Sunday, August 29, 2010

St. John Francis Regis, Patron Saint of Lacemaking

"Of many Arts, one surpasses all. For the maiden seated at her work flashes the smooth balls and thousand threads into the circle, ... and from this, her amusement, makes as much profit as a man earns by the sweat of his brow, and no maiden ever complains, at even, of the length of the day. The issue is a fine web, which feeds the pride of the whole globe; which surrounds with its fine border cloaks and tuckers, and shows grandly round the throats and hands of Kings." - Jacob Van Eyck, 1651.

Although this quote should be all that is needed to continue and end the topic of lacemaking begun on the August 27th Friday Feature, I can't help but continue the concept through a short introduction to St. John Francis Regis and the inclusion of several uses of lace from Etsy Artists Guild's members.

St. John Francis Regis (1597-1640) lived as a priest in France and is the patron saint of lacemakers and lacemaking. He utilized this beautiful art form as a means of employment for young ladies who might otherwise choose an immoral occupation. He provided training for these girls in lacemaking and embroidery, thus allowing them to earn a living in an honest manner.

Here at the guild, the assumption can be made that many of our members are motivated to create for their financial good or that of their families. But St. Regis' example also reminds us that keeping our minds and hands busy with our work can aid in keeping us holy too. Trouble cannot easily find a mind busy on a new pattern or hands deftly manipulating needle and thread...

Look at the tiny snippets of lace meticulously added to these sweet dolls by Jennifer at
Little Folk Dancer Doll dressed in Wool Felt Waldorf InspiredSnow White Princess Doll 4 inch tall Felt Bendy FolkImmaculate Heart of Mary Pillow Doll made from Amy Butler Tree Peony

...or fingers carefully applying icing to freshly baked cookies:

Wedding Cookie Collection

Kay from Rollin in Dough,, must use great concentration and dexterity to decorate these fabulous wedding cookies with lace-like features.

In the days that follow, more member shops using lace or lace-like features will be highlighted as well as various forms of lacemaking. May St. Regis intercede for us as we use art for the greater glory of God.


  1. How true that it is good for women to be doing something with their hands. Plus we love it! Thanks for the great post and introducing me to this great saint!

  2. Another Beautiful post, Adelle! Thank you!

  3. Adele, you are truly a talented writer, thanks for your hard work and great posts!

  4. Thank you to all. I love the way the guild provides a haven for art and faith.

    God bless,
    Adele from Gracehill