Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Milagros (Miracles)

Milagros means miracles.

My cousin (more like kindred spirit.  Sister.  Best friend), Karen, gave the family a plethora of wonderful gifts for Christmas.  All of us were just overjoyed with the things inside this huge box!  One thing tagged for "Pramps" had me very intrigued.  It is called a Milagros Cross.

My Milagros Cross from Karen

 I hated to admit this to her and anyone, but I had never ever heard of such a cross.  I was especially embarrassed,  even with my tiny bit of Mexican blood in me, that I actually had to Google it.  I was thrilled with what I found.  This is the first site I clicked on:  Collecting Milagros  Then I found this woman's blog.  This is when I knew I must make one for myself - and my children:  Milagros Cross Redo  I love the way she shows how she restored one and made it uniquely hers.

I knew I had to make one.  My cousin Bernadette also fell in love with the idea.  She and I began discussing and sharing sites that sold Milagros charms.  We excitedly planned out, across the miles on FB chat, how we could  make ours in our own unique ways.  I remembered that my mother had a sterling silver charm bracelet - with nothing but heart charms on it (Way before I was even thought about. One charm is stamped '1941').

It also bears the initials of my mom's first husband, "R.A.L."  (Robert A. Loftgren)

 Here is the bracelet. 

I decided to post on Karen's wall about our intentions.  That started a chat session and I decided to photograph my loot.  That is when I discovered that one of the charms had her mother's name beautifully engraved on the back. 

For my Ma's beautiful sister, Connie.

I started getting very excited.  I let Karen know about her Momma's charm.  I then began looking through my jewelry box.  I came across some of the medallions that my father wore when he was ill.  They were given to him by his sisters;

I know these have been blessed and so I shall use them.  I also came across one charm on that heart bracelet that has the name "Frank" engraved on it.  Now, given the year, this could not be for my father!  I believe it is either for my grandfather, or my uncle Frank Estrada.
Franciso Juan?  Frank Estrada, Jr.?  Certainly not Frank A. Gambino, but I'll take it.
So, there are enough charms here to make a lovely little family cross.  Now, to find the perfect cross!  Maybe I can make one.  The search begins.  I love the entire meaning of a Milagros Cross and the more I research them, the more I want to make one for us and for each of my children.  Each charm or 'Milagros' is a tiny idol to pray to.  They can be anything;  flora or fauna.  Religious or spiritual.  Body parts.  I just purchased my very first Milargros.  It may seen strange to some.  I was searching around and stumbled across a 'leg.'  I knew I must have that as it is the Gambino family crest.  And, my father lost his leg.  Lots of meaning, there!  Karen told me that hearts and legs are actually very popular Milagros charms!  I looked around and then found it.  The one I must have.  Again, it is an odd choice, but one that means a lot to my family:
I excitedly told Karen about my find and why I bought it.  My father died of lung cancer.  Karen then reminded me that my husband and children suffer from asthma as well, and that this tiny charm would be a wonderful addition to my cross.  I can pray for their health, as well.

  So you see, a Milagros Cross is a very personal thing.  Just like religion is to me.  I don't really consider myself to be a Catholic, anymore, but I am a very, VERY spiritual being.  I pray all the time, and I am very close to God.  I feel closer to God now, than I ever have in my entire life.  It's like my dad used to always tell me; "You don't need a fancy, gilded building to be close to Christ.  Christ and God are with you wherever you go.  No matter how you choose to be close to them, as long as you keep the communication going."

Anyway, I'm off to go make lunch.  I may research 'how to make a wooden cross.'  Or maybe I will clean first.

God Bless!


  1. Pramps, once again you touch my heart. We are truly kindred spirits and I am thrilled that you have adopted the idea of a Milagro Cross as an extension of yourself and your intentions. It was truly a sacred mission the girlies and I set out on today to try to find you some more milagros and can't wait to get them in the mail to you. I also have an obsessive desire to find my mother's charm bracelet and compare it to the one your mother wore...what a wonderful new adventure! I love your description of your prayer life...have you ever heard about Brother Lawrence? He was a humble monk who prepared the food for the priests in his monastery and lived in a constant state of contemplative prayer. That is what I want to constant contact with the Divine Source ... like breathing. Loved our conversation tonight...and would love to have many many more. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts and inspirations...

  2. That is exactly what I am seeking, Cuz. I must learn about Brother Lawerence. Love you, ever and always!


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