Santa Rita de Casia-Saint of the impossible Height: 8 inches. Inset glass eyes. Comes from Guatamala circa late 1700's.

Owner: Jorge Eagar, Phoenix, Arizona
For Jorge Eagar's velacion of the Virgen de Dolores and other special home prayer practices on different occasions, visitors came to his house and participated in the events. Eagar planned the different cycles of ritual celebrations. Therefore, santos were not only for decorating purposes but also for inspiring devotional acts of piety such as: processions, rosaries, vigils, and celebrations. " In June we have a special altar for San Antonio, one of my favorite saints." In September, Eagar does a special novenario (nine consecutive days of prayer) for the Archangel San Miguel in preparation for his special feastday; it is usually done during the evenings in someone's home. "San Miguel Archangel was a favorite of my grandmother. So by observing that tradition I honor her memory during the month of September."

Participants in these inspired devotions are sojouners in different stages in a spiritual joumey in life. "Yes," agreed Jorge Eagar, "These are spiritual athletes like the saints. The saints, you know, accompany us on that joumey in spirit." The faithful historically are on a spiritual journey throughout life, and many have made pilgrimages to places either renown for an apparition of the Virgin Mary, or for a famous church, or for being a holy place, like a shrine, somehow related to a great saint. Locally, people in Phoenix gather with relatives and friends in private homes for a novenario, a scripture study group, or some liturgy of the word or prayer service. It is all in Christian tradition.

"The imagery speaks to participants and gives them certain dimensions of Catholicism being more personal," explained Jorge Eagar. He then added "Sometimes I invite Catholic Native Americans to add their significance of their symbology and use of drumming, meditation, and the importance of Earth."