For the first time, I’m participating in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! The concept is simple: Each day in April I’ll be blogging on a topic starting with the letter of the day, beginning with A and progressing to Z by the end of the month. Posts will be short and will relate to my chosen theme: my new coming of age story, Rightfully Ours, released April 1.
M is for Medals
A personal item or token of some sort can tell you a lot about a character. It may be a piece of jewelry, a memento kept in a pocket, or a treasure tucked in a nightstand drawer. I’ve used religious medals as items important to Catholic characters in my novels.
In Ornamental Graces, it was a Miraculous Medal pinned to the inside of Grandma’s bra (!), later given to a special young woman. In Rightfully Ours, it is a St. Paul medal given as birthday gift to Paul from his friend Rachel.
Religious medals, which are sacramentals, are another case of a custom being sanctified but the Church. (“A sacramental is a special prayer, action or object which, through the prayers of the Church, prepares a person to receive grace and to better cooperate with it.”)
It had been the custom for pagans to wear amulets to stave off evil or disease. As people converted, they would instead wear medals as a reminder of the power of Jesus in their life, dispelling superstitious notions and fostering devotion. Archaeologists have unearthed medals of Saints Peter and Paul from the second century.
Religious medals have long been part of my life. My mom has always had a stash of Miraculous Medals on hands. I continue to wear one. During pregnancies, I’d often switch to a St. Gerard Majella medal, since he is the patron of expectant mothers. My college friend, Chris, wore a medal of his patron, St. Christopher. My kids occasionally wear medals depicting Jesus, Mary, or the Holy Spirit that they’ve received from school. They are good reminders to pray.
For writers: Do you characters have a special object, such as a medal, that is important to them?