heifer. To download this free pattern for a 12" x 12" quilt block please click here: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Perpetua

Seven swords are a symbol of St. Felicity. To download this free 12" x 12" quilt block pattern, please click here: Quilt Block in Honor of St. Felicity