Tuesday, August 24, 2010

On St. Rose of Lima, Eternal Beauty and Pure Wool Felt

St. Rose of Lima lived in the 16th century in Lima, Peru. It is said she was baptized Isabel but was nicknamed Rose. One story about St. Rose has made the biggest impression on me. It is said that she was very beautiful which made many men seek her hand in marriage. However, she wanted to dedicate her life to God. How do you get a bunch of avid suitors to leave you alone? The answer for Rose was to become ugly. It is not certain how she accomplished this. Was it a skin ailment, a disease, or was it something she put on her face? No one knows for sure. The important thing is that she prayed to God and He answered her. And in this age where physical beauty supposedly outweighs wisdom, grace and purity of soul we should look to her to bring our priorities back to us. For, this life is so short. Why waste it on what must pass rather than what will be eternal? Ironically, her beauty is said to have returned to her once she entered the convent. I suppose this is God's joke on her superficial suitors and everyone who cannot see where beauty really resides. She died at the young age of 31.

The doll pictured here I handmade with mostly natural materials. Her body is wire wrapped in cotton embroidery floss and her clothes are pure wool felt. Why do I use pure wool felt as it is a bit more expensive? Well, it smells great when it comes to me. Also, I love to get a new order of felt so I can admire the richness of the colors. I love color. As you can see in the photo I embellished her habit a little with her deep pink wrapped legs and sleeves and the array of flowers on her crown. I'm an artist - I can do that! But mostly, I love the durability of the wool felt. I have been making dolls for my daughters since 2008 and the felt holds up very well. True - it will shrink if it goes through the dryer (as some of our dolls have done) but it lasts so much better than the much cheaper craft felt I get from the chain stores which starts to pill after a few days! Also, it is authentic. It comes from sheep and wool is what many of the saints would have worn. I even made a hand-embroidered brown scapular from some of my wool felt for my husband. The one he had been wearing was nothing but tatters as he had been wearing it for a long time. It was given to us by a very good friend who is a Carmelite nun, and I knew only a special scapular could ever replace it.

So, the lesson for today ~ put store in what lasts ~ quality wool felt and eternal beatitude. :)

(Sorry this is a day late!)


  1. Great post...and I love your dolls.

  2. Great post! Your dolls are very sweet! Any little girl would love to play with them!
    Blessings, keep up the good work!