Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mary's Odds and Ends Day 11

A Virgin a Day
December 11, 2011

Day 11 of the twelve days of A Virgin a Day has been a beautiful experience featuring The Blessed Virgin Mary in stories, art and photos. It was created and hosted by my friend Rebecca. You can see more by visiting her blog, recuerda mi corazon.

Tomorrow marks the Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Traditionally, on these days, parishioners attend mass and prepare a large and special meal. In the case of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the parish where I grew up, the predominately Italian congregation held a celebration on the streets surrounding the church, complete with a carnival, fund raising booths ran by all of the social organizations within the church, ethnic Italian food booths and a special mass schedule.

Through participationn in this exercise over the past eleven days, I have seen that there is certainly no shortage of material in many forms that features Our Lady. Some folks have mentioned the music. Most famous is probably the Beatles "Lady Madonna" or the title song from the album "Let It Be". I have many albums from many genres and remembered this Reggae tune by Ras Michael. The name of the song is "Marriage in Canaan". If you click on the title of this post, it may play for you. If that doesn't work, there is a YouTube, but it is 8 minutes long so I decided not to load it. Look it up and listen to the rub-a-dub about Jesus and his Mother in a completely honoring way.
The beautifully ornate Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Statue

I also came across a couple of photos from the 1950’s of the procession that takes place through the neighborhood streets of Melrose Park, a suburb of Chicago, where a very large statue of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel is carried through the hot asphalt streets by dedicated parishioners. Melrose Park was also home to  The Sacred Heart Seminary which hosted a shrine. I found an old photo of people in prayer at that site, and it was labeled Our Lady of Fatima.
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel being carried through the streets during the procession
The Fatima Shrine at Sacred Heart Seminary, Melrose Park, IL

While searching through the really old family photos that I have, I came across two that I thought were very appropriate to honor my mother, womanhood, motherhood and peace. The first is my mom holding my brother Frank in her arms with my sister Marie standing at her feet with her teddy bear. My brother was born in 1943, so this photo has to be from around that time.
My mother with my brother and sister, circa 1943

This second photo, is my Grandmother, Mary Masi Spada with my mom and her Grandchildren. Must be from around the same era. The Mary influence is evident in their names and the fact that both these women, along with my sister when she grew up, all raised families that held together through the years. I believe it is photographs like these that exemplify what the Virgin Mary is to our lives.
My Paternal Grandmother with my mom, also circa 1943

In my own collection, bits and pieces of Our Lady of Guadalupe began to come into our home. As I explained in a previous post, Day 5 I believe, there is plenty of kitsch out there. I have my share with this Guadalupe pot holder and a beautiful, but very simply made wooden cross that came from Italy. I’m still searching diligently for that gear shift knob.,
Guadalupe hot pad
Italian made Guadalupe wooden cross

While browsing the shops and galleries during last years visit to Prescott, AZ, I came across this fantastic rendering of Mary as a Los Dias Icon. I would be remiss had I not included it somewhere in this series honoring Mary.

Besides the objects and gadgets, I purchased this beautiful Mary work of art from Daisy Coba at the annual auction of art that benefits the Oaxaca Street Children, another demonstration of the giving spirit spearheaded by our own Rebecca. Check out the link to the auction and stay informed. There are always many very talented artists donating pieces to raise money for this worthy cause.
Daisy Coba's Mary

So, today is a show-and-tell of a few of the objects you would see in my home. Tomorrow, we will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, not too awfully far from my home, and celebrate this Patroness of the Americas in words and photos. I believe we’ll have a special dinner here from the Spadoville kitchen as well. Feel free to stop in. We will eat around 6 PM.


Miss Robyn said...

I took part in A Virgin a Day, last year and it is sad when it comes to an end.. I have enjoyed your posts & your comments on my blog, thankyou.

I love the cross you share here.. In Australia, things like this are few and far between and if I ever do see them, they are very expensive to purchase. And here in Australia, we do nothing really, to celebrate Feast Days.

Hettienne Grobler said...

Oh such richness and abundance. As in Australia, we in South Africa do not celebrate any holy days of any path or religion other than the main christian Easter and Christmas. Thank you for this tour through your house - I love kitsch!! a beautiful tribute to the women in your family and the sacred womanhood.

