Thursday, March 19, 2009

A blog facelift on the feast of St Joseph

Saint Joseph's Dream

I am very excited about the lovely job that Michelle from Shabby Creations has done in bringing my ideas of a new look for Under Her Starry Mantle to life. I had many little, incessant thoughts and desires, but Michelle accommodated them all beautifully!

This blog is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and so the new look is my more personal reflection of that.

Our Lady's image rests in a mexican retablo frame, surrounded by her miraculous starry mantle that Our Heavenly Mother wishes to envelope us all in:

"Are you not in the fold of my mantle?..."

I also love herbs and have started to blog a bit more about them so it was a fitting choice to include an image of the Lady's Mantle herb. This is a beautiful, healing herb for women, one that I brew up into a tea regularly. A famous Catholic priest, Abbe Kuenzle once said,

"Through early and prolonged application of this medicinal herb, two thirds of all operations performed on women would be quite unnecessary, since it heals all inflammations of the abdomen, fever, burning, suppuration, ulcers and hernia. Every woman in childbirth should drink much of this tea. Some children would still have their mother, some stricken widower his wife, had they but known this herb. "

The name given to this herb due to the plant's very shapely and pleated leaves that look like a lady's cloak in medieval times. The cloak was thought suitable for the Virgin Mary and the original common name of the herb was - 'Our-Lady's-Mantle' in honor of Mary. Of course it ties into the blog's theme in a lovely way. You can see the herb in the header in colour and in the background of the main text section, in a slightly darker shade than the background colour, along the sides.

The mantle flows over and down the side of a painting of the scene where Juan Diego is walking to meet Our Lady (Our Lady is seen in the top, left hand corner of the picture) it has been given a worn, antique look with the most beautiful, motherly words in the world scripted over the top:

"Am I not here, I who am your mother? Are you not under my shadow and watch? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the fold of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms?"

Castilian roses fell from Juan's tilma at the moment the image of Our Lady miraculously appeared, the press dried roses in the header are in rememberance of that scene.

The background on the very far sides, behind the main text area is part of Our Lady of Guadalupe's dress, that is full of symbolic meaning.

My beloved bottle of Loreto Holy Oil features as well as my vintage reproduction Guadalupian rosary beads I made last year.

The title over the top of the header, "Under Her Starry Mantle" I tried to match a font that was similar to the calligraphy script of the Nican Mopohua the ancient account of the apparition written in his own hand in 1649 by Valeriano in the mexican language, Nahuatl.

I hope you like the new look as well!


I had a series of things go wrong on St Patrick's Day, too numerous to mention including the loss of a tooth that required surgical removal, deleting my whole post by accident, then re-writing and having the delete button jam and eat up my post before I discovered what was doing it, accidently sending my St Patrick's Breastplate video to Catholic Cuisine, oh yes, it just goes on! I hope to blog sometime soon about St Patrick.

We are also caught up in state elections down under in our state, in which we are heavily involved with, (please offer an Ave for our election, that Godly people are elected) so we didn't get to celebrate our beloved St Joseph's feastday as we would have hoped, we always have so much to thank him for! I hope your St Joseph's day is a blessed one!


Aussie Therese said...

I love the new look Anne. Praying for the elections in your state.

Donna said...

I love your new look, too!!!

Tricia said...

WOW Anne! Your blog looks wonderful.

Nancy said...

I LOVE the new look!!!

Erin said...

Love the new look:) I always feel like a change at the start of a new season.

Marilyn said...

I LOVE the new look Anne. Beautiful!

molly said...


jenmack said...

Anne - the new look is just beautiful!!! Michelle at Shabby Creations does such lovely work...and the wonderful thing about her is that you can go back in a few months and ask for a button or some other little addition...AND, you have 2 sidebars to work with now!!!

I love the calm, serene look you have here!

Lovely job!

Carole in Wales said...

Wonderful new look, Anne. Very calming and peaceful.

Pablo said...

Dear Madam,

I don't know anyone else that has a more beautiful site with the Holy Mother as Nuestra Senora Santa Maria de Guadalupe. And I am a Guadalupano.

Thank you for properly mentioning that Saint Juan Diego was an indigenous, and not an 'Indian'. Or even worse, an Aztec. The Aztecs were Satan's children, and not really Mexican.

Have you ever considered what happened to the rose bushes that our lady had Saint Juan Diego put into his tilma? They still grow at Tepeyac Hill. The pedals of these roses have been used to make a tea from which miraculous cures have resulted. It would be nice for you to have some considering the beautiful site you have. My friends at Tepeyac Hill would love to send you some. Do you have anyone available that speaks Spanish?

I met a woman at the San Genaro Festival in Phoenix, Arizona. She was from Italy. After several pleasantries, I promised to send her a Saint Benedict Rosary from the Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Silver City, New Mexico. I took the opportunity to send a poster size image of Guadalupe from Tepeyac Hill.

Several years later, the young woman awoke to her home trembling and she could hear buildings in the neighborhood falling. She was eight months pregnant and also had a two year old child. And her husband was out of town on business.

She looked at the image of our lady that was hanging on the wall at the foot of her bed. She called out "Mother of mercy, please protect my children!" Her home stopped trembling and a calm came upon her soul.

This young lady had insisted on having her honeymoon in Mexico City where she placed her life and motherhood in the hands of our mother, as she stood under the image of our mother.

Our mother never fails us.

Please pray for Rosanna and her family in L'Aquila, Italy .

God writes straight with crooked lines.

Isn't it providential that her name is Rose with Anna for our lady's mother, Saint Anne?

As Claudia, the wife of Pilate was rewarded for her act of Charity to our mother, may she reward you also for such a beautiful site dedicated to her.

Santa MarĂ­a de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.