Saturday, March 13, 2010

This and That for Silver Sunday

Welcome to another Silver Sunday over at Gypsy Fish Journal
Silver Sunday is held on the second Sunday of each month,
stop by and check out all the bright and shiny pretty things!

A little bit of this and that.....
A toile hatbox
A glass framed vintage miniature portrait
An evening bag
Faux roses
Vintage porcelain roses
A Vienese petit point mirror
Mexican silver bangles, chain mail necklace, and filigree earrings
Vintage fleur de lis key broach
Art deco silver cuff bracelet
Contemporary silver choker and bracelet
Earrings - Do you recognize the carafe and disc pitcher
reminiscent of Fiesta?
And a medallion given to me by Pope Pius XII at a Papal audience in 1948
Edit 3/14/10: I have added more information on the medallion below

That's my older brother and me in the center of the image with our parents
behind us.  My brother was looking a lot like a pirate with his black eye
patch .... after being stung by a bumble bee on one of our mis-adventures
in our backyard several days before our trip to Italy in 1948.

Back in the years right after WWII small Papal audiences were pretty
common for Americans stationed in Europe to help rebuild after the war.
The groups were small and had English speaking docents to introduce those
headed to an audience to all the wonders of the Holy See.

The Holy See ( Sancta Sedes) is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Bishop
of Rome, who is commonly known as the Pope, and is the preeminent episcopal
see of the Catholic Church forming its central government.

My family is not Catholic, but we knew the great honor it would be to
attend one of these semi-private audiences. Meeting the Pope made a great
impression on me, even though I was only five at the time. The grandeur
and beauty of the Vatican is other worldly.

As the tour began all women were asked to cover the heads.
Those who were Catholic were prepared for this requirement,
but non-Catholics in the group began to scramble to follow the tradition.

I can remember knowing that it must be important and that the little
lace head coverings others were covering their hair with were really pretty
and would look nice with my "Sunday" dress that I wore for the occasion.
Instead I wore a Kleenex tissue, actually only one ply of a Kleenex tissue,
as my mom wore the other half! The thing kept flying off and floating to
the floor, but I think we only had to wear it in the chapels because I
know I didn't have to chase it for the whole tour.

When we arrived in the room shown in the image above, the Pope
gave a small sermon, thanked those present for helping Europe recover
from the ravages of war, and then began to go to each person in the semi-circle
that faced him.  My family must have been about two-thirds of the way
around the semi-circle and I was very excited!

I really didn't know what was happening, but I could clearly see that
the Pope was speaking to each person and giving them a gift!
Remember I was only five and some of the true significance of the
occasion escaped me, but I did know about gifts!

The Pope greeted my parents and spoke to them momentarily, then to
my brother. I was next. The Pope knelt down and spoke to me in a
very soft voice and asked me what I thought of his church. Even now I
get all emotional, remembering the aura that surrounded this very serene
person. He listened quietly as I said it was very pretty and then he said,
"I think so too. You be a good girl."

He handed me the medallion, blessed me and moved on.
I knew right then and there that I wanted to be Catholic!
I really liked the Pope's church and he was so nice.
What more could a five year old want from a church?

I never did become a Catholic, but throughout my life I attended
mass with friends whenever the opportunity arose. You can see by
the wear on the medallion that I have carried it with me all my life.

The image of me with the Pope disappeared from the family album
a few years ago and has never been found. I really don't need its
physical presence to remind me of a day that affected me deeply
and helped to shape the person I was to become.


  1. Great post! Pretty things and interesting to read.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Maureen, I'm glad you enjoyed my post.


  3. You have some beautiful silver jewelry, but the medallion from your audience and trip is just amazing! Thank you for sharing it all.

  4. Silver bangle bracelets are my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear. I could just reach into my computer screen and take yours.

    Love your Fiesta collection on your blog header.

    If you have a minute, stop by Applejack Lane.

  5. You came up with some magnificent items for Silver Sunday!! The jewelry is lovely and the pictures are amazing.
    ♥, Susan

  6. Very pretty silver pieces. I love silver jewelry and you showed some beautiful pieces.

  7. Love the fiesta ware earrings! What great treasures to share.

  8. That Fleur de lis key is to die for!!! Love all the baubles ~ Happy SS!

  9. So bright and shiny - you have some lovely silver treasures!

    Enjoy your Silver Sunday!

  10. Thank you are for your generous comments, I'm so pleased you enjoyed my contribution to this latest Silver Sunday! Hope to see you all again next month for another episode of this very fun party!


  11. I love your treasures, but I have to say that I am so in awe of your papal medallion that was given to you by the pope! Wow! That must have been surreal! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Good day. Of course I love all your silver, but especially the papal medallion. I have to ditto what Kate just said, previous comment, that is an amazing piece and story.

  13. Thank you Kate and Sherrie.

    There is more to the story, probably too much to add here so I think I will add some more of the story to the original post.

  14. Lovely and interesting post! Thank you for sharing!

  15. Amazing story and what a delight to read, thanks for sharing!!!
    Love your silver medallion, a treasure for sure!
    Margaret B

  16. Thank you ladies for stopping by to see my shiny stuff! I appreciate it.



Thank you for your lovely comments.

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