Unknown said...

When I was a little girl we had May processions and crowned Mary with flowers. There are no adult Mary gathers in our community any more just within the churches. I have so enjoyed all of your entries in this special meme. So glad to run into you in this land of blogging. Blessings and Merry Christmas.

Unknown said...

I loved looking at your old family photos - I love nostalgia. Then your potholder - well, I have the same fabric on my purse!! Lovely post as always.

Jeannie said...

Our long ago neighbors in the Portuguese community we lived on the edge of used to dote on Our Lady of Fatima. I guess it was her they paraded around.

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful photos ~ You are indeed an enlightened person ~ Would love to come by for dinner ~ will be there in 'spirit' ~~ thanks, namaste, Carol (A Creative Harbor) Happy AVAD

Lenora said...

I love the parading of the sacred feminine through the streets, thank you for the peak at your special black and whites, strong woman of sounding domestic vocation, teh eyes of the painting by Daisy are so deep and expressive and i will be fascinated to know more of the art auction for next year, though i have not figured out how to follow on typepad vs the way i do on blogspot.. THx!

Dawn Elliott said...

I love your old pictures of family and the tribute you send out to the sacred womanhood! The photos of the procession make me long for Mexico, where you see that kind of thing so often. I didn't realize that they were going on in Illinois! I wonder, does that still happen there?
As for buying art in Prescott...did that virgin skull poster come from the Newman Gallery downtown on Whiskey Row? That's where my work is featured! Great shop, no? You have some fun artwork, for sure!

gma said...

It has been great getting to know you better during this celebration of Mary. I have enjoyed your posts very much. If I come across a Guadalupe gear shift knob I'll let you know. Are you having Shepards pie for dinner?

Priti Lisa said...

I love old mother never allowed her picture to be taken, so I can imagine how much you treasure these.
Your posts are always one of my favorite parts of the day.

Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio said...

It is always nice to visit you here-your posts are so personal and full of stories and factual information and wonderful philosophical insights. Such as, the influence of Mary on families-fostering a strong center and sense of. Looking forward to tomorrow's post.

Noelle Clearwater said...

Dear Joe,
Thanks so much for sharing so many family memories with us of the congregation in which you grew up and the ethnic flavor of it all. I love all the old family photographs and the connections you make with Mary and your mother, grandmother and sisters. It is very moving. The artwork is wonderful too, the kitsch and the finely crafted one from Rebecca's friend. It's all good. Thanks my friend. Have a great time with your family.
Peace and love,

rebecca said...

dear one,

each morning we have thrown open the doors to our hearts.

we have called out glory, love, compassion.

day after day we have set out welcoming chairs in the

house of belonging.

lifting the veil of sacred existence.

beveled off the edges of difference and distance

to see more deeply the

unbearable beauty of simply being,


for this and so much more i thank you,

and look forward to our forever


Meri said...

Very cool post, Joe!

foxysue said...

The Mary tour is nearing it's conclusion, I am ever so grateful I have been included as Rebecca says in 'the house of belonging' and thank you for the invite to your place tomorrow, I will be there in spirit, enjoy my friend.

Ms Foxy x

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

Seeing the procession you knew as a kid in Melrose Park made your childhood very real to me. And then to see your mom and your grandma really made things pop. You are right about kitsch being ever-present with Our Lady of Guadalupe objects. I had never seen a portrayal of Our Lady of Guadalupe with the muertos skull. I am delighted to see this. Life and death, the juxtaposition.

moXieantiques said...

Sorry I am late in adding my offering on mister linky... sad this is coming to an end I have enjoyed all your authentic good spirits... such wonderful energy.... hope we will cross paths again for a reason or two.. love and blessings..

Mel said...

*laughing* Shoulda known you were still on the prowl for the gear shift knob.

Can I just envy the photos of your mom? I had a few--very limited as she didn't like her photo taken, apparently. They're now gone and I sorely wished they weren't. Can't change that--but I can treasure yours and others. And I can be thankful for later being graced with a wonderful step-mother, eh?

It's been a lovely series, this AVAD. It's the right time of year and keeps things in perspective. And truly, the photos and tale telling have been welcomed and lovely.