Tuesday, December 05, 2023

A New Series of Traditional Catholic Mugs

Looking for a stocking stuffer for an altar boy? Wondering what to get for the priest who has everything? Want to surprise someone in the family? Or equip the tradbros with new slingshot rejoinders? Are you a firm believer (as am I) that children’s education takes place in the quiet interstices of life and not just in the official homeschooling lessons?

Enter the Os Justi Press line of ceramic coffee (or tea) mugs with traditional Catholic quotations and artwork. With quotations chosen by me, artistically designed by Julian Kwasniewski, and produced by Gelato, these are handsome items that should wear up well under repeated washings. They are bound to please those who agree with them and to prompt interesting conversations with anyone else.

Since the main point here is the text and artwork, I’ll let the mugs speak for themselves. (Please pardon the slightly blurry photos, this was my old camera that has since died. You can see additional photos at the links.) Also, please note that a few of the mugs have subsequently been updated with full blue or red handles and interiors.

Edmund Burke Ancient Opinions” & Gihr “Storm of Persecution

blue or red available
Anglo-Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Burke wrote: “When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot possibly be estimated. From that moment we have no compass to govern us; nor can we know distinctly to what port we steer.” Joined to a medieval illumination of peasants going to Mass.

Decades before the persecution of Catholics attached to the Latin Mass began, Nicholas Gihr (1839-1924) wrote of previous persecutions: “When the storm of persecution raged throughout the whole world, the stream of grace and benediction poured from the Holy Mass celebrated in the catacombs, or underground caverns; just as at a much later period this Holy Sacrifice, persecuted by Protestantism, took refuge in the garrets. But even in this dire extremity the attractive power of the Mass was not weakened. Catholics went down into underground dens, into the catacombs, and climbed up under the rafters of houses, to pray for those whose hatred had driven to the most wretched nooks what was most holy to them and who were vaunting themselves in edifices reared by Catholic piety.” This sentiment is paired with a painting of “Mass in a Connemara Cabin” by Aloysius O’Kelly.

Guardini “Incense” & St Brigid “Numberless Angels

in blue
In Sacred Signs, Romano Guardini writes of incense: "The offering of an incense is a generous and beautiful rite. It is a prodigal waste of precious material. It is a pouring out of unwithholding love. It is as free and objectless as beauty. It burns and is consumed like love that lasts through death. It is the offering of a sweet savor which Scripture tells us is the prayers of the Saints. Like pure prayer, incense has in view no object of its own; it asks nothing for itself. It rises like the Gloria Patri at the end of a psalm in adoration and thanksgiving to God for his great glory." This mug features the painting "Palm Sunday (1891)" by  Zdzisław Jasiński.

"One day, when a priest was celebrating Mass, I saw, at the moment of Consecration, how all the powers of heaven were set in motion. I heard, at the same time, a heavenly music, most harmonious, most sweet. Numberless Angels came down, the chant of whom no human understanding could conceive, nor the tongue of man describe. They surrounded and looked upon the priest, bowing towards him in reverential awe. The devils commenced to tremble, and took to flight in greatest confusion and terror."—St. Bridget of Sweden. This mug features a stain glass window of the miraculous Mass of St Gregory, from a 15th-century stained glass window is in All Saints' North Street in York (photo by Fr Lawrence Lew, OP).

Guardini Kneeling” & Fr Gerard Calvet “Tradition is the Youth of God

With artwork by Martin Travers (1886-1948) and a quote from Romano Guardini: “But when does our littleness so come home to us as when we stand in God’s presence? One has no need to be told that God’s presence is not the place in which to stand on one’s dignity. To appear less presumptuous, to be as little and low as we feel, we sink to our knees and thus sacrifice half our height; and to satisfy our hearts still further we bow down our heads, and our diminished stature speaks to God and says, Thou art the great God; I am nothing. It is an act of humility, an act of truth, and every time you kneel it will do your soul good.”

Rejoice in the Latin Mass with a mug featuring artwork by Martin Travers and a famous saying by the founder of Le Barroux Abbey in France. 

Benedict XVI Sacred and Great

Celebrate Pope Benedict’s famous words from Summorum Pontificum (the expression of a dogmatic fact, as Dr John Lamont argues) with this classic mug. The same quotation is also available on a T-shirt.

Aristotle Divine Sacrifices

This mug connects the sentiment of Aristotle that "The most commendable expenditure is that which is directed to divine sacrifices" with the Catholic Mass, featuring an illumination from a 14th-century Italian manuscript.

Ratzinger Pope bound to tradition & G.K. Chesterton Quote

Cardinal Ratzinger: "The First Vatican Council had in no way defined the pope as an absolute monarch. On the contrary, it presented him as the guarantor of obedience to the revealed Word. The pope’s authority is bound to the Tradition of faith, and that also applies to the liturgy. It is not “manufactured” by the authorities. Even the pope can only be a humble servant of its lawful development and abiding integrity and identity. The authority of the pope is not unlimited; it is at the service of Sacred Tradition." What a good thing to be reminded of today! Paired with a mosaic of Christ giving the keys to a (very small and very receptive) St Peter.

G. K. Chesterton reminds us of the importance of being countercultural Catholics: "We do not want, as the newspapers say, a Church that will move with the world. We want a Church that will move the world." Paired with a masterful medieval painting, "The Miraculous Mass of Saint Martin of Tours", c. 1440 by an anonymous German artist. (The same painting is also available as a wood print for hanging on the wall. A similar illustration from an illuminated manuscript is available as a phone case for 19 iPhone models.)

St Basil Groans and Tears

St. Basil the Great wrote: “Only one offense is now vigorously punished: an accurate observance of our fathers’ traditions. The people are in lamentation, in continual tears at home and abroad. There is a cry in the city, a cry in the country, in the roads, in the deserts. Our houses of prayer are shut up, our altars deprived of the spiritual worship. Sacred things are profaned; those of the laity who are sound in faith avoid the [official] places of worship as schools of impiety, and raise their hands in solitudes, with groans and tears to the Lord in heaven.” Not too far from the situation some Catholics are dealing with today.

McCaffrey Non-conformity

Neil McCaffrey, a great American conservative publisher, wrote back in the late 1960s: "Let us turn their own non-conformity against them. If they have the freedom to preach contempt of the Church we know and love, surely we have the freedom to defend, to resist, to cherish what is part of ourselves. As Americans we are accustomed to exercise generous freedoms in the temporal sphere. We are not used to having to use them in the Church. Now we must, or be swept away. And the radicals do mean to sweep us away. They preach freedom—but only their own brand. They leave in their wake a totalitarian stink." With painting of the elevation at a low Mass offered in someone's house.

St Theresa of Avila Ceremonies

“I would give up my life a thousand times, not only for each truth of the faith, but for the least of the Church’s ceremonies” is the St. Teresa of Avila quote featured on this mug with an engraving of a Pontifical High Mass.
All of these items may be found at the Os Justi Press online shop, where there are enlargeable photos. Thanks for having a look!

Also, consider visiting Julian's Etsy page, Atelier Lumine Tuo, featuring his artwork and gift ideas.

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