Many origins of specialized pieces of Catholic jewelry lie in the numerous apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
For instance, in 1531 our Blessed Mother appeared to Juan Diego in what is now Mexico City. She left her image upon his robe and that robe is preserved in the basilica at Mexico City. Our Lady of Guadalupe is a symbol of significant importance to Mexican Catholics. Her medal, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is a reproduction of that image. (R415683 Stuller) (7206 Bliss)
On March 15, 1858 the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France where she told the then fourteen years old Bernadette, "I am the Immaculate Conception". The shrine, today, is a source of the spring where miracle water has cured millions. This medal portrays Mary's apparition there. (R5049 Stuller) (7288 Bliss).
The 'Immaculate Conception' refers to Mary having been conceived without sin. The 'Feast of the Immaculate Conception', December 8, is a Holy Day of Obligation when attending Mass is mandatory for all Catholic.
San Juan De Los Lagos has had a statue of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception since 1623. The sanctuary of San Juan De Los Lagos began when Father Miguel de Bologna, a Spanish priest, brought a statue of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception to the village. The medal is an effigy of that famous statue. (R16336 Stuller) (7263 Bliss)
In 1917 Mary appeared to three children at Fatima, Portugal once a month for six consecutive months. During the final apparition on Oct 13th the sun 'danced' in the sky while the Blessed Mother declared "I am the Lady of the Rosary". These medals portray her appearance to the three children. (R5048 Schuller) (7205 Bliss)
The Miraculous medal is said to be the most popular of all blessed jewelry. In 1830 the Blessed Virgin is said to have designed the medal herself when she appeared to Catherine Laboure in Paris. This medal has distinctive engravings linking the Blessed Mother's Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus which represent Mary and Jesus, respectively, as sacred by all Catholics. The Miraculous Medal is inscribed with the words "Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee," (R5019 Stuller) (0612EM Bliss)
Other medallions of blessed jewelry represent the various stages of the Blessed Virgin's life.
Our Lady of Loreto the holy house of Loreto Italy is said to be the same house where Mary was born, lived her childhood, was visited by the angel Gabriel. Angels are said to have carried this house from Palestine to the town of Tersato in 1291. Angels moved it again to its permanent place but it said to not show any sign of decay to this day--in fact its walls do not appear to rest on foundation but remain solid. Many miracles have been performed on its premise.
(R16336 Stuller) (7082 Bliss)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the title given to the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel after she appeared to St. Simon Stock in 1251 and instructed him to, " Take, beloved son, this scapular of thine order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant" This blessed necklace is also known ad the 'Brown Scapular. Other Carmelite saints include: St. Therese of the Child Jesus, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. (R41451 Stuller) (1656 Bliss)
scapular (R5075 Stuller)
Many Catholics (and Christians) believe Mary has been appearing to a group of villagers in Medjugoria, Bosnia-Herzegovina since 1981. She tells them to have faith in God's love and promise of eternal salvation. (5679 Bliss)
As a whole people of the Catholic Church believe in the purity of these apparitions and other sacred occurrences as proof that Mary the Mother of Jesus was taken into heaven at her death and resides there with her son, Jesus, the son of God and they wear Catholic religious jewelry as symbols of their belief. The life of Mary is venerated not only in belief of her many appearances to the most innocent or unsuspecting on but also in the instruction she has given time and time again.
Much fine Catholic jewelry declares devotion to Mary that is entwined with devotion to Jesus. Medals of Our Lady of Sorrows depicts the seven times when Mary's heart was pierced with sadness because of events in her son's life.
The Holy Rosary, which is said to be the most sacred of all prayers, portrays Mary's life from the moment of Jesus' conception, through his birth and childhood, his ministry to his crucifixion and then the glorious occurrence of Jesus resurrection, ascension into heaven, the events of Pentecost and finally Mary's own death and assumption into heaven.
Rosaries as blessed jewelry are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, from pearls to crystals even diamonds encased in gold and silver. Sometimes they are considered vintage Catholic jewelry because of their age and sentimental family ties. Whatever the situation the structure of the Rosary remains the same and the faith it inspires it obvious. (R41966- rosary necklace
Other points of fine Catholic jewelry are indicated in Catholic Cross jewelry or Catholic crucifix jewelry which can be worn as a blessed pendant or a lapel pin, or brooch. Catholic cross necklaces made of gold and silver are very popular and available in a variety of styles.(Bliss 2642-Crucifix 6008-Cross)
Other items of popular are catholic saint jewelry which portrays some aspect of a patron saint's life and bracelets with charms displaying the Ten Commandments. Lapel pins of angels or the dove (representing the Holy Spirit) are also very poplar not only because they are delicate and attractive but because they are a candid display of one's faith. (Bliss 1510)
Much of the Catholic saints jewelry, those of the Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart and Miraculous Four or Five-way medals are popular Catholic charms attached to key chains or key rings. (Schuller R16889)