working with Maria Dolorosa – a client’s question

Q:

Greetings, When burning a candle to Mater Dolorosa, how do you petition her? What do you give her as a offering? Thanks again!

A:

It depends on how "Catholic" you are. Flowers are *always* good, fresh flowers. The candle itself is an offering, too. Among less Orthodox "folk Catholics," especially around here, silver heart-shaped milagros and jewelry are used. I work with her as a face of the loa Erzulie Freda, which is yet another level of "unorthodox" :-), and I give her Freda’s offerings — perfume, pink and blue things (lace, cakes, candles, maybe candies, small heart-shaped pink boxes, stuff like that).

I find that the longer I work with a saint the more of a sense of what he or she likes comes through. I will sometimes be in a store and think "St. Patrick needs that for his altar!" and buy it 🙂 So flowers and candles are always a safe start, and you will probably find yourself inspired as you go and you can build from there. Roses and lilies are good, but there’s actually a whole complex system of flower and plant symbolism associated with her that date from medieval times (and probably predate) — so you can feel just fine about starting small.

Ref. the petition, again that depends on how Catholic you are. You can simply talk to her out loud or silently, in a heartfelt way, or you can pray a traditional prayer.

…to be continued…

